Sunday, August 25, 2013
Maybe it will also take me a decade M. for my tone to change .. We'll see ..
Thursday, August 01, 2013
I have been away from my blog for a while.. This is why...
I remember being a little girl and having my hair cut very short and I remember crying and hiding from people's eyes.. It is because we grow up on fairy tales of lovely princesses with long hair, Rapunzel, Ariel the mermaid .. and what a heart break that was when her sisters in a heroic expression of sisterhood chopped off their locks for her.
A woman’s hair remains her pride, her crown and maybe that is why people fear cancer the most when they see a woman having lost her fair. I wish that was the worst part of that ugly disease and what it leads to ..
The day I tool her, however, to get her hair cut was one of the most trying days of my life. There I was, taking my mother by the hand to get her prepared for the journey. She opted to spare her regular hairdresser the news. I take her by the hand and, like a child, she does not protest. Like the little girl I was, she finds herself helpless, led, driven and stripped lock by lock from her femininity.
Then every night, when the chemo kicked in, I would take her head in my arms every night. I would brush her hair, hiding away the shedding locks. I would tell her about my day at work, like she used to tell me about hers over coffee in the afternoons.
Sitting together in that sterile ward, watching the food channel and brushing my mother’s falling hair will always be the most intimate time and the most heart wrenching time of my life.
People fear cancer the most when they see a woman losing her hair.. what about her identity, her appetite, her voice, her vision, her dignity…
Today I decided to start expressing my grief. I decided to confront my remaining grief and the imagery I was afraid to revisit for the past year. It is strange how cruel people can be faced with your grief. People seem very understanding initially. As time passes they lose interest. They wonder why you still look sad when you are not mourning anymore. One look into your eyes gives away that you still mourn and your grief is awake.. no it is not easy for a girl to lose a mother.. no you never revert back, you never forget and you never move on..
As if to make a statement
As if to tell the world you exist
As if to say
That you are not ready to go
Not yet ...
Behind your frail body
Beaten with sickness
Your aching bones
Your eyes, deepened with pain
Blackened with fear
You scream, let me stay
And your mortal flesh resists
Ever so cruelly
Cease to exist
Your disintegrating organs
Your wrinkling face
Are mocking the power that you were
Every tear they drop around you
Fill you with despair
And you’re not ready
Not yet ...
In a blink of a blink
You are reduced to wires and numbers
A lump of bones
Wrapped in a quilt of flesh
Your vibrant presence
Emptied and gutted
Flipped inside out
Carved and all is left
You look so small, so weak
And I feel weak
I feel like my back is broken
Like I am exposed
Like I am lost
And a chart reminds me
That they will scar you again
And I want you to be healthy again
And I want to be a kid again
Hiding in you and playing around you
Your sick arms cannot pick me up
I want them to remove that silly robe
And give you your clothes
And I wish you would forgive me
For the times I wasn’t there
For when I didn’t stand beside you
for when I didn’t understand
and I wish I had another chance
to make it up for you
and show you I still need you
Not yet ...
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Friday, October 08, 2010
She made his morning coffee, and sat beside him
Would you stay longer, she asked..
No little girl I have to go,your flowers are wilting now.
but I’ll give you snow, she begged..
I have to go,
to where the air smells like a million treasures,
and the children play… to the green meadows .. to the land of oblivion..
Cold in his posture, he gave her a kiss on the cheek
and they walked ..
she stood as the train left,
as she waved, he wept..
she knew she had planted her seed…
she knew she will haunt him forever…
sneak into her flesh this crisp morning …
Through curled lashes
she looks at the white
and wonders what happened to the blue,
as she waits for you,
to come home
Seasons have turned
She still has not unlearned
That this love remains and stands true
She digs out her old memories
Her old songs and stories
Her black box
Yours will always be untitled poems
Broken by time
She listens to her favorite singer and wonders
Was it truly unclear this woman
was on the verge of death
this world can be so blind
despair was hardly hidden in that woman's words
like love drips out of hers
She almost can smell your skin
Under the fresh morning dew
her chalk-white skin crumbles
of excitement of what is to come
and under the tree two more boxes
She tied her hair and tied her fate to yours
The day she loved you is the day she close all doors
once again living and giving …
and once again,
it takes the audacity of a woman
but sometimes it takes two ...
