365 Writing Prompts

The Normal | The Fallacy of Normalcy | No Wish to be Normal

Hole in the Heavens

365 days of writing prompts: June 9 The normal. Is being “normal” — whatever that means to you — a good thing, or a bad thing? Neither?

The term fallacy is ambiguous. From a philosophical point of view, it can mean: a kind of error in an argument; a kind of error in reasoning (including arguments, definitions, explanations, and so forth); a false belief; or the cause of any of the previous errors, including what are normally referred to as “rhetorical techniques.” Researchers disagree about how to define the very term “fallacy.” Focusing just on fallacies in the sense of fallacies of argumentation, some researchers define a fallacy as an argument that is deductively invalid or that has very little inductive strength. If one thinks of normal as something fallacious, then normal could mean the race to the bottom, or a mediocrity, or something that does not exist at all, because it is based on a fallacious argument. Erich Fromm refers to the pathology of normalcy. In The Sane Society Fromm says:

“It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas or feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing is further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing whatsoever on reason or mental health. Just as there is a folie à deux (delusional ideas between two persons). there is a folie à millionsThe fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same mental pathology does not make these people sane.” (p. 14).

One of my favourite writers, Ronald David Laing, says the following from an existential point of view:

We are all murderers and prostitutes — no matter to what culture, society, class, nation, we belong, no matter how normal, moral, or mature we take ourselves to be. Humanity is estranged from its authentic possibilities. This basic vision prevents us from taking any unequivocal view of the sanity of common sense, or of the madness of the so-called madman. … Our alientation goes to the roots. The realisation of this is the essential springboard for any serious reflection on any aspect of present inter-human life.” (p. 2 of the Introduction to The Politics of Experience, 1967).

These kinds of statements can seem shocking. So, if we are estranged as a society from our authentic possibilities, at the root alienated, then it is true for me to say that I have no wish to be normal. If our normalcy cannot be considered sane, or authentic, then I have no wish to be a participant in the creation of a hole in the heavens, or other such pursits. In my view, normalcy is a fallacy, it is a false belief, an error in argument. Normal has a kind of stasis about it, when in fact things are in flux, constantly changing. What do you think? What does “normal” mean for you. Is it a pathology? Is so called “normalcy” absurd?

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Fight or Flight | How about Freeze? | Belongings in the Sand

800px-CA_78_Anza-Borrego

365 Days of Writing Prompts: Fight or flight | How about Freeze | Belongings in the Sand

When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction?

Frightened, Carol stood, surrounded by her few belongings, staring at the dry sand covering the toes of her new pumps, black, pointy toed, with a flash of red at the heel, just like her, just a flash of the possibility of intrigue. The heat felt like 40 degrees. Cars flashed by at outrageous speeds, but this was only in the periphery of her consciousness. There was nothing but sand and freeway and two individuals arguing in a language she could not understand and two cars parked at an angle at the edge of the desert. Carol was numb, frozen. Her mind could hardly grasp the reality of what had happened. So far from home, frozen in the sand. All she could think in that moment was: “…oh my new shoes are getting ruined. If only I had worn those black ‘takkies’.”

Nothing else seemed possible. No running, no fighting would help her now.

Image from Wikipedia Adbar Share Alike Attribution

Switcheroo | 365 Writing Prompts | Globe-T

365 Days of Writing Prompts: Switcheroo. If you could switch blogs with any blogger for a week, with whom would you switch and why?

I would switch with Bonnet Voyageur | Globe-T

Why? I love the novel approach to travels. The bonnet, or woolen hat, visits places and is photographed there. I would love to see the hat in places around Durban, South Africa. This is the Welcome Message:

WELCOME ON BOARD!

“Born to a knitting pin father and a yarn ball mother, Globe-T. the travelling Winter Hat lives to explore the world. He enjoys posing for pictures in the places he discovers and sharing his travel adventures.”

 

The page design is clean and well laid out and the colours are great. Design is important to me. A pleasure to visit.

 

Here is my hat from the 1970’s, although not wool I thought it would be fun to share.

 

carol's hat new

Tell us Your Story | Reflections | Smell of Acceptance

buddha

Daily Post: Nosey Delights – The Smell of Acceptance

I am linking here to an earlier post which fits exactly with today’s prompt.

