Just words?

I’ve posted the following on wordifull.com a couple times and it bears repeating, certainly today.















verbal_abuse 2

“Why can’t you take a joke”

“You are so sensitive”

“Cry Baby”

“I wish you had never been born”

“Worthless piece of shit”

words hurt

Verbal abuse is often dismissed, overlooked or glossed over as a lesser abuse.  Not so!  Verbal abuse can cause lasting damage.  Choose and use your words wisely.

Verbal abuse can occur in any relationship regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation.


 The abuser can be a parent, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, teacher, classmate… it is about control.

sonas_a4_poster1_verbal abuse



Name Calling

Constant Criticism








Jokes at your expense





Put Downs


Silent Treatment


 As children we are taught “sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me” but that is not true. Words are weapons sometimes they cut, they bruise, they scar.


VerbalAbuse poster


Verbal abuse doesn’t always come in screaming

Sometimes it is more subtle yet still demeaning

Eroding self-confidence and self- esteem

whether silence, a whisper or a scream


~Melanie Blackwell




50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#15

#15. “Nature is amazing.”


A field

That’s all it took to enchant me

I have never returned

From the sound of the crickets

Blades  of green tickles

Or the smell of rain on the path

The path I walked

To school, to play, to think

The path I rode

My bike and my Honda 70

Over the bumps

Around that curve

Slowing down for sure

Because nothing’s for sure

Being cautiously crazy

Carelessly  stable


In the 70’s, life was about what we did. We DID things…without gadgets in our hands. We made things. We made things up. We looked for things. We found things. We entertained ourselves and created our own life, without Google and a status shuffle.

Playing outside was the key to our happiness as children.  We felt the wind, touched the grass, skinned our knees and burned our faces in the sun…without sunscreen.

Nature was part of my childhood. It fired up my curiosity and my imagination. Taking a walk in the field near our home gave me ideas. There was a large crater like hole surrounded by tall grass, which became a hideout. There were plants to identify and dissect. There were bugs to put in mason jars and tiny toads to capture in my cupped hands.

I always set them free.

September 2011 796There were trails in the field and my younger brother took to them fearlessly with various dirt bikes, deliberately catching air over mole hills.

I admired him. I admired him so much that I wanted to be the only girl in the neighborhood to ride a mini bike. After all, a girl can only force Barbie to try on so many of those silly plastic shoes.


The trees I climbed, the wild raspberries I picked and ate, everything I saw and touched in that field is still with me today. I was blessed by nature. I need it to nourish my soul, calm my mind and recharge my body.

If you find the time to go for a walk…..stop.



Nature comes to you when you are still.


A & M visit summer 2012 510

Day 202 In the Pursuit of Love (Friendship)


Friendship is a noun. I would like to petition to change this. I am henceforth going to consider friendship a verb and not just any verb — an ACTION verb. Friendship is not a static thing. It changes and change requires action. Friendship requires interacting with another and this requires energy and energy makes it possible for you to DO things. Friendships evolve and evolution is change over time from simple to complex.

Through my action of photography — I would like to share what friendship looks like to me.

Friendship is acknowledging that our friends display on any given occasion — two sides of themselves.


Friendship is having the other’s back when their crazy side comes out and standing your ground when the nasties flare up.


Friendship is sharing time and space when you have nothing to say and when you have everything to say.


Friendship is embracing and allowing you and your friend your differences.


Friendships can be competitive or cooperative.




To me — Friendship is as essential as air, water, or food.


And friendship reflects our own light back to us.


What does friendship mean to you? Is friendship active or passive in your life? My friends show me the truest parts of myself. I hope you are graced with the same truth today.

Love, Colleen

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#22

  • “Friends do not always reveal themselves.”

    I am still hanging on to the theory that we were put on this earth to share with others. Whether it be our time, our possessions, our abilities, our talents, our compassion, our stories…whatever we have to give, I think we are supposed to give.  When doing so, sometimes we are blessed with interactions that lead to friendships.