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I promised Ghada to keep on at it and we decided with me her and Lirun we can bring this habit back!!
Someohow.. _Z is right, it felt as if i do not have anything to say in a while and i still might not have anything to say so i am turning this into a mere self indulgence space .. A therapy session .. When i first started this blog i called it Passing for Normal, after an old book that told the story of a woman suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. Though my compulsive habits do not take a debilitating form in my life, i tend to be more on the obsessive side and that does take its toll on me. When i do anything, it has to be full and consistent and complete. This is why during the war, i had to cover every single little event and show every picture there is on this site. This is why, when i do not have the time to blog, or the time to blog to the max, i stop all together. This is why when i am missing on some spices, i stop cooking all together.. and most importantly and severely, this is why when i work, i work all the time..
It had made me sad and just all around insane in my habits and my hours..
I will try to change and this right here is a start..
Writing this from scratch and with no spell check and with no end and no start
Friday, January 22, 2010
In my noncommittal phase, i am not fit to committ not even to a virtual space, so Q and A style, for you, for now ..
I think we are all hunters, men and women, contrary to the misconception .. That woman in the cave going over her options, mating with the strongest, the best at hunting, well isn't that hunting, isn't that selection and determining the species? Isn't that the biggest hunter of all? In the wild the female always chooses, sits back while the males face off .. she nitpicks and nests and lures and seduces.. she fluffs her feathers .. she bites heads when done with the mate.. Some female ducks even evolved complex genitalia to thwart unwelcome mating attempts, since mallards have the nasty habit of attemting to rape females .. In a nutshell, they set the terms and choose the appealing DNA and they are set on reproducing .. Is it a man's world? Or is it that all of us, men or women, males and females, have been equipped and have evolved to repopulate and propagate the species .. It seems that in these measures, males guard and protect the women, they guard and protect the guardians .. Women choose and use and go on with it .. So no one wants to committ anyway, females come off like they do because they are the guardians of the species and so need to organize the progeny .. The illusion that we need devotion, men or women, comes from pride ..
As for the second question, and if we agree that we are all hunters after all, i think we are moved by the challenge, an apple tastes better taken from the arms of a tree right? and so sadly might be misconstrued by the most addicted eternal hunters as the ultimate validation of one's skills ..
Pride that we could keep a mate just to ourselves, fear of aging alone.. valid reasons to seek out loyalty and commitment ..
Picking our apples from the tree, now that's just nasty ..
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Genetic speed dating
I think couples genetic counseling should include a phylogenetic tree where the lineages can be spread as much as possible. Imagine that?! It turns out, we are driven by pheromones after all and it is genetically determined ..
"Preferences for mates that possess genes dissimilar to one's own at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a polymorphic group of loci associated with the immune system, have been found in mice, birds, fish, and humans. These preferences may help individuals choose genetically compatible mates and may adaptively function to prevent inbreeding or to increase heterozygosity and thereby immunocompetence of offspring. MHC-dissimilar mate preferences may influence the psychology of sexual attraction. We investigated whether MHC similarity among romantically involved couples (N= 48) predicted aspects of their sexual relationship. All women in our sample normally ovulated, and alleles at three MHC loci were typed for each person. As the proportion of MHC alleles couples shared increased, women's sexual responsivity to their partners decreased, their number of extrapair sexual partners increased, and their attraction to men other than their primary partners increased, particularly during the fertile phase of their cycles."
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Gosh, it has been so long but he enticed me to write again,
Something about him makes me stop in my track ...
The way he's atonal and all around on that planet of his. The way he pauses after making a point, looking so satisfied .. just by the mere fact he is living and trying and listening and helping .. The way he knows and notices that i always use two points in my suspension points and the fact he is the only one able to figure this reference out .. the way he says okhte .. his vast ability for understanding and his love for the water and the sun .. his ability to love and to contain me even when i do not contain myself .. the way he is protective in the most gentle effort and he is distant at the same time .. i have never .. and i will never .. feel enchanted and puzzled by a man .. the way i feel ..
