Day 1543: Backgrounds

My background includes technical writing, marketing communications, and psychotherapy.

In the background, I’ve been looking up the definition of “background.”

Definition of background

  1. a :  the scenery or ground behind something – a picture of her son with mountains in the background – background scenery for the play

    b art :  the part of a painting representing what lies behind objects in the foreground – dark shadows in the background of the painting

    c :  an image that displays on a computer screen underneath the various available icons and windows – As they participate, they earn “Kinetic City Points,” which they can spend on downloadable prizes, such as screensavers and computer backgrounds. — Science

  2.  an inconspicuous position  – shy people who try to stay in the background

  3. a.  the conditions that form the setting within which something is experienced… set in a background of tropical luxuriance. — Tom Marvel

    b (1) :  the circumstances or events antecedent to a phenomenon or development – the economic background of the American Civil War took place against a background of increasing tension

    (2) :  information essential to understanding of a problem or situation – background information

    c :  the total of a person’s experience, knowledge, and education – comparing the candidates’ backgrounds –  ran a background check to make sure she had no criminal record

  4.  a. intrusive sound or radiation  that interferes with received or recorded electronic signals – a recording with a lot of background noise

    b physics :  a more or less steady level of noise above which the effect  being measured by an apparatus is detected;  especially :  a somewhat steady level of radiation in the natural environment (as from cosmic rays)

  5.  a level of computer processing at which the processor uses time not required for a primary task to work on an additional task — compare foreground.

In the background, I’ve been inconspicuously trying to correct the inevitable formatting errors and complications that occur whenever I try to bring a definition into the foreground of my blog.

Here’s the background of how I chose the title of today’s post: Yesterday morning I was changing backgrounds while I was self-soothing with a game of on-line solitaire.

Congratulations to me for winning at solitaire and congratulations to for offering so many backgrounds.  I usually use the first background shown above; perhaps from now on I’ll use different backgrounds, depending on my mood.

After I solitarily photographed all those backgrounds, I noticed other backgrounds throughout my day.












That last photo, with the artwork and books in the background, shows my EMDR therapist, George Sawin, moving some EMDR equipment at the end of our session. George’s background includes psychotherapy, law enforcement, flower shops, and  business management.  When we were discussing the importance of backgrounds, I mentioned this poem to him:

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.
Want to know the background of this background, shown above?
Somebody in my therapy group yesterday morning suggested we project a YouTube video of a beach in Hawaii on the screen in the group room. We used that for our mindfulness exercise and then we left it running in the background throughout the group.
What’s your background? Are backgrounds important to you?
Please don’t stay in the background; instead, leave a comment below.
My background includes an appreciation for acknowledging and expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter what your background.
Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “Day 1543: Backgrounds

  1. Luis Del Castillo

    I love it when you write definitions in your blog, there is always something new to learn!

  2. Without background, there would be no foreground …. or middle ground.😎

  3. Nothing new to add except just how much I like your blog.

  4. That poem….got me.

    And I can’t help but appreciate the term ‘self soothing’.

    And my background is both complex and simple.

  5. Love the Oriah poem, it should be in the foreground.

  6. In the background on my desk is the book, The Invitation, which my eldest daughter suggested I purchase. Her poem you shared brings it to the foreground of my mind! Thanks!

    And whatever ground you create, foregrounds, backgrounds, middle grounds, undergrounds — I always feel wonderful grounds sharing with you!

  7. The people who fill in the backgrounds of TV shows and movies are sometimes called “extras” but when they’re professional actors and expected to play a certain role–even if they never speak or if their faces are never clearly seen–are called “deep background”. I learned that from Stephen Tobolowsky, best known for his foreground role as Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, but who also often works as a deep background actor.
    I notice those actors and wonder about how they see their roles, what their backgrounds are, because they add depth and realism, and because I really believe it’s true that there are no small parts.

  8. I’m just going to stay in the background today, Ann.

  9. In a way, the sending away of my DNA kit is indication of my curiosity about my background! ❤
    Diana xo

  10. In the news biz, sometimes a source will only talk to you on a “deep background” basis, Ann. No quoting, no attribution, just to fill you in on facts to make sure you know what’s going on. No, this is not fake news.

    • Thanks for giving us the background on “deep background,” Mark. True news: I have deep respect for your background.

  11. Thank you for sharing these lines in particular:
    “I want to know if you can
    disappoint another
    to be true to yourself.
    If you can bear
    the accusation of betrayal
    and not betray your own soul.
    If you can be faithless
    and therefore trustworthy.”

    (You can picture me reading these lines riding on a train, my phone held up in front of my face and in the background, behind glasses, weeping.)

    • Thanks for sharing the background of your response to that poem, Alice. That will remain in the foreground of my thoughts. ❤

  12. I have liked that poem since first reading it years ago. It is like a compass. And a compass os good to have in the background in case you need it.

  13. My background is a mid-and-post-war childhood with no IT, no TV, no phone, no car, no washing machine, no dishwasher, no fridge, no central heating; a radio, a mangle, an iron you heated on the kitchen range, basic materials for entertainment such as paper, pencils, cardboard, in a rented maisonette alongside a railway,and a tiny strip of garden to dig. And the opportunity for a grammar school education. All else followed from these years during which nothing was taken for granted,

    • My background includes different types of mangles, Derrick, so special thanks for another illuminating comment, which I never take for granted.

  14. In the world of genealogy what’s your background is an often heard question. I do like your Hawaii background and your congratulations backgrounds- I love changing the backgrounds on my computer desktop.

  15. Pingback: Day 1649: Forgiveness | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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