‘aim long,’ she said

Minke whale feeding off Boston MA

Whale watching off Stellwagon Bank, near Boston, today.

One mammal watching another.

There was a four to five foot swell at times, and our hostess on the boat had warned us of motion sickness before we set off. ‘Aim long,’ she suggested. ‘Your fellow passengers will approve.’ A couple did indeed succumb, although I can offer no testimony to reach.

I wonder what the whales thought?

Three boats homed in on the feeding ground, each boat laden with humans, eager to see these beautiful, majestic sea beasts. Around a dozen Humpback and Minke whales homed in on the boats, eager to see the ridiculous humans, clicking their cameras, pointing in excitement and wretching into their feeding grounds.

The sea birds, flocking around the open jawed whales, hoping to snatch a fish, seemed not to be interested in watching either mammal. Both just a food source.

We watch each other too. Mammal to mammal. Human to Human.

Sometimes overtly, sometimes surreptitiously, out of the corner of an eye. Sometimes in the flesh, sometimes online. We check out looks, clothes, what’s being said. We watch family behaviour and eating habits too. And all the time we judge. Sometimes consciously, often without realising it.

I wonder if the whales judge us?

Part of me hopes they do.

myth busting

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How often do you think showing vulnerability is weakness?

We hide our own vulnerability so that it cannot be judged by others; and also by ourselves.

Yet, how often do you see someone else show vulnerability and see it as pure courage?

How in the face of so much difficulty, pain and suffering can this brave individual reveal to the world the extent to which they are hurting or not coping? Generally we don’t beat them up, we don’t pick on a weakness, rather we are inspired by their strength, warmed by their compassion, moved to support.

Vulnerability is not weakness.

Let’s bust that myth once and for all.

Free your vulnerability.

standing in the crowd

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I’m fascinated by the resurgence of ripped jeans. Clearly on trend, they are everywhere. But let’s just pause for a moment. Who decided to sell us ripped clothes and when did we decide to buy them? It’s not just jeans,¬†Converse sell scuffed up shoes, so that from new, you can have the worn out look. Some designer sneakers are available for $400 with a designer somewhere making hand made tears and marks on your particular shoes.

What next, cars which have scratches in the paintwork? Umbrellas with broken spokes? If the marketeers can persuade us, yes.

If it’s labelled fashion, it seems anything goes. But what does fashion mean?

At the high end it seems to be about breaking new ground. But for the masses, it seems to be about fitting in. About compliance. About peer pressure. Not new; ladies of the Victorian era had their wastes pinched so tight they could barely breathe, in the name of fashion.

Why do we find it so hard to buck the trend? To be individual? To do what we choose?

Or are we in fact doing what we choose?

Choosing to be the same? To fit in? To comply? To seek acceptance? To avoid judgement because others are doing the same? To hide in the crowd?

 

just what is unacceptable?

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Spitting shells of nuts out on a packed train?
Breaking wind in a lift?
Stealing food so you can eat?
Wishing ill of someone?
Swearing in a public place?
Eating with your mouth open?
Undertaking on a motorway?
Borrowing a book and not returning it?
Sex in a public place?
Judging someone’s dress sense?
Judging someone’s accent?
Drinking too much?
Dressing your dog in clothes?
Not being able to spell?
Wearing double denim?
Getting into debt?
Certain tattoos?
Not sharing a gift of chocolates?
Talking about someone behind their back?
Not visiting your old, lonely relative?
Speeding?
Wearing the same socks twice?
Claiming expenses you aren’t owed?
Not washing your hands in the bathroom?
Rude fruit and vegetables?
Cleaning your ear and then eating the wax?
Not sending Christmas cards?
Not showering in the morning?
Taking the last malteser?
Not letting the wine breathe?
Not looking both ways before crossing the road?
Thinking you’re better than someone?
Wishing you had a better life?
Blaming others that you don’t?
Accepting your lot?
Not knowing who you are?
Not caring?
Giving up?
Judging the woman spitting shells of nuts out on a packed train?