Exquisite is this raw feeling .. this little adventure that had a "time table" and took on a life .. a force .. strange is this gentle energy that calms mine down to the point of starting to use the word energy ..
Not writing poetry yet but certainly writing ...
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009
By Ramzy Baroud
"In times of crisis, most Arabs watch the news. Sometimes it’s comforting for the truth to be stated the way it is, with all of its gory and unsettling details, without blemishes and without censorship. When Israel carried out massive air strikes against Gaza on Saturday, December 27, terrorizing an already hostage and malnourished population, I too tuned in to Arab satellite channels.
Within seconds I learned of the tally: 290 deaths and climbing, with 700 more wounded, all in one day. But as dramatic as this event may have seemed – the highest Israeli inflicted death toll in one day in Palestine since Israel’s establishment in 1948 – there was nothing new to learn. Tragedies anywhere - natural or manmade – tend to lead to social, cultural, economic and political upheavals, revolutions even, that somehow alter the social, cultural, economic and ultimately political landscapes in the affected regions, save in Palestine.
I gazed pointlessly at the screen. Learning of the aftermath of such tragedies seems more of a ritual than a purposeful habit. The Arab and international responses to the killings can only serve as a reminder of how ineffectual and irrelevant, if not complacent their timid mutterings are.
Once again the US blamed Palestinians, and the Hamas “thugs” using words that defy logic, such as “Israel has the right to defend itself.” The statement remains as ludicrous as ever, for a country like Israel with an army that possesses the world’s most lethal weapons, including nuclear arms, cannot possibly feel threatened by an imprisoned population whose only defense mechanism are fertilizer-based homemade rockets. While Israel has killed and wounded thousands of Palestinians in Gaza (one thousand on Saturday alone) a handful of Israelis have reportedly died as a direct result of the Palestinian rockets in years. Do numbers matter at all?
European governments chose their words carefully, “expressing concern”, “calling on Israel to use restraint” and so on. Arab governments were, as usual, distracted with trivialities, protocols and easily lost sight of the crisis at hand.
Then, the same, ever predictable outbursts began. Passionate callers from all over the world called various TV and radio stations in the Middle East and shouted, yelled, cried, vented, called on God, called on Arab leaders, called on all of those with “living conscience” to do something. In turn, audiences too cried at home as they listened to the heated commentary and watched footage of heaps of Palestinian bodies throughout the Gaza Strip.
The passion soon spilled to the streets of Arab capitals, of course under the ever-vigilant eyes of Arab police and secret services. Flags of U.S. and Israel, and in some cases Egypt were sat ablaze along with effigies of Bush and Israeli leaders.
‘Rising up to the occasion’ some Arab governments declared, with much hype their intention to send an airplane or two of medicine and food to Gaza, a few boxes clad with the donor country’s flag, flashed endlessly on local media. Meanwhile, news reports spoke of Palestinians attempting to flee the Gaza prison into the Sinai desert. They were met with decisive Egyptian security presence at the border.
Strangely enough, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas remained faithful to the script, despite Gaza’s unprecedented tragedy. On Sunday, he blamed Hamas for the bloodbath. "We talked to them (Hamas) and we told them, 'please, we ask you, do not end the truce. Let the truce continue and not stop", so that we could have avoided what happened."
Was Mr. Abbas informed of the fact that Hamas hasn’t carried out one suicide bombing since 2005? Or that the ‘truce’ never compelled Israel to allow Palestinians in Gaza access to basic necessities and medicine? Or that it was Israel that attacked Gaza in November, killing several people, claiming that it obtained information of a secret Hamas plot?
Even stranger that while Abbas has chosen such a position, many Israelis are not convinced that the war on Gaza was at all related to the Hamas’ rockets, and is in fact an election ploy for desperate politicians vying for Israel’s dominating right wing vote in the upcoming February elections. In fact, the Israeli design against Gaza had little to do with the ‘escalation’ of the rocket attacks of mid December.
"Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public - all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces "Cast Lead" operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip," wrote the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz on December 28, which also revealed that the plan had been in effect for six months.
"Like the U.S. assault on Iraq and the Israeli response to the abduction of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser at the outset of the Second Lebanon War, little to no weight was apparently devoted to the question of harming innocent civilians," said Haaretz.
