A Strange Kind of Peace

“What do you think…?” I asked my partner as he walked into my office while I was working on the image in this post.

He paused. Looked. Paused. Paused a bit more.

I knew he didn’t like it.

“You don’t like it,” I stated the obvious in an obvious yet neutral way to remove the discomfort caused by my question.

It’s always a tricky thing to ask someone else what they think about something you are doing which is personal to you.

It’s also tricky to answer that question when you’re the other person being asked to share your view of someone else’s personal project.

Everyone’s sensitivity levels vary, and even if we are sensitive towards others… they may get upset when we share our view of their view. Their upset may upset us, and… things may get rather complex in the sensitivity level stakes.

In this particular case my sensitivity levels were quite low. I liked what I’d done. It’s weird and no one else may like, but no one else has to like it. My view depends solely on me and… that’s kind of that. However I’m always intrigued to know the views of others. It can expand my view, inform it, teach it, and sometimes confirm it, not necessarily through a like – a dislike is often a far more powerful confirmation.

It depends on many variables.

As does sensitivity.

As does everything.

My partner explained that since he knew that I would be linking this image…






…with the Daily Post’s Photo challenge: Serenity, and the image looked to him as though I was screaming… that plus he prefers my unadulterated photos… he didn’t see it as being serene at all.

I loved his shared view, it made me instantly know that the image was exactly as it needed to be.

You see, I often give the impression of being serene to those who just see me from the outside, who see either what they want, need, to see in me, or who see what I am trying to portray externally.

I am not so much attempting to deceive as keeping what’s going on inside private – for my eyes only. Mostly I do that because I need space to figure things out for myself and that’s something which requires privacy to accomplish. The moment someone else knows you’re not as okay as you look, they may try to intervene, which is thoughtful and sensitive, but… for me that just complicates matters.

For me, serenity, is time to myself, by myself, to pause, think, feel, absorb and work my way through my own personal puzzles and problems.

This image is part of a project inspired by the philosophy of chakras. This is supposed to represent the Ajna chakra – the third eye.

All other interpretations of the Ajna chakra, the third eye, aside, to me this is the part of a being which observes with detached observation.

It reminds me of an experience I had many years ago when I visited a past life regression therapist. I did not have much luck where recalling past lives was concerned, perhaps for the best, however I did have an insight into myself, into the way all the disparate parts of me come together… and sort of who rules the roost of self, at least in my inner family of separate parts.

There was this moment when I was sort of floating peacefully above myself, observing and commenting on my life and all the experiences in it. Seeing the connections between everything and sharing that with myself. A world of chaos was in perfect order in its chaos.

I felt serene… in a way I had never felt before.

After the session I plunged back into the mess that is my life, but I never forgot that moment of serenity.

That moment has inspired me since…

In a similar way that my partner inspires me. Without him… I would not blog, would not take photographs, would not share myself, would not have learned to accept myself as I am… as is…

It is thanks to his inspiration that I can ignore his opinion and do whatever it is I do however I choose to do it. He knows that which is why he can be himself, share his view and not worry as to how it will affect me. He can be sensitive without walking on eggshells… and I can be sensitive without protecting myself with eggshells.


For me serenity is embracing what isn’t serene because it is a facet of a multi-faceted self.



“Serenity is when you get above all this, when it doesn’t matter what they think, say or want, but when you do as you are, and see God and Devil as one.” ― Henry Miller




  1. I love your philosophical take on life.
    I really would like to be able not to be sensitive about others’ comments.I remember once I was working on some watercolours inspired by Francis Ponge’s poetry and I was quite happy with them and a dear friend of mine found them” bland”.So i started seeing them as she saw them…No inner source, my third eye must be blind:)).At least now I won’t show my stuff, but I am the one who’s got to change attitude and become a bit friendlier to myself.


    • Thank you 🙂

      I think much depends upon who we ask or who gives us their view of what we are doing.

      My partner is very sensitive towards others, so he is always careful when sharing his view. His focus is to give constructive support and encouragement, and he does this naturally with everyone. Mind you, he is very hard on himself, never hard on others. Perhaps being hard on himself is why he is so gentle with others. I always learn from his view. If he doesn’t like something I’ve done, there is always a logical and interesting reason for it, and he points out what he does like, then explains what he does not like in a way that is insightful and never hurtful.

      I used to be ridiculously overly sensitive, due to the N factor. I realised the problem was mine and have been working on a solution ever since. Adjusting my sensitivity levels is something which I find helpful. These days if I get hurt because someone doesn’t like what I’ve done, it’s usually due to me not liking it but not admitting it to myself. It’s a weird area to explore, yields a lot though when it is explored.

      It depends really… be sure to know from where someone is coming when they share their view, and know where you are when they do and you receive it. If you don’t like your own work, then anything anyone says may hurt – this is you and not them. Then again, some people are just a-holes out to hurt because they’re hurting and like to share it, and they do this a lot and know how to hurt the hardest. Which may be behind the ‘bland’ remark your friend shared with you. Many people are just projecting themselves onto others and other things.

      When you love what you do, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else says or thinks 🙂


  2. very cool….I love that you two found each other…and I totally understand that without him you would not blog, would not take photographs, would not share yourself, would not have learned to accept yourself, as is…….Inspiration is a powerful force!! 😉 Yeah!!


    • There are certain people we meet in life who inspire us in a way which travels far and wide, for me he is one of those and I am always amazed by knowing him and getting to know more about him.

      Getting to know him… always leads to me getting to know myself better, even when I try to keep myself out of it 😉

      Some people have a silent power which is giving… and which ignites inspiration.


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