Saying Terrible Things…



I called this photograph which I chose for the DP photo challenge: Blur – The Shredded Man.

This photo came about because I was feeding a fire with loose packaging material and noticed that there was a drawing on one of the pieces of shredded paper. My camera was close at hand and I snapped a shot.

This man in the drawing reminded me of the toy soldier in that tragic tale by Hans Christian Andersen – The Steadfast Tin Soldier.

He also reminded me of Freddie Mercury.

I don’t know how old you are (you who may be reading these words), so I don’t know if you were alive when Freddie Mercury died or if you even know who he is. I’m going to guess that you do know who he is, or at least know of his legacy, but maybe you don’t know about the stories which preceded his death, and the stories going on at the time about something known as AIDS.

Many terrible things were said about AIDS in those days, and about those who contracted the disease.

The terrible things which were said… are the sort of things which humans say when they’re afraid. Nothing scares us more than that which is unknown and which seems to threaten us is some way, especially when it challenges what we think is known, by us, personally.

NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is getting a similar treatment from humans these days.

The past is a blur, but the present is in focus (yet it always has blurred edges).

Others are a blur, but we are in focus (yet we have blurred edges).

We are not as clear as we see ourselves as being, and how we see others isn’t as black and white as we need them to be for us to think we know who they are.

We don’t like it when others think they know who we are, when they paint us black and white, when they label us… so why do we think it’s okay to label others?


a label - how it looks:how it feels


We know why we do it to others. We’re trying to make sense of what confuses us about them, and what confuses us about them may confuse us about us… that’s partly why we do it.

Others are doing that too.

Sometimes the labels we apply are correct, sometimes they are not, often they are both right and wrong… which is something we don’t like them to be, blurred lines, as it creates what is now labeled as – cognitive dissonance. Also known as a blur in a picture we want to be in perfect focus.

I saw this the other day…


describe yourself in one word


Can you do that about yourself?

Can you do it about others?

Narcissist… maybe? About others… but what if…

Would you like it if someone did it about you… and the word they used wasn’t one you liked?

Like… such a blurred word…

I’m one of those people… who regularly feel that everything I voice out loud within earshot of others, but especially when I say it to someone else, has the potential to be terrible… definitely not ‘liked’.

I know that I’m worrying too much (to put it mildly)… that worry was caused by early training and experiences of communication with others which left me permanently anxious. Whether I would have been that way anyway… I can never be sure about that.

A simple ‘No’ could have terrible repercussions… therefore the word ‘No’ became something terrible to say.

‘Yes’ wasn’t much better… as if you say ‘Yes’ to one person, another person may interpret it as a ‘No’ to them. And the repercussions can be terrible… for you.

So, you conclude that anything you say has the potential to be terrible… for others, for you.

That ‘shredded man’ reminded me of myself too…






ps. Since the packaging was part of a delivery… I have no idea what the original story of that image in the shredded paper was about. Such is life!