And why should Israel devote a moment to the question of harming civilians or violating international law or any such seemingly irrelevant notions – as far as Israel is concerned - as long as their “Palestinian partners”, the Arab League, or the international community continue to teeter between silence, complacency, rhetoric and inaction?
By Thursday, January 1, the death toll climbed to 420, according to Palestinian medics and news reports, and over 2000 wounded. A doctor from a Khan Yunis clinic in Gaza told me on the phone, “scores of the wounded are clinically dead. Others are so badly disfigured; I felt that death is of greater mercy for them than living. We had no more room at the Qarara Clinic. Body parts cluttered the hallways. People screamed in endless agony and we had not enough medicine or pain killers. So we had to choose which ones to treat and which not to. In that moment I genuinely wished I was killed in the Israeli strikes myself, but I kept running trying to do something, anything.”
Until Arab countries and nations translate their chants and condemnations into a practical and meaningful political action that can bring an end to the Israeli onslaughts against Palestinians, all that is likely to change are the numbers of dead and wounded. But still, one has to wonder if Israel kills a thousand more, ten thousand, or half of Gaza, will the US still blame Palestinians? Will Egypt open its Gaza border? Will Europe express the same “deep concern”? Will the Arabs issue the same redundant statements? Will things ever change? Ever?"
As i read this, a well-coiffed female CNN reporter asks a chief palestinian negotiator who is askign for a cease-fire, "you were given 6 months of cease-fire and you still had political divides between Hamas and the palestinian authorities so why should you be given another cease-fire?"
Anyone else finds this question insane? Is stopping the kilings and the atrocities a luxury that this largely irrelevant reporter cannot grant?
I don't think anything will even change. I might live to see the end of this, or not. I might witness a total ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian race but like Baroud said, even is a thousand, tens of thousands are killed, even when no Palestinian flags are allowed in the anti-war protests by the Israeli government, even when nothing is been done, how do you wipe out a nation? how do you kill a culture? a history? you simply cannot. There will always be a Palestine as long as there are Palestinians. Palestine will always be in our hearts and in our culture and in our conscience.
After all the Jews are living proof that you cannot wipe a people, are they not?
Israel is going on the ground offensive, as they call it. They say it will be a long operation. I'm not sure what the death toll is at this moment..
I don't know what to feel anymore. Thousands of casualties already and a hundred or so Palestinian children, according to CNN.. just don't know what to say...
Friday, January 02, 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
She rejected a 48-hour cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip, saying that Israel keeps the humanitarian situation..... Ready?
"completely as it should be" by distinguishing between soldiers and civilians.
"Health officials in Gaza say at least 400 people have been killed during Israel's six-day assault on Hamas. The United Nations estimates that about one-quarter of those killed were civilians" (i saw the pictures of the wounded children on cbs news). "One-point-five million Gazans are left with little food or supplies".
It feels quite odd to be looking at this space trying to fill it up again and i cannot remember how i did that before. I seem to be growing increasingly private and get increasingly isolated..
I see the pictures from the Gaza massacre and in my busy schedule, i hear of what is happening and my heart breaks but i do not feel worthy to even blog it or talk about it. I feel the most dignified thing i can do is to slip into despair and try to survive in my cheap denial. And who am I to say anything or to even have an opinion. Even thinking about my words not so long ago, I feel ashamed. What is happening in Palestine is not a seasonal affair and I cannot ‘get into’ it based on what is happening in Lebanon. I think this is what I have been doing. To be honest. It started in summer 06 after the war in Lebanon and I remember not sleeping and I remember my rage and my blood boiling at the sight of all the blood and the deaths.. I was turning into something I am not familiar with. I saw how easily people can slip into narrow mindedness and hate. It did indeed start based on the events in Lebanon, but before I know it, I was more outraged but the incessant heartbreak in Palestine. The idea of the loss of hope, I could taste it.. and it got to me… I promised myself to try and make a difference.. I could not exist away anymore and I wanted to come back and be at the heart of it…
What happened since then? Where did I disappear to?
People want to have opinions
It’s in vogue to have opinions
Well I don’t anymore.. I’m paralyzed again. I’m just very very sad..