365 Days of Writing Prompts: Tell us your story. Tell us about a journey — whether a physical trip you took, or an emotional one.

Ouma, tiny in stature, warm, loving, kind. I can smell the cooking from the minuscule, can’t turn around kitchen. The smell of acceptance and safety. I remember seeing her, I did not know it would be the last, fragile, yearning to go to her place in the heavens, (a deeply religious soul).

“…en ek sal in die huis van die HERE bly in lengte van dae.” (Psalm 23 – I will stay in the house of the Lord for the length of days).

Staring at the coffin, my heart constricts, fluid pouring from my eyes and nose, I wonder why it does not come out of my ears, I feel I am dying myself. It felt like the end, end of a home, a place of safety, an unconditional love. I felt I would never know such a place again. Not so much a place but an attitude. Years later I see her and feel her and I miss her, my grandfather, I miss him, (man of few words, teddy bear of a person, shrouded in pipe smoke, kind), wishing them well in whatever rebirth they have taken. Both my grandparents, down to earth, uncontrived. I have not met such people again. They were innocents in a complex manipulative world. Thank you Ouma and Oupa for your heartfulness. Life really only offers a few such opportunities if we are lucky. Lady luck, turn your gaze on me now.

Ouma and Oupa standing, first and second on the right.

ouma and oupa with family

 

Sign outside the cemetery, isn’t life ironic?

cats crossing

 

Oupa: 21-10-1900 to 01-09-1985, Ouma: 05-01-1902 to 26-08-1999.

ouma and oupa

Image purchased with my website template Theme Catch Evolution: Meaning and Mindfulness

 

The Next Big Thing | 365 Days of Writing Prompts | iPulse

365 Days of Writing Prompts: The next big thing. What will the next must-have technological innovation be? Jetpacks? Hoverboards? Wind-powered calculators?

 

Strap on iPulse, forget about Android and iPhone, this is the ultimate fashion forward accessory to stand out from the crowd. Great for Millenials, hands free no bother technology, synced to your pulse, no battery required. It’s like you are born with an extension to your arm. Best Hipster accessory. Don’t look silly look hot. Modern Retro look, imagine the Selfies you can take. Why wait, get your arm extension today!

 

Fictional Elevator | Faking it Till I Become it

Stainless Steel Elevators

365 days of writing prompts: day May 23. Topic: You’re stuck in an elevator with an intriguing stranger. Write this scene.

Getting into the elevator, I am checking myself in my hand mirror, it’s hot, I am sweating but trying to look cool, having swabbed my face with a tissue, I need to see if I have bits stuck to my face. I am prone to do this and find after the fact that I had bits of tissue stuck at random, but visible, to my visage. It’s funny yes, but I am dressed in my corporate power dress. Crisp white shirt, black pants and my unspoken psychological weapon, my high heels, so that when I shake hands with the meeting delegates, (men), I am able to look them in the eyes, while giving a firm, straight shake, not like the half-handed, tips of fingers women are prone to do. My black jacket is over my arm and it’s making me flustered, it’s too warm. My spectacles are misting up from the heat outside and the cool of the elevator and it takes every vestige of inner strength to stay calm. Face checked, tissue wiped off, too late to worry about the melted make-up.

As I go to fish in my bag for my spectacle cleaner to mop up the mist on my glasses, I notice someone in the elevator. He is tall, hmm, my type, slender, a bald shaven head, with the strong features and beautiful eyes of those statues, like David. He is dirty jeaned, not corporate. My pheromones in any event begin to jump. My unconscious mind making all the right neurological connections, which I don’t need right now. My tissue face, misted glasses and flusteredness are quite enough thanks, I think. I can’t get control and my sweating increases and my hands begin to tremble. Damp armpit marks are beginning to show on my white shirt. The elevator hums and jars to a halt, he steps out, giving me a quick look and a smile. My glasses are still misted and I see him as through a fog. Now, I’m thinking of strategies to bump the pheromones out of my consciousness before the door opens at my floor. Well, there’s always the lady’s room and women are expected to be late, I console myself. Just in time I slap on my business face, thinking, these things are sent to humble us. I remember Amy Cuddy, I do the hands on hips power pose, the low tech trick to send a message to your brain that you are in fact making it. Now, I’m back, I can fake it till I become it.

Free image from StockVault