16th October 2023

Some images serve as metaphors.

There is light ahead.

We can move forward out of the darkness.


When I was very depressed, years ago, I often listened to Beethoven’s Pastorale Symphony. I could picture the thunderstorm and the ensuing calm.

It gave me comfort.

Even though I am by nature a pessimist and a cynic, there is still a part of me that clings to the belief that there is something better.



There is a glimpse!


Beyond the dark screen,

there, on the other side is light,

is colour.


We have only to look.


Those of us who can must.


For some there seems no way out of the darkness.


My thoughts are constantly with those people whose lives are shattered, who live in terror.

It isn’t possible for me to imagine their feelings but in a much smaller way, I know what it is like, to believe there is no way out of the dark.

There is always a way, ultimately.


As a child, I became very aware of the inequalities that existed in the fortunes of mankind, and it has always troubled me deeply.

Often, I am enraged by it, but there is little most of us are able to do that has much impact.


What I must do, I think, is to keep all those people in my thoughts and to appreciate to my fullest capacity the great good fortune that I enjoy.

That gives me the ability to view the awesome beauty of our planet and the Universe beyond.


In taking our comforts for granted,

I believe we risk losing them, and we should.


None of us can know what lies ahead.


Or how brave we may be if fortunes change.


As a child in London, I was very aware of the recent World War.

Every day I walked past bomb sites with their evidence of ruined lives.

What worried me most I think, was the thought that if I had been alive then, I would have been the most awful coward.

When I consider the incredible, selfless acts of courage of the people who fought in that war or any war for that matter, I am certain I could not have done what they did.


After all, I didn’t even have the courage to stand up for myself when I should have.

It isn’t nice to think of yourself as a coward.

But then, I say to myself that one cannot compare the two situations, fighting an entire enemy force or dealing with mental abuse by a single person.


So, I tell myself, I should not judge myself so harshly.

For a couple of months now, I have been putting in writing all my thoughts, from my earliest memories and trying to detach myself from the persons in those memories. Persons, because I don’t want to judge people who failed me or who hurt me.

There is always a reason behind anyone’s actions.


What will I do with this memoir?

The writing of it has been cathartic, I think, but I can’t help wondering if it might have value to someone who may find themself in a similar situation. I needed help and did not know how to find it.

Failing to extricate myself from that place changed my life forever.


If I had understood the lasting emotional damage that would result, would I have found the strength to stand up and fight? I shall never know, but perhaps another person reading how it turned out for me might be encouraged to find help.

The memoir, or whatever one might call it, is only half done. Sometimes when I’ve been writing in the evening, I have dreams. Last night’s was a doozy, but I haven’t woken myself up screaming for a long time.


Coming home from Clifton Park we passed through two or three types of weather.

Here, the sun had broken through, lighting up wet leaves.


The weekend ahead promises wetness.


But it will be too warm for the snow that is likely a little further north.


These last images bring us almost home!


You’ll be happy to know, possibly not,


that another excursion followed this…

two days later…

10 thoughts on “Self-judgment

  1. Thank you, Carolyn, for your philosophical thoughts. The book of your memories seems like a great idea, if you can find a friendly publisher or an agent. It would fit a format of self-help books,
    “How to Survive…” Today’s pictures are as beautiful as ever, thank you!


  2. As lovely as Virginia is, your beautiful photos and comments of the gorgeous, peaceful area you live in make me want to pack up my stuff and my best (feline) friend, Khloe, and move up your way. Please keep the photos and thoughtful words coming. Do you even realize how much your postings help us through our sometimes hum-drum days?

  3. Without a doubt, there is always light somewhere in the dark (well, one only has to look at your photos for confirmation)!
    For me, it made a difference to share my pain (miscarriages) with other women who have been through the same trauma. Talking about it (and my faith) carried me through difficult times when it felt like the darkness was going to engulf me. I’m sure your writing can make a difference in other people’s lives who are also going through difficult times in their lives ๐Ÿ’Œ. I mean … just your pictures alone put a smile on my face daily.

  4. One thing is for sure, you certainly get out and about. I often feel that if I didn’t have Ollie to care for, I wouldn’t leave the house most days. My weekly shopping trip to the big supermarket 4 miles away feels like a mission, and I always feel relieved when I get home. I deliberately refuse to do online grocery shopping, because I know that I would soon become a near-recluse.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  5. You never know what you are capable of until you go ahead and do it and, in some cases, the best course of action is to do nothing. What we should do though is to learn from each experience and to use that learning to help ourselves, or others, in future.

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