I don’t have solutions and I don’t have opinions and I feel too small to comment on what is happening and I feel like a hypocrite ..
A hypocrite to feel involved only when disaster strikes and a liar to make any more promises to myself to try and do something…
We get sidetracked and we get sucked into our small problems and small lives and we then dare to think we’re humane when we stop at those horrendous pictures and actually feel something..
It’s almost inhumane to keep going after you do…
And because today, faced with my inhumanity, I have to keep going..
I will go back to my denial.. I will not read your comments or encourage your sad attempts to self-assure by linking images to your sites or expressing disgust in social settings or, better yet, refrain from celebrating the new year in solidarity.. you are as cowardice as I am and as paralyzed by today’s demands as I am and the first one to claim humanity among us by shedding only a tear at the sight of those pictures, the first one to oppose massacres, the most devoted opinionated oppose among us, is the most inhumane of all ….
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
When i started blogging, the thing that excited me the most about writing about my life is the idea of capturing feelings and emotions with a picture, a collection of words, a quote ... It was a mere selfish need to keep my memories safe and alive. I thought it would be a lot of fun to go back to old posts years down the road and re-live some of what i have been through.. It works ... It mostly works when it's about me and not people who read this. This is why i needed the distance. The purpose of these pages on the web was lost when i started writing to please and caring too much about comments i get ... So here .. I said it ..
9/11, 7 years ago, was it?
This was Zee's idea, so here goes ..
I had not been in the States for long, a matter of months actually. I was in Upstate New York, it had not snowed yet. I was going out with Mike, a guy from New York city, your typical white suburban guy and i had made a friend, Claudine, a very unusual little girl who was second generation American of Egyptian origins. We had just made it back from the city having driven for a total of 15 hours that weekend. Come Monday, we all went back to our classes. I was leaving an early class and going to the hospital to have my usual coffee break with Mike when a guy stopped me in the hallway to tell me that they hit the twin towers. I had no idea what he was talking about. I had heard of the towers but did not really understand what the significance of what had happened was. I walked the long hall towards Blackwell, around me people looked panicked and in a frenzy. I probably got scared for a second thinking maybe Upstate will get hit as well, but who was doing that and why? I had no clue. I did not see Mike on the bench and i couldn't wait for him to show up. It was a half hour to the next class anyway and it was all the way up on Adams street. I mostly had this feeling that i should keep moving .. My heart started pounding .. It felt the way war used to feel in Beirut. I felt so alone ..
The class got canceled. It was an ethics class and the professor elected to use the two hours to have a discussion about our feelings towards what happened. I collected some idea about what went on from what people were saying and only then i understood the gravity of the event. I was sad but i was very defensive as well. In retrospect, it was very silly to feel persecuted since what happened did not concern me but i remember the looks i was getting that day. I was suddenly too self-conscious with my long black hair and my Arabic features. The misled discussion covered various stereotypical misconceptions regarding culture and politics and religion, where Muslim got lumped with Arabic with Afghani with Irani .. I still remember my shock that day. I found myself defending myself but getting blank looks and i understood for the first time that some preconceptions and misconceptions are there to stay and are there just because .. I felt that some people will look down on you because they think they can. White America. I understood why on my visa papers it said that i am of color, when i'm pale as a ghost and i understood why at orientation lunch, that lady was making an extra effort to be extra friendly to me and to the Indian guy in the class ... I became too defensive, back in those days, until i got over my insecurities, i would just go out of my way to point out all of what is wrong with Americans so i would not feel i'm the one being attacked for being different.. With time i learned to phase it out, to stick with close friends who will not treat me any less for being Arabic and to try and stay away from stereotypes.. That day 7 years ago, though, i learned all about the bigotry that is nationalism.
Mike and I broke up later that day...
Monday, September 01, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Ephemeral soul bouts
There are times when I am excited about my hair, my job, the people around me, when I cook, I read, I write, I dance and there are times when I just cease to .. live … I just collapse onto myself and I start obsessing about all the mistakes I had done in my life, all the people I wronged, all the opportunities lost … It is not consolation enough anymore to think that other people go through the same periods of inexistence. It is certainly not relevant to my daily life to think of all the madness and misery in the world and I certainly do not feel blessed by comparison. People who do, in my opinion, are self-absorbed disillusioned small-minded pricks. If anything the collective despair in the world nowadays adds to my little circle of hopelessness and the guilt adds to my self-loathing and helplessness.
