Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom


I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.

I hope you will too.

Both the proverb and quote this week come from America. The proverb is an interesting old Native American saying –


“Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance.”

~ Native American Proverb


Again from America, Mark Twain has some humbling words for us.





What do you make of the proverb? Concealed force naturally gets people off side because it borders on trust issues. We trust that our friends are not going to hurt us, or force us against our will, because we do believe they care about us. If we felt they didn’t care, the friendship would wither and die.

We feel insulted if someone forces us to do something we don’t want to do. Sometimes we may dig our heels in and refuse, even if it is the sensible thing to do. We seem to like deciding for ourselves, which points to the intense need for self-respect.

Furthermore, it threatens our independence, choice making and self-control. All these things most people take for granted, and for someone to manipulate and force a course of action invalidates the person’s ability and right to choose for themselves.

Politicians might have sometimes forgotten the message the American Indian proverb is trying to convey.

I invite you to join in the discussion by sharing a comment below. Is force ever justified?

Does it always lead to resistance or compliance?


Proverbial Friday – Something to Ponder About



Poetry Writing tips and Challenge #1

You don’t think you are a poet?

I don’t believe it! Writing poetry is something everyone can do.

Poetry is putting your own thoughts down on paper, so how can that be wrong?

Benefits of a Poetry Challenge

Poetry writing can be a great way to express deep-seated emotions in a constructive way, helping us to process their inner meanings and significance.

Then again, your poetry might just be a little bit of fun. Rhyming poetry for instance.

Fellow blogger and writer, Ineke from and myself, Amanda from Something to Ponder About , are jointly hosting an upcoming poetry challenge in English and in Afrikaans, in the WordPress community.

You are invited to join in. See instructions below.

A and I Poetry Challenge

Poetry Writing Tips


Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary. What we very badly need to remember is that the things right under our noses are extraordinary, fascinating, irreplaceable, profound and just kind of marvellous.

Look at the things in the foreground and relish stuff that can lose its glow by being familiar. In fact, re-estranging ourselves to familiar things seems to be a very important part of what poetry can do. [Source: From]

On Using Rhyme:

Tips on Getting Started:

“The first step in any poem is coming up with something to write about. Don’t feel that you have to choose profound or “poetic” material. It’s easiest to write a good poem about something you know well, that you have experienced first-hand, or that you have nearby so that you can observe it carefully. This is because what makes the poem profound and interesting will be the hidden details or qualities you discover, or what the subject reminds you of, your unique perspective. With poems, as with other things (or so I hear), it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it.In the beginning, you don’t have to worry about “style,” about writing in a “beautiful” or a “poetic” way. In fact, if you start to think about “being poetic,” it can distract you from what you’re actually writing about and hurt your poem.”


Challenge Hosts Amanda and Ineke


Why a Poetry Challenge?

Read more here here


What is it?

The Poetry challenge is open to everyone, from complete beginners to advanced writers, and will run from March to October in 2018.

Each month we will post a prompt and helpful sites to getting started in poetry.

You can write in any language, it certainly doesn’t have to be in English.

Ineke will post the challenge in Afrikaans on her blog, so if that language suits you better, visit her here.

You Can write any kind of poem that you like. If you need inspiration to get you started:

The March Prompt:

Grab the closest book. Go to page 29. Write down 7 words that catch your eye. Use 5 of the words in a poem.


Here is my Poem for March.



Perhaps, I will grow up to be a movie star or a nurse.

Perhaps, I’ll travel the world – when I’m all grown up –


So perhaps, I will walk to school, run wild in the streets at weekends, have few time limits and even fewer parental eyes.

Perhaps, life will be simple and there will only ever be friends and enemies –


But then, perhaps I will live a carefree life aboard a yacht floating the waterways  –

Perhaps, I will have a husband and five children and be up to my ears in snotty noses and wet nappies.


Then, again, perhaps I will have an abusive spouse, end up penniless or in a hospital Emergency room,

losing my confidence and self esteem.

Perhaps, I will slowly rebuild my life and my identity, whilst forever remembering the scars.-


And then perhaps, I will find a kindred soul, a kind family and be content.

Perhaps, I’ll find my passion in life that takes me places I never dreamed –


So perhaps, it will be that I’ll face the sun so the shadows will fall behind me.

Perhaps, I will find that expectations and disappointment go hand in hand –


Or perhaps, I’ll find that dementia steals away memories as I sit in an aged care facility, living out fantasies that won’t come to pass.

Perhaps, when my time is over,  I’ll make terms with the next journey –


Or perhaps the mysteries and purpose of life will always be elusive.

Perhaps, just perhaps, there’s no certainty, only Perhaps.


