SYW: Beak of Chicken, Tail of Bull

I have no fingerprints at the moment so if I wanted to get up to something which required leaving no digital traces, now would be the time to do it…

Except I’m having a me-day today, which basically means I’m dolce-far-niente-ing.

Over the last week I’ve been doing quite a bit of physical work, DIY-ing, which has included getting plastered and stripping… and a lot of sanding. The latter is how I ended up with no fingerprints. I know I should wear gloves but there’s something about bare-handing it which is so much more satisfying and effective.

Usually when DIY happens in my house, I’m the project manager (and I become a stressed-out control freak who prefers to work alone, is very snappish-bossy, short-tempered-shouty when having to work with others, and is a demented perfectionistic mistake-making mess about it alone or with others), but this time that role belongs to my partner (he should always be the project manager because he does it so well, so calmly, coolly, collected, organised… unlike me).

It’s been an interesting experiment in ceding control and… frankly it’s been awesome.

I’ve had a few intriguing revelations and many conversations with self… and have concluded that this time in my life (as t-Saturn squares natal Saturn) is about letting go of responsibilities which I probably shouldn’t have taken on in the first place. That doesn’t mean I’m going to become irresponsible – there’s a balance to be achieved, a sweet spot in between one extreme and the other.

The other night, while watching Ricky Gervais’ new show – After Life (2019) – there was this brilliant scene which kind of encapsulates what I mean about responsibility.

Ricky’s character had this discussion with another character, Diane Morgan, about the afterlife. She got annoyed with him for not believing in God, hell and heaven, and said something along the lines of – since he was an atheist and didn’t believe in God, heaven and hell, then he could go around murdering and raping. He was shocked by her attitude and told her that just because he didn’t believe in certain beliefs didn’t mean that he wanted to go around raping and murdering.

Ricky’s character tried to explain to her that although he didn’t believe in the same belief system as her, didn’t mean that he didn’t believe in being a decent human being… but she didn’t really get what he was saying because she was a very black or white kind of thinker (and her character for the sake of the show wasn’t meant to understand subtleties).

That scene left a question hanging in the air – Was the only thing keeping Diane Morgan from murdering and raping her belief in a belief system? If she suddenly lost her belief… would she stop bothering to be a decent and “good” human being?

It reminded me of debates I’ve had with narcissists, and those narcissistically inclined, black or white thinkers who can’t seem to grasp that there’s a plethora of options in between extremes or either/or.

I’m probably explaining it badly… never mind, doesn’t matter.

It was a really good show, one of those which makes you think thoughts about life, how you’re living it, your attitude towards being you living this life of yours, but not in a shit I’m doing it all wrong kind of manner, but more in a maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself to be, do and show and tell kind of way.

I missed the first episode (I often miss first episodes or the first 15 minutes of films and TV shows… in some ways it makes them more interesting since I have to guess what’s going on and why), but thanks to recaps throughout the show… it starts off with Ricky’s character deciding to kill himself and continues on from there, moving through the different phases of how that decision affects his way of approaching living life, being human, and his relationships with others.

It tied in with a theme which seems to keep coming up – the stories of others which exist behind the facade that we see of them.

Jautis (Taurus) in the twelve-paiting cycle Zodiakas (Zodiac) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

Which brings me to Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind’s Share Your World 5-6-19

Do you believe in soul mates? If so, do you think there is only one person meant to share that bond with you, out there in the world?

I was thinking about something along these lines the other day while pondering blogging and the bloggers I’ve met along my blogging journey. Some still blog, others don’t – their blog is either in stasis or they’ve blogicided that one and maybe created a new one and I’m no longer part of their loop.

Usually I don’t fit in or belong with and within social groups, and don’t really do well in most types of relationship. Luckily the blogosphere doesn’t require that you belong or fit in or do relationships well… and in a weird way that’s what makes you belong, fit in, do well in relationships with others similar to you here.

But like with everything the blogosphere changes over time…

There’s a lot of things I find perplexing or just don’t understand (and maybe don’t ever intend to understand) about the blogosphere… Some of which are mentioned in an interesting 2015 review of blogging and the changes in the blogosphere by a blogger on The Atlantic – What Blogging Has Become: Why Medium’s new features are more important than they seem by Robinson Meyer

I was also thinking about many of the people I’ve met through blogging who responded to my blog posts, and with whom I had some intense comment-conversations which made a difference to me in some way.

Could those people be considered “soul mates” since their soul and my soul clicked and were mates for a while? My story and their story connected, intersected…

This is a wonderful look at the benefits of sharing your voice online and beyond – Breath and Butterflies, Blue and Beltane by Amanda Painter

My concept of “soul mates” has evolved over the years.

When I first came across the term and idea of “soul mates” as a young person, I perceived it the way it was sold to me by fairy tales, particularly of the Hollywood type – there can be only one, it is a romantic love thing, and once you unite with your soul mate you’re supposed to live happily ever after, the love will last forever and… nothing else will do.

One of my favourite approaches to the idea of “soul mates” is that explained by Thomas Moore in his book – Soul Mates: Honouring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship

You can read an excerpt of the book in this article on Psychology Today – Soul Mates – Humans have an innate tendency to form attachments. By Thomas Moore

“Rather than come up with new understandings and new and improved ways of doing things, the soul prefers to get what it can gradually, taking its nourishment from what is already present. Soul-work, therefore, demands patience and loyalty, virtues not in vogue in our fast-changing times. The soul asks that we live through our attachments rather than try to make swift, clean breaks. It may seem wise, at the end of a divorce or when we’ve been fired from a job, to get the past behind us and start a “new life.” But the soul may need more reflection on that painful past, and there may be untouched fertile material in past events.

