Tag Archives: reflection

Within – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Reflection – RDP Sunday

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Photo: Bunbury Wetlands reflection on the water below the pedestrian footbridge.

“We had the experience but missed the meaning.”  T.S. Eliot

 

Within

Below the ripples of my inner pool
lies my self unseen
who collects moments of importance,
things experienced and things known
for a rainy day,
days when shadow comes out to play
needing a friend,
wanting to talk,
hoping for some direction,
and as I inwardly
hear movements in this deep,
I begin to see a way
to recollect and reconcile,
teasing a way forward
within myself.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com.

47 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, life, meditation, mindfulness, poem, self-development, Uluru 17

Guilty?

via Daily Prompt: Guilty

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Former boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (Photo: Guardian.com) released after two trials and conviction when a US Federal court set aside the convictions.

Carter was no angel, as a teen he had been arrested for petty crimes, and was later discharged from the military as unsuitable given that he had been up on four charges while serving in West Germany. His first wife divorced him due to his infidelity, a girlfriend accused him of assault. So he wasn’t a perfect citizen by any means (I haven’t met too many perfect citizens).

However, the murder charges for the shooting in 1966 at the Lafeyette Bar in New Jersey were pinned on Cater and his friend Artis. Subsequent trial and later appeals showed that police had not collected crucial evidence (no finger prints, no gunshot residue test), witnesses were inconsistent (until the first trial when they magically became consistent), and witness statements didn’t conclusively point to Carter or Artis, alibi material from Carter and Artis was ignored, the alleged guns used by Carter and Artis were only admitted to the evidence clerk five days after the shooting and arrest. The two main “witnesses” recanted at the beginning of the second trial, but this was dismissed, and Cater was convicted again.

After a campaign by supporters, and including Muhammad Ali and Bob Dylan, in the late 70s the appeal to the US Federal court was succesful and in 1985 Carter was freed.

Rubin Carter was black, what else mattered in getting a conviction? His rights (even if he had been guilty) were trashed by the police and court process. Sadly there are many Rubin Carters across the world: In Western Australia the cases of John Button (1963), Darryl Beamish (1959), and Andrew Mallard (1994) are cases that send a chill down your spine. Button and Beamish were fortunate to escape hanging (Button received a manslaughter charge while Beamish was given life), Mallard served twelve years. All three were exonerated, the appeal process showing that police and prosecution had failed at every turn, and in Mallard’s case had pressured witness statements.

In the UK and Australia until the end of capital punishment there were several posthumous pardons for those wrongly convicted and hanged, in the US it is still going on. It is a sickening thought that one minute you’re minding your own business and the next you’re being wrongfully convicted, and in some countries that would mean also facing the death penalty. Although science has enabled better evidencing of crime, it is still not fool-proof – not even DNA testing, so, although the problem has been minimized it has not yet been eradicated. And this is more than just human error, in many cases of wrongful conviction there has been a miscarriage of justice, willful and determined bias, racial prejudice, typecasting, leading witnesses, evidence tampering, hiding evidence and more, none of which is simple human error. Guilt should not, cannot be pronounced simply because you want somone to be guilty, someone to suffer, to pay. And jumping to conclusions is unhelpful to everyone.

To use the term guilty is a heavy pronouncement and should never be done in haste, for any circumstance. I’ve seen miscarriage of justice while working in schools, churches, community groups, sports teams, government agencies, in families and between friends. The end result is devastating, but more so when it is proved to be wrong. Yet we are all guilty of something, and there’s the clue! Who should rush to cast the first stone? Jesus said that only those without sin/wrong in their life had the right to punish another found guilty, knowing that no such person existed. The point being that we’re all guilty of something, so forgiveness must be a starting point (and which is fundamental to Restorative Justice) and self reflection must be part of the guide in dealing with those who have wronged us. The more we are conscious of our own motivations and actions, our own shortcomings,  the less we are likely to be baying for the blood of another.

For good measure – a clip of Bob Dylan playing his “Hurricane” song live, the lyrics are confronting.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

20 Comments

Filed under history, life, mindfulness, Restorative Justice

A Little Reflection (Don’t Smash The Mirror)

via Daily Prompt: Narcissism

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Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. Liriope was told by the blind seer Tiresias, that Narcissus would have a long life so long as he didn’t recognise himself. As the story goes, Narcissus was rejected by the nymph Echo (though in earlier versions, he was rejected by Ameinias). He went to a pool and gazed in and was captivated by his own image. Narcissus was know for his beauty. He fell in love with himself, and could not leave his reflection, and as a result he died there. The ancient Greeks are said to hold the belief that to see your reflection was fatal (there is a third story that says Narcissus was consumed with grief by the death of his sister, but this is not commonly accepted).

Freud took the term and utilized it as a clinical descriptor. For Freud, narcissism is when you have an excessive degree of self-esteem or self-involvement (focus) which usually denotes immaturity. Freud noted that narcissists become their own sex object (sexual overevaluation), are experts on everything, have no understanding of other people’s boundaries, are likely to exploit others, suffer envy, and more. There are seven types listed, ranging from Positive Narcissism to Success Oriented Narcissism. Many confuse Narcissim with being egotistical, or with being arrogant. The fact that Narcissism memes float around Facebook with indiscriminate likes and comments is proof of this, too many think they can diagnose someone as a narcissist by a single trait. It’s more complex than that. That sort of thing is best left to those professionals trained to make such judgments.