Now it is your turn to write –

Instructions for Joining the Poetry Challenge:

Sign up by leaving a comment on this post, so we know you are interested.

Ineke and I will post a poetry prompt and writing tips and links, around 1st day of each month.

You might need to follow our blogs so that the posts show up in your WP reader.

  • Using your own idea,  or the monthly prompt supplied, write a post with a poem, either fun or serious and post before the 27th day of that month.
  • Include in your post a link or pingback to both:

 Something to Ponder About –

  • Add the tag A and I Poetry Challenge to your post.
  • As ping backs sometimes don’t work, please also leave a comment at Ineke’s blog, and Amanda’s blog, Something to Ponder About, with the url link to YOUR blog post on the challenge post for that month.   N.B. If you do this, others can find their way to your challenge post and create a supportive community too.
  • Include the Poetry Challenge badge in your post, if you so wish. (optional)


That is it!

Oh, and have fun writing!! Any questions? Just ask.

Ineke and I will post link backs to the blogs who have joined in with the challenge in the poetry challenge post in the following month, so that you can all find each other’s blog posts and build a new poet’s community!!

The Gnawing

Sweden norway border fjell på grensen



The Gnawing 

It’s there in the belly, it sits like a stone,

hard, heavy and dragging them down.

Gnawing in waves, tearing, grating, chewing,

Life imploding, no hope of renewing.

A breaking soul shattered to pieces,

like a mirror smashed by a rock, the light now ceases.


No going forward, nor even going back.

So continue to clutch that unpredictable track.

It’s over too soon, and yet all seems so far,

Such destinations are never reachable by car.

Blow upon blow, a mind in torture,

The heart rent sore, bent beyond rupture.

And still the Gnawing is there, the closest companion in the darkness.





Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

near roros P1000751

Proverbs and sayings offer up wise words from all corners of the world.  Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation. Each Friday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

Continuing with the theme of ‘love,’ and ‘marriage, we have a somewhat reassuring proverb from the landlocked country of Burundi.



Where there is love, there is no darkness –

 (Burundian proverb)




It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriage –

Friedrich Nietzsche.



Do you agree with Nietzsche?

He is often controversial, often provocative.

Do you think this was his intention to be controversial in saying this?

After all, he had fairly fixed opinions of marriage, viewing it as a potentially lengthy conversation, in this quote:

“When marrying you should ask yourself this question: do you believe you are going to enjoy talking with this woman into your old age? Everything else in a marriage is transitory, but most of the time that you’re together will be devoted to conversation.”




Proverbial Friday – Always Something to Ponder more About

I Grew Up, but Never Forgot the Summers of the Sixties

Mostly, one’s earliest memories lie dormant in the back of the brain, rising to the surface when a lucid dream, a particular smell, or thought, dredges out a memorable or perhaps, traumatic, childhood event.

So when fellow blogger, “Snow,” wrote about her experiences growing up, it was my Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Total Recall” moment: solid and colourful memories, with all the accompanying regrets, long forgotten smiles and laughs, came flooding back to me. Especially so, the memories of those long, balmy summer days were all there in my mind. And most surprising of all, these memories had been triggered after reading a blog entry, from the far end of the world. But why??

Helsinki, Finland

The blogger from TheSnowMeltsSomewhere lives in Finland, a snow laden, Arctic place, thousand of miles from my own childhood home. Yet, we discovered that through one of her posts, that our formative years were spent, not just in the SAME country, but in the very SAME city, and almost, around the SAME time!


Years later, our paths crossed again in the blogging world! Serendipity? Fate? Whatever! Sharing memories of our childhoods is a great way of creating our own histories, and allows others to have an insight into what life was like –  “back in the day.”

Painted Traffic light control boxes

Summer in the 60’s was so carefree

School Holidays

Australia has its long school holidays at Christmas time – because, of course, it is summertime then. In the sub-tropical part of the planet, summertime means thunderstorms, of the torrential kind. Uncannily, nature always seemed to time the heavens to open, over MY school, at 3 pm – the exact time when classes finished for the day!

This meant my walk home, (yes, everyone walked to, and from, school every day), meant that within 10 seconds, of being in the rain, my body would be soaked through. An umbrella or raincoat was next to useless, as the wind accompanying the storm, would blow the torrent, side and every which way, ensuring the body could not escape full saturation! But I survived, (which is perfectly obvious as I wouldn’t be writing this, if I didn’t), and the storm always meant a cooler evening and relief from the heat!

A good thing, indeed.

The Australian Summer, felt almost endless – school was closed for 6 weeks and it seemed like an eternity, for the first week or so. Many of the families I knew, either owned, or rented, a small beach house at the Gold/Sunshine coast, for the summer period and sometimes, I was invited to go along. I would always return home as red as a lobster, from long hours of exposure outdoors [read: we called it sun-baking]. Swimming costumes were the obligatory uniform of the day for children! Over the next week or so, my newly acquired “suntan” would disappear, as the sunburnt layer slowly peeled off, revealing pink fresh skin, underneath.