I never have the tolerance for bringing the metaphysical into my life in order to reconcile with the universe, never believe in self-help life styles, and I make fun of people who insert an abstract vocabulary in their sentences as a way to find excuses or reasons for their unhappiness or lack of purpose or lack of .. well.. living. My friend brought me ‘the secret’ on DVD to make me sit down and listen, having dismissed all of his attempts to quote to me from the book over the phone. He knows that I tend to worry a lot and tend to be negative even to the point of being deeply suspicious of what other people might perceive as happiness or even success, it is my curse .. I keep items in the fridge that normally are perfectly fine at room temperature because I would be anxious otherwise. I procrastinate because I am afraid of facing failure, because I am afraid of facing success … and I live in guilt.
‘The secret’ just pissed me off. It basically goes back to tell you that any misfortune in your life is your fault because you have summoned the negative thoughts that, according to the concept, materialize into your actual life. What a load of crap. It made me mad. One of the main exercises to live by the rules of ‘the secret’ is to make a visual board, where you have pictures that represent goals you want to achieve and things you want to acquire, and according to ‘the secret’ you should be able to obtain those things if you put them ‘out there’ in ‘the universe’.
I’m so sick and tired of people trying to find reasons for why we are not happy. I’m sick and tired of the exploitation of the self-help and the self-improvement business, the affirmative attitude, the books , the seminars, the people on tv whining because they’re single or broke or because they’re sloppy or lazy … Doesn’t it always go back to the same thing, the same question, the same reason for feeling lost and unfulfilled? The same disappointment faced with shackles that anchor our soul, shackles and responsibilities and commitments we willingly fell into in order to feel more relevant in this world. We are trapped when we think we’re not and we are sad when we think we’re not and we are not living when we think we are, and we need ‘the secret’ to explain that? We are trapped. We are slaves to the everyday rhythm, to the acceptable weight, the acceptable shade, the respectable bank account or title or power. We cannot but remain ‘connected’ on virtual venues and 3D virtual venues and venues about virtual venues fearing to fall out of ‘life’ or the life that someone had convinced us we should have. We look at photos of current friends and previous friends and feel inferior and not nearly happy enough. We feel lonely. We run to achieve a crust, a crust of glamour, a layer of shine. Stuck in half-finished projects, half-finished relationships, in the quest for the most intimidating look, the most prestigious hobby and sadly the most empowering charity case. Stuck in a shape for life, a grammar for a society, a calendar.
Our calendar has become our ‘visual board’. Our calendar includes no more dreams, no more aspirations but appointments and commitments and steps on the quest towards social acceptance. We need to feel relevant and the best forms we have come up with yet are organized traditions and religions and fanaticism and conformity. In societies where individualism became the structure of societies, we lost track of what should drive us and so we became collective consumers of similar foods and similar thoughts and similar ideas, albeit behind closed doors and in a more lonely fashion. The self-help crap is just another form of organized thought.
The human soul that suffers. I have decided to call soul that thing that keeps us hoping. That extra thing, the extra twinkle in our eyes when we cease to just be, when we get to live. We suffer even more intensely because we have known a time when we were not suffering. Because we miss the bouts of our ephemeral souls. We live in nostalgia to moments where we felt our soul awakening. Same in love. Same in every human emotion. When we love and lose, we grab onto those memories and we suffer because we miss the bouts of our soul. We live on the memory of loving ourselves and of simply living when allowed for a soul awakening. We hold on and not let go and try to cram the memory into our present life, faced with the possibility of another stretch of empty soul.
There’s really no answer and people who do not relate to any of that also piss me off. The people who live just blissfully on the surface of life, perfectly content with their small achievements and small thoughts .. you know .. the lucky ones!
I miss my soul these days.
I’ll just wait for a stimulus to bring it back. In the meantime, I go on automatically, I cease to live, I cease to celebrate the days … it’s ok .. it only makes the next adventure more interesting …
So I put up a ‘visual board’, on it is my picture smiling …