Some Days, Other Days

On some days I grasp the soil that dresses
the bed where my father’s bones have long slept
Tiny doors I knock on
Begging for a minute of comfort
An embrace, a word, a guide
I pour jugs of my emptiness through the spaces between the earth’s grains
but his ears have long hardened

On other days I long
to crawl back into Mother’s gentle womb
where the walls are safe and
the waters bind my heart with nourishment
and leave my burdens on her knowing shoulders
but the years have left her frail
her head grey, her heart strained
and the womb a home I’ve outgrown

So I keep my days as they are
longing and lone
swallowed into a hard hole
where my heart’s salvation’s no more

Reading: The Ten Types of Human

Author: Dexter Dias

Neighbours,

One of the reasons I enjoy reading is to make sense of the world around me, of myself and others. I picked up this book not knowing exactly what to expect (hurried book shopping) and from reading the first few pages I knew it was a book I was willing to pay attention to.

The biggest feature of the book that made it worth my time is the fact that Dexter Dias based all this work on research, and where he doesn’t have the answers he says so. The ten types of human in the book explain our behaviour and what our mental structures have to do with it.

Each type has a name and under each one he strives to figure out why that type is so and if there is any evolutionary explanation to that type. He explores our genetic inheritance and social learning, and how they contribute to our behaviour.

In the first type he explores what (if we do) we owe to those around us. Our ability to empathise, what it costs us and how our brains have systems that help us with this ‘cost’. Another chapter looks at ostracism, how it works and the effect it has on us. Think about how you feel when unfollowed or not followed back on social media, or when you were not picked for a game when you were kid, or not being included in certain gatherings. How do we cope and respond to being ostracised and how do we repair that pain of invisibility?

Dias asks and searches for answers about us and aggression. Are we naturally aggressive or is it an adaptation? One of my favourite chapters (not easy to choose one) was the one on nurturing, where I learned so much about parenting and/or nurturing. There’s a lot of valuable information here on childhood experiences and how they affect, say, our future nurturing, whether parental love is conditional or conditioned, and how nurturing and caregiving impact the behaviour of children and the structure of their brains.

This book is mind-blowing, it is page after page of enlightening information. Dias travels to different countries and meets a variety of people who are these types and their stories are heart-breaking as well as inspiring. Not only does the book ask and attempt to answer these questions about humanity, but it also stirs something in you to ask questions, always.

The Ten Types of Human is necessary to help us engage with each other in a different way, with understanding and an open-mind to how we are and why we do the things we do. It can help you clear some things about yourself and figure out certain things that you’ve probably not been able to deal with within yourself. It’s absolutely great for parenting, in understanding your children and dealing with parenting or caregiving, as well as understand our parents and some of their decisions.

It is a huge book but I promise you, every page is worth it.

Enjoy, Neighbour!              

bell hooks Urges Us To Return To Love

Reading All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks

“love’s in need of love today

don’t delay, send yours in right away…”

(Love’s In Need of Love Today, Stevie Wonder)

Neighbour, remember when Stevie and George did that back in 1985? This was the song that played in my head while reading bell hooks’s All About Love: New Visions.

The book is a call for love, in our personal lives and in society as a whole. Love is needed as the thread that runs through the garment we dress the world in. bell hooks lays out 13 chapters of how and why we should redefine love, where we learn how to love and be loved, the benefits of a society that runs on a fuel of love, and so much more.

My favourite chapter was on how childhood is the original school of love. She dives into the way the patterns of love in our childhood affect us as adults. She challenges the idea of placing abuse and love in the same room and explains how the two cannot co-exist.

It made me think of how some of us in our childhoods, getting a beating for punishment was a way our elders showed us they loved and cared, doing it to steer us in the right direction. hooks offers an alternative, a method of discipline that is loving in its nature.

She also discusses lying in its different forms and how it is used as a form of power, and that it falls outside of the practice of love. She encourages us to commit to living by a love ethic, detailing the benefits of doing so and how that can transform our lives for the good.

The book is packed with so many ways that love reaches into so many spaces of our lives, and how we do things that get in its way. She talks about community, forgiveness, racism, sexism, and how love can be such a transformative force.

With all that we witness around us, there were parts of the book that sounded like unreachable tasks, or rather things we can only hope for. However, hooks is confident that by making certain changes, we can return to love and in these thirteen chapters she tells us how we can love again.

Happy reading, Neighbour. 😊