The beach houses were quite basic, inexpensively built and often smelt slightly of must/mould, no doubt from being closed up for long periods of time.  Kids were left free to wander the street and go swimming anytime they liked. I would often see kids of 5 years upwards, dragging their inflatable ‘surf mat’ behind them, to the beach. This was a kind of inflatable forerunner to the modern boogie board.  There was, of course, no shark nets, to protect swimmers from Great Whites, at the beach in those days either! I don’t even remember sticking to the “swim between the flags” rule! We knew that we should stick to that rule, but couldn’t be bothered to do so.

We thought we were invincible.

To think that children wandered the streets and beaches, mostly unsupervised might be tantamount to negligence today, but this was perfectly acceptable behaviour for the time.

STradbroke Island
Adder Rock beach

If you weren’t lucky enough to have a family beach house, or the weather wasn’t great, children would create their own fun playing cards –  ‘UNO,’ Switch, 21 or Snap or, if one was feeling particularly mean: “56 pick up.” Did you play that one? Board games like Twister, Monopoly or Scrabble were also popular, but much more fun with a group.

Like other kids, I’d often walk to the public park, possessing as it did, a motley, weather-beaten assortment of arm-breaking, metal and wooden, ‘play’ equipment. There was the mandatory See-saw, the potentially leg-breaking, always dizzying, spinning Round -a-bout, but my favourite was the red-hot, all-metal Slippery Slide, rusted and polished smooth by the many children who, just like me, scorched their bare legs and behinds, sliding down the metal surface on 30+ degree summer days.

These were the glorious pre-plastic days, after all!

Early instrument of torture in Playgrounds during the 60’s

Cubby Houses

As children, we never knew anything as technologically advanced as an ipad, Game-boy or x-box; so we had oodles of time to play with the things we found around us, in our world. With my brother, I’d build go -carts or “cubby” houses. I use the term “house” very loosely. Not having the resources to purchase a finished piece of wood from a Bunnings/local hardware store, children of the sixties and seventies, scavenged  instead for remnant pieces of wooden fruit packing cases, sourced from a pile of rubbish, behind the local fruit shop.  This wood was roughly sawn and full of splinters, and  might be nailed haphazardly together in some kind of semi- triangular shape, in the fork of a tree. We’d consider that project:- done! Cubby house walls were always optional extras!

What I always wanted my Cubby house to resemble..
What my Cubby house was like..   Nothing like the luxurious constructions seen in a Millenial’s backyard.


I always had grand designs in my head for a luxurious  ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ type of Cubby house, but I soon discovered that life isn’t like the movies. Our “Cubbies” turned out to be more like a workplace health and safety nightmare, resulting as they sometimes did, in broken arms. Falls from trees were a fairly frequent occurrence amongst the neighbourhood kids. Again, how did any of us not fall twenty feet to the ground and break our neck? Or drown rafting in a flooded creek?

Raft making in the 60’s with bits of tin in the flooded creek

We loved to explore the suburban wilds – intent on any adventure. It was not unusual to ride a bike for many kilometres into the surrounding rural farming area, just to see what was there, or, make rafts out of washed up walls of a Council work shed, or to swim where ever a body of water was found.

Swimming Pools

In our neighborhood, everyone had a swimming pool in their backyard. Big or small, they had something.  As there were no child-proof fences in those days, we just swam when we liked, completely without adult supervision. It was a given that kids in my area, knew how to swim.

swimming pool1
We never wore sun protective sun shirts in the 60’s like these kids did!

I recall one day, I went swimming, on my own in my neighbours pool; it was deeper than our pool and I could do back flips without fear of hitting the bottom, and back flip I did, for a half hour or so, until one back flip went slightly wrong.  I misjudged the angle of entry to the water, came up short, and scraped my nose on the side of the concrete wall. It could have been a lot worse than a mere scrape! O.M.G – as a parent, I think about this and wondered how on earth I made it alive, past the age of 13 years, without inadvertently killing myself or, at least, incurring a spinal injury of sorts???

But the safety of children was not a serious consideration, until the eighties, it seems.


Until 1972 seat belts weren’t even compulsory in cars.  This would mean that primary school aged kids were, more often than not, jammed, like sardines into the back of station wagons, (cars weren’t called hatch backs then).

The sardine troupe would often be ferried to a local pool or skating rinks by a lone parent. That same parent would proceed to unload the kids from the station wagon, and then drive off, only returning to pick up the troupe, hours later! This was the freedom of life in the 60’s and 70’s.  My kids think it is unfathomable that my life was like this!



