Posts Tagged ‘communicating’

I nearly missed this post as I was choosing wedding flowers – the book this week is one that reminds you to seize the day and that seems a good message for me now…

This week I picked another book I bought for a charity fundraiser – The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean Dominique Bauby.  I had heard of this book before, but never intended to read it, and then it was there in front of me and the moment seemed right.

The book is a memoir of sorts, covering the thoughts and experiences of Bauby as he comes to terms with his life following a stroke. The stroke left him with Locked-in Syndrome, so he could only communicate through the use of one eye.

I spent the first part of the book wondering how such a detailed story was told when his ability to communicate was so impaired, and I was impressed by the ingenuity and tenacity required by Bauby and his support team when the conditions unfolded.

The most powerful elements of the book were those when Bauby explored his feelings about his situation, and how it came to pass: the reflections on his previous life served as a comparison but did not make me feel I knew him at all.  In some respects they were too far removed from my own normality, and in some respects I was only interested in his new phase of life, because I wanted to understand how he came to perceive the world.  How many other people in the same situation will ever get a book published as a result?  I wanted as much detail as possible, to understand the condition as much as possible.

The book made me consider how much of life we take for granted, and how we assume we will all carry on eating, drinking, talking and watching tv when we really have no idea how our life will pan out.  It made me philosophical.

I don’t really know whether to recommend the book, or if I’ll read it again – it is short, due I suspect to the painfully slow method of dictating it, but it stretches out even after I’ve closed the cover.  If it stays too long I might wish I hadn’t read it, but if it doesn’t stay with me, I will have lost something important.

Happy reading,




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This month’s challenge was to write a letter about peace, or send a letter out to peace, or imagine a letter coming back from peace or any and all variations of the above.

Well, I’ve interpreted this a little differently.  It’s not a letter to peace, but letters of peace: an A-Z of peace-related words.  Well, almost – I couldn’t find a x that I liked!

I always thought that ‘actions speak louder than words’ – that is, you can say you feel something, but if you don’t show that through your actions it has no meaning.  There should be a follow-through of some sort.

But I also realise that words have power (which is lucky for a writer!).

Words can wound and heal, words can be barbed and get stuck inside you, or they can  break through a wall you’ve built up.  The problem with words is that we are often far more careless with them than we are with our actions.  This is something that has cropped up in my writing in many ways, and is a strong tool for exploring relationships.

By choosing our words carefully, we can begin building peace into every communication we make.

A = accord

B = brotherhood

C = consideration

D = delight

E = enlightenment

F = friendship

G = goodwill

H = happiness

I = irenicism

J = joining

K = kindness

L = love

M = mindfulness

N = neighbourly

O = orderly

P = pacifist

Q = quietness

R = respectful

S = solidarity

T = tranquility

U = unity

V = value

W = wisdom

X =(e)xquisite

Y = yielding

Z = zen

Of course there are hundreds more, but everyone should choose words that have meaning to them.  Words are the ingredients to make peace – and every cook needs space to use their inspiration!

I spent a while considering whether yielding and peace go together, but I decided that peaceful people judge when it is wise to yield and when to stand firm; being yielding isn’t the same as being walked over.

I’d be happy to see other words people feel are important to peace; please let me know your ideas in the comments!

Happy writing,



B4Peace Central

Here are some other blogs you may enjoy:


Fish of Gold

Laurie’s Notes

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