    Friendships are gifts. The problem is that sometimes they are hard to identify. If only they came in neat little packages tied up with a bow…with a little tag that says, “Really, I’m your friend..for real.”  Between reading social cues, dealing with your own personal insecurities and the fear of forming assumptions, it can become complicated…at least it has been for me. Maybe I’m just a freak so unique that I have trouble with this. I am a very open person. This could hinder the process of some potential friendships. I probably scare the hell out of people. Would I change this about me? Absolutely not.

    So what have I learned about friendships?

    I’ve learned that often I am afraid to call them that.

    I know what I think a friendship should be.

    My eclectic personality requires a wide variety of friends.

    I’ve learned that the more time someone gives me, the more I feel they are truly my friend.

    Although I do not fear rejection (because I am secure with who I am), I get frustrated when I can’t determine the intentions of others. I am not sure if this is a problem on my part or theirs.

    For the most part, I think I am a good friend.

    I treasure the friendships I have.

    A friend can come in any size, race, age, occupation, social background, education, etc.

    Openness is key to me.

    Your spouse can be your best friend.

    Anything pretentious, materialistic or superficial does not interest me.  My relationships need to be deeper.

    I have learned that even at my age, I still have lots to learn about establishing friendships.

    In my opinion…

    A good friend truly cares about you, would do almost anything in the world for you, listens to you, advises you, confides in you, laughs with you and cries with you.

    A good friend is someone who doesn’t care what you look like, accepts all of your faults, your mistakes and never gives up on you.

    A good friend has no ulterior motives for being your friend.

    A good friend considers the reasons you have become who you are.

    A good friend sees your positive traits and enjoys them in the moment.

    A good friend has time for you.

    A good friend would sincerely miss you if you were gone.




Street Scene Hong Kong

I have not been much of a traveler, except for traveling in my own Country South Africa and a few other countries on the African continent.  Recently though I had had the opportunity to explore a little more outside of the African continent.
Every time though, when applying for Visa’s and also when at the various different “Customs” areas, I am struck by how un-free us humans really are.  My mind wonders and I fantasize about all humans being free to roam, anywhere we want to go on this beautiful planet earth that we inhabit.  Of course, I realize and understand about the restrictions and the need for them, but wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if us humans could explore in peace, never to worry about where we are going; that we would be welcome in all the different countries and cultures on this planet of ours; where there would be so much peace that we would not have to have rules, laws, and having to ask to be accepted?


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by hitandrun1964


I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t make piggy noise when hearing the words, Funnel Cake.  A kind of wondrous look spreads across their faces, as they stop paying attention to the moment, while their minds takes them back to the last delightful and delicious moments when they were eating Funnel Cake.  Because of this phenomenon  I think we can solve some of the world’s problems by distributing Funnel Cakes and having a Funnel Cake Day of Peace.  People who are in the presence of FC’s have no desire to fight…they are entirely wrapped up in the fried, doughy, powdered sugar delight that is on their plate, paper or otherwise.  They are busy sighing, closing their eyes and wiping thick sprinkles of powder sugar off of their clothing.  Smiles sprout up and misery and hatred are no longer in the eyes of those who are indulging in this sweet and yummy treat.  I am in no way making light of the problems blanketing the world.  I am saying that we can all agree that FC is fantastic and that’s a beginning.  Finding a point to begin can be the start of something wonderful.  You can’t be angry while eating FC.  It’s just not possible.  Listen to the noises of happiness that people are making while stuffing their mouths with hunks of this amazing food product.  They NEVER sound upset or furious.  What you will hear is a lullaby of PEACE.  People line up for FC.  When I was in Evanston and a HUGE storm suddenly showed itself, not one person in line said anything but, “THAT better wait until I get my FC.”  No one ran for cover.  No one moved.  FC is just THAT good, it’s THAT important.  So one day a year, all the fighting should stop…ALL violence should cease…and it should be a day of celebrating the wonders of FC.


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Our beautiful Earth. Can we all share her peacefully, please…?!


Not for nothing am I called Wendy from ‘Peter Pan’. For ‘Artists4peace’ I flew high into the sky, and then beyond, higher than ever before. My paper and paints floating weightless with me (was slightly problematic trying to paint, but oh what a view). Well, it was a break from painting my little Spanish pueblo…

This is of course a fantasy (and no, I am not on drugs 🙂 ) but I hope my sentiment is NOT just a fantasy. Peace and love to you all!

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