Television arrived in Australia in the late fifties, and by the sixties it had invaded our home too! It was the one electronic screen we had;  a Black and white TV, a little Astor model, (colour TV arrived in the late seventies), and I occasionally watched shows, such as, “The Jetsons.” The seven-year old me always thought it would be so awesome to have a robotic maid, like Rosie; was that really her name?


My brother was somewhat addicted to watching programs like:  The Land of the Giants, Lost in Space and perhaps the cartoon, “Gigantor”, too. It was just as well TV programming commenced in the late afternoon, otherwise he probably would never have gone to school at all.  [TV showed only screened for part of the day in Australia in those times, otherwise a black and white test pattern with awful background music was the only thing visible.]

And I do wonder why it is that I can still remember the name of the characters from those TV shows, as well as every child in my school class from those early years of school, and yet I find it so difficult to remember where I put the car keys, just two minutes ago?

Can you pick me out from the crowd?


Back in these days, there was no such thing as Google, or a computer, for finding the latest fact, unless you were talking about those brilliant female minds, who worked tirelessly, (without due recognition), for NASA’s early space program. A child of the sixties and seventies had to look things up in a book, either at the library, and few did that, or at home in an encyclopedia. Our nearest library was about 15 kilometres away.

Encyclopedias mysteriously arrived at one’s door, in a complete boxed set, from A to Z, usually presaged by a visit from a travelling salesmen, who would canvass would-be owners, door to door, with sales deals that “could not be believed!”

I think the Britannica clearly had it all over the Funk and Wagnells……


Recently, I drove past my Grandmother’s former home with my youngest child – she is at that stage of life when she is learning to drive a car. In my day, we had to wait a mere three months, to sit the test, for a driver’s license, now they have to wait at least 12 months and complete 100 hours of supervised driving. This is a good thing, I think.  An improvement from the sixties! When I showed my daughter, her Great-Grandmother’s former property, it felt like I’d lived an entire childhood of Sundays in that place, as our weekly visits occurred, without fail.

The house that exists there now, is the same, but different. No longer recognizable, my Grandmother’s house has been raised up and another floor has been built-in, underneath –  in what feels like my space!!

My space: The space where my brother and I would spend hours forming roads for toy cars in the dirt, underneath the house. The same space that held the tank water tap where we used to quench our thirst and where you would find the old grey concrete tubs and gas fired boiler, where my Grandmother would wash her clothes and boil the sheets, stirring the pot, with a big wooden pole. Maybe that is why her sheets were so white!

I notice that the front yard, is still there. I feel like it is MY front yard, like I still have some kind of stake in it, having played in it, worked in it, and run around in it, for over ten years. I pulled and pushed a lumbering, old, metal push mower around that yard, every other Sunday, in summer. It was an ancient hand mower, that had a reversible handle, like the one pictured below, so you didn’t have to turn it around to mow in the opposite direction.

That was really the coolest part of it, I think.


My Aunt and Uncle lived next door to my Grandmother, and as my Uncle was a retired war veteran, he didn’t do much except smoke and drink to excess, but he did breed budgerigars and chooks at the end of his enormous yard – that same yard that seemed ever SO big to me.


I remember one year, my Dad killed one of the Uncles’ chooks for our evening meal. Unfortunately, he wasn’t too good at chopping its head off cleanly and it ran around the yard, half dead! As a town girl of 8 years, I was absolutely mortified.  I had never seen anything so raw and so cruel, yet my favourite meal was chicken, so clearly I managed to reconcile it somehow, in my child-like mind. Afterwards, my ‘Ma’ plucked the chook, showing me how to do this, by dunking it in hot water, to make the plucking process easier, yet I noted with slight revulsion, that a few tiny feathers remained on the carcass.

Cedar Creek, Australia

It seemed to me that Sundays at my Grandma’s house went by, ever so slowly, with nothing much, for a kid, to do. The adults sipped tea, ate Orange cake and Iced Vo-vo’s biscuits, talked and talked and talked, and when my brother, cousin and me were sick of playing in the dirt under the house, we would wander down to play in the nearby creek, catch tadpoles and make small banks to dam the water, just to see what would happen.

Iced Vo-vo biscuits

Today, the creek is the same, but different.  Flood mitigation has spelt the end of the rushing torrent this hapless stream would become after a summer thunderstorm. The trees on the littoral fringes have now grown so tall that no kids play in these waters now. Instead they seem confined, whether by their own volition or not, to their own backyards or, even perhaps, indoors with technology for company.


By contrast, our days were very simple, we simply made do with the world around us.

To be continued/…… there is so much more to ponder about.

Thanks to Snow for inspiring this post.