Posts Tagged With: “Ball of Confusion”

Day 1201: Balls

Yesterday, in therapy, there was a lot of talk about balls, including:

You’ve had that ball for too long.

You’ve been holding that ball for over a year. It gets really heavy, doesn’t it?

You’ve got too many balls in the air at the same time.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t juggle more than three balls at the same time.

Throw that ball to somebody else.

Put the ball in somebody else’s court, as soon as possible.

Put down the ball!

Those balls weren’t actual balls. They were metaphorical balls of

  • guilt,
  • shame,
  • self-judgment,
  • responsibility, and
  • worry.

I also drew two things on my white board, yesterday, that looked like balls:



Those  aren’t  actual balls, either. The first one is a pill somebody wanted to take, whenever necessary.  The second one is a button somebody else wanted to wear.

I could ask what associations you have with “balls,” but I don’t have the balls to do that.

It takes balls to write and share poetry, as several people did in a therapy group last night. Here’s the poem I wrote:

Absence of Pain

I always thought that if

I wrote a book

It might be called

“Absence of Pain.”

Pain is something that can


It is all around us and

within us too.

But absence of pain is as


even if we don’t notice it.

How to describe the absence

of anything

including absence of pain?

It’s a precious thing

always there

if not in the present moment

then as a memory

of the past

or a hope for the


What helps sustain it?




Self care

The serenity prayer


Allies human and non-human



Absence of worry, shame, guilt, and judgment





The Ocean








I got a round of applause for writing and reading a poem, as did everybody else in the group.

Do you see any balls in the rest of the photos I took yesterday?





Here are some songs about balls:


Great balls of fire! Earlier this week, our feline ball-and-chain Oscar created a ball of confusion on my Facebook page by creating and posting this while I was away at work:


I hope you can see that entire ballsy Facebook post from Oscar, which went on for over 50 lines of semi-colons.

I wonder what balls my readers will throw into the comment court, below?

Balls of thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading this ballsy blog today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 437: Look down and look back (in anger)

Warning:  Because of the topic of this post, some language is for “adult” audiences.

The title of yesterday’s post was “Looking Up.”  Doesn’t it figure that today’s post would involve the opposite, and more?

I, personally, prefer looking up to looking down or looking back.  But it’s important to look everywhere, don’t you agree?  Otherwise, you might miss something.

Here are some things I’ve seen lately, looking down:


It’s more clocks, in the 10:10 position! See yesterday’s post for more about that particularly pleasing point in time.

Now, let’s look down at another theme of mine: confusion.  Today’s ball of confusion* is …. What does the word “macaroon” mean?

Are macaroons these kind of cookies?


Or these kinds of cookies?



I am familiar with the first kind of macaroon, which my mother used to give me when I was a kid. However, those new-fangled, fancy-schmancy cookies in the subsequent photos have been showing up, everywhere.

I can imagine that those perfectly formed, pricier, newer (to me) cookies probably look down on those messier, cheaper, old-fashioned cookies.

And, actually, when I encountered those two types of macaroons last night, at Whole Foods, those uppity, prettier cookies WERE higher up, location-wise, than the other ones.

I ranted to my bf Michael, last night in Whole Foods, about my cookie confusion:

What is the deal with macaroons these days, Michael?   What ARE the differences between these different types?  Do the new ones EVEN HAVE COCONUT in them?  Why are they so expensive? Why are they showing up, on all the cooking shows? Should I even try them?  Are they really that much BETTER than those old, familiar macaroons?

As I was taking the cookie shots, above, somebody who works at Whole Foods kept coming up and asking me if I needed help.

My initial thought was “I’m in trouble, for taking photos.”  I was able to identify THAT thought as a cognitive distortion immediately, though, and let it go.

But I still felt a little twinge of guilt, whenever the Whole Foods Lady asked me if I needed help. That guilt twinge could have been related to my expectation, in the moment, that I was unlikely to buy anything.

Finally, though, I unloaded my confusion and my questions about those cookies, in response to “Can I help you with anything?”

What was that nice woman’s reply?  She told me:

  1. She couldn’t really explain the difference between the cookies to me.
  2. She could assure me that the prettier cookies were worth the additional price.
  3. She suggested I bring home one of those new cookies, and see for myself.
  4. She recommended I try the one new-fangled cookie that shared something important with the old, familiar ones: coconut.

Here’s that cookie:


Last night, I looked down at it, I ate it, and it was good.

Afterwards, Michael asked me, “What it worth $49?” (Because that was one of the numbers I was throwing around last night, in my rant.) I replied, “No.  But it was DEFINITELY worth $1.89.”

As usual, there were many more things I wanted to show and tell about, today. Do I have time?  We shall see.

Here are some more photos I’ve taken recently, looking down:


That’s an image that was seen but not shown, during my walk this weekend (see here for more about that).

Here’s another image you haven’t seen yet, when I was looking down at a different location:


Why did I take THAT shot? Well, I thought that was kind of ridiculous, to have a stuffed animal that smelled like chocolate. Wouldn’t somebody try to eat THAT?

Here’s another shot I took, within moments of that last photo, when I was looking down:


Why did I take THAT photo?  What do YOU think, dear reader?




Okay, I’ll tell you. I noticed the absurdity of a sign that said “Something Special” AND “Save 00 cents.”

So what’s left to do, before I complete and publish this post?

I suppose I could try to clear up any possible ball of confusion*, here. But I doubt I have time for that.

I suppose I should explain, a little more, about the post title “Look down and look back (in anger).” For example, what the heck is anger doing there? I mean, the anger is contained, in parentheses, but is this post REALLY about anger, too?


I’ll tell you this: When I was composing that title, last night, I had remembered this play, from the 1950s:


And while sitting in an electric chair doesn’t sound exactly comfortable or conducive to paying attention, “Look Back in Anger” has been considered, for many years by many critics, to be an important piece of work.

But why is that in the title of my post?  I haven’t even seen “Look Back in Anger” — as a play or as a movie.

I’ll confess this, now: I have been working on anger — my own and others — in many different places, these days. That’s why it showed up in the title.

For example, in a group I was in last week — as a member, not a leader** — I yelled “FUCK YOU!” Which, I must say, is very uncharacteristic of me.

And while it felt good to let that anger out, I — almost immediately — felt guilty about it. When I expressed my fear and guilt about what I had done, the group leader said, “Your anger is very welcome, here.”

Wow.  That’s really something worth looking back at.

Okay!  Time to end this post.

Thanks to cookies of all kinds, Temptations,  Whole Foods and Shaw’s Markets, people who are working on anger in any way, those who look every which way, and to you — of course!! — for being here, today.

* You know, if you don’t look at my links, you really might miss something special.

** I would never say such a thing as a facilitator or leader. I feel the need to repeat that — up there and down here — to be absolutely clear.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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