But clinical diagnosis aside, there are still things we can attend to in this story.

It raises a number of valid questions. Am I consumed with myself (am I just gazing into myself all the time)? Am I aware of others? Do I know other people’s boundaries? Do I claim to know things when I really don’t know? Do I exploit other people? Do I shame others regularly? Am I crippled with envy? A yes to any of these would warrant some self-work to effect change. If we don’t we might just die! There is a body of evidence in the public sphere now where medical researchers have show connections between health problems and anger, jealousy, hate, egotism and more. Such things literally eat away at us. But we also die in others ways, constant anger kills relationships, as does egotism, envy, lack of boundaries and so on. And when we live an unfiltered life we not only have an impact on others around us, we also affect ourselves deeply, often crippling oursleves emotionally.

The way forward is not to smash the mirror, but rather to set the mirror aside and notice the world around us, to respond to others in our lives, to not love the self more than another (balance), to respect our own and other people’s boundaries … Our health is in each other, we are the key to each other in some ways and should value each other as reflections to learn from rather than being absorbed in solely ourselves. We are not singular repositories of excellence, we all have pieces of the puzzle of life and we need each other to be able to put the whole picture together as best we can, it still won’t be perfect (and my view is that life can’t be perfect, nor was it meant to be). Alone we may flounder and stagnate. Together we can thrive and flourish and grow. The best reflection is not our own image but the things we give out into the world.

Paul,

pvcann.com

16 Comments

Filed under history, life, mindfulness, Mythology, psychology

Nature As Talisman

via Daily Prompt: Talisman

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When I was in primary school one boy created a bit of discussion one day because he brought along a rabbits foot, and he explained that this was his lucky charm. I was bemused. I never had one, though I had some favourite things that were sentimental and had I lost them I would have felt out of kilter, but no talisman as such.

I have a book that belonged to my great uncle Davey who died near Arnhem, Netherlands, during WW2, it is somehow a connection to the past. It is a large book, written for adults but yet fits the description ‘ripping yarns’ a bit like the ‘Biggles’ stories for those who knew them. I had a fave knitted red t-shirt that I’d had for years, it had holes in it, fibreglass stains and etc. I still had it when I got married. Lyn threw it out while I was at work one day! We now ask before disposing 😂 I still have a bedside lamp that was modelled on the story and cartoon character ‘Noddy’, I might repair it one day, it’s sentimental. But really, if these were taken from me, I’d grieve a bit, but eventually I’d not miss them, after all they are merely material.

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The labyrinth is for me a practice of meditation, but it is also a symbol of life, reflection and journey. It comes closest to talisman, as I would miss this if it were taken from me, it is important to my rhythm and balance, it is life giving.

But even more than that, the photo at the top, which shows a segment of Billyacatting Nature Reserve near Nungarin, was a regular haunt when I needed to meditate and take time out from long days of driving vast distances. Why is this a talisman? Well, because for me it is life giving and healing. I find natural spaces enable wholeness and awareness more readily than built environs. I come alive in the bush in ways I don’t or can’t in urban spaces. I’m certain I would go on living if I lived in a major city, one like Beijing or Tokyo, LA, London etc., but I wouldn’t thrive, I’d merely survive in such places. But give me the bush and time to walk it, soak it up, commune, meditate, and engage with it, and I am revived, refreshed, and whole. The bird song, the smell of the earth, the blossoms, eucalyptus and other smells, the visual feast, for me the bush, and all that constitutes it, is my Talisman.

What’s your talisman?

Paul,

pvcann.com

21 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, labyrinth, life, meditation, mindfulness, nature, Spirituality

It’s A Fact!

Fact

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(poster from planetofthevapes.com)

Is it really a fact? Fact can be slippery. The real conundrum is that fact doesn’t necessarily means true.

Science rigorously tests and peer reviews, and arrives at a fact, but does not rest with that, it continues to test and review and analyse, recognising that a scientific fact is still open to challenge, it may be true today but not tomorrow when we have more data, more evidence. In the past century Newton’s laws have been adjusted, modified and reapplied.

In a more general sense fact is often confused with opinion, personal understanding, perception, expectation, belief, and so on. Do we rigorously wrestle with our inner issues and perceptions? Do we adjust and revisit our beliefs and views? When do we refelct and enable ourselves some self-awareness, or even invite the refelctions of others? Our inner world needs to accomodate the outer world as an experience that cannot be completely ignored, and we need to enable ourselves opportunity for growth and development, and not least – to be able to flourish. But even more than that, the space to dream and vision.

And, is it a fact that you can’t do something? Is it a fact that you are who they say you are? Is it a fact that you will never be XYZ? Of course not, but the inner script needs to be adjusted and reworked, reapplied. Without some self work, some inner attendance, our self-script goes unchallenged, our mind map corrals our very being and potential if not opened up to reflection and adjustment, and in particular, the awareness of others around us. Challenge your personal fact-sheet, let go the script, and live.

Paul,

pvcann.com

13 Comments

Filed under life, mindfulness, Science, self-development