It is possible to see our complaints about feeling stuck, or of not being able to get past the latest trauma, as the work of the soul binding us to our given existence. The soul doesn’t propel, like spirit; it feels the impact of events. It is easily stung and disturbed. The spirited side enjoys power, strength, well-being, and superiority. The soul, given to the pleasures of earthly existence, suffers its intimacies to the extent that attachment often feels like bondage.”

an excerpt of an excerpt from Psychology Today – Soul Mates – Humans have an innate tendency to form attachments. By Thomas Moore

These days I view “soul mates” more along the lines of meeting souls whom I need to meet, to learn, understand, experience something.

It can be a brief meeting. Two souls connecting for a moment so that each can get what they need from the meeting. Or it can be a longer and deeper interaction. It can be positive, but it may also be negative – your enemies, especially your “nemeses”, are soul mates too.

Last night I watched several episodes of a Netflix show called – Street Food – which is surprisingly deeper than it sounds.

The – Seoul, South Korea – episode gave me a better understanding of the concept of “Han” thanks to one lady and her turbulent story which included her discussing her “face of steel” which she wears over her real face due to experiences she had trying to become a part of a group who weren’t eager to have her join them.

It should probably be called “Soul Food” or “Food for Thought for the Soul” since it explores the lives of the souls behind the street food.

In the – Osaka, Japan – episode we were introduced to Toyo – a man who uses bare hands and a big blow torch to cook tuna on a daily basis. He made cooking look dangerously cool!

He is intensely fascinating, as is his life story – his mother died when he was six and the grief sent his father into a very dark spiral, beating his child every night and making life a nightmare for himself and his family.

If you didn’t know anything about Toyo and his history, on the surface he appears to be happy-go-lucky, a humorous cheeky chappie who doesn’t have a care in the world and lives to nourish others with his food and friendliness…

Listen to his history and… you can see how he came to appear and be that way. He seizes the joy of the moment because he knows the horrors well, and he doesn’t want to stay stuck in regret and misery.

For every person you meet – how much deeper things run than what you see and think you know of them and their life.

Toyo’s “soul mate” is his street food business. It was a dream which kept him going long before he started it, it gave him hope, ambition, determination and something to live for. He took a leap of faith in himself to make it happen.

Throughout his interview, Toyo kept quoting a proverb – It is better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a bull – which meant a lot to him, and which he felt described him, his philosophy of life and living it.

There are several versions of this proverb, in Chinese and Japanese. I have to admit it stuck with me because it confused me – What does it mean?

According to one article online which used it, it’s a well known saying which many successful business entrepreneurs quote when interviewed, and it basically means – It is better to run your own show than be a part of someone else’s (source for this interpretationIn search of the Chinese entreprenuer by John Kao).

Ice cream cone, shake or other ice cream concoction?

I’m not a sweet-toothed person, so if you’re trying to lure me into a trap use something salty.

I have been through ice cream madness phases in the past. I do understand the attraction to it.

I once lost a tooth while eating a cornetto… my dog took my pause in eating as a sign that I was done with it and he could take over. I think he swallowed the tooth as well. He was an English Mastiff so he had a big mouth and stomach, and could eat pretty much anything, including humans.

He was very sweet.

Once when I was sad and as usual keeping it quiet to myself so as not to get hassled by adults, and was sitting down outside, he came and sat behind me, both front legs on either side of my arms and his head on my head. It felt like he understood and was protecting me. Now that’s… ice cream!

What would be the hat to end all hats? What could you wear on your head that would make people stop what they are doing and stare in awe and amazement?

Usually I try to avoid drawing attention to myself more than can be helped – I’m weird (and am weirder when I try to hide the weird) and on the head I’m endowed with natural red hair – it’s like wearing a flashing red light on your head all the time.

Yes, I’ve tried dying it – that had pro and con results. I didn’t realise the benefits of having red hair until I dyed it brown and found it harder to walk down a busy city street or deal with mass transportation without getting bumped into. Apparently when you have red hair people avoid bumping into you – Do they fear being dragged to hell or something? Who cares as long as they avoid physical contact and I can have personal space, move quickly through a crowd.

I tend to only wear hats in Winter to keep my head warm or in very sunny Summers to stop the brain from frying from the outside more than it is already fried from the inside.

Whatever I wear on my head seems to invite attention for some reason which I haven’t yet figured out.

I used to have a boring black beret which never failed to get attention and commentary from random strangers – I still don’t know why because it was so ordinary. I think I still have it, but it shrunk in the wash.

What would be the worst “buy one get one free” sale of all time?

I haven’t seen a Bogof in a while, usually it’s buy one get one half price or something like that…

As for a “worst”…

These days I’m focusing my mind on “better case scenarios” rather than “worst case scenarios” due to overindulging in the latter for many decades and finding that sort of technique to be ineffective – and yet I still kept thinking it would be effective!

So… this question can bog off.

Please share a moment of gratitude that you experienced during the past week.


I’m grateful that you realised I was just being silly with my answer.

And I’m grateful that I can be silly with my answer.

One of the conversations which I’ve had with myself while DIY-ing this past week was about feeling bad about having it good – that was a theme throughout my childhood and beyond (mainly brought to my attention by the narcissists in my life who needed to make sure that I didn’t complain, ever, about them, their bull’s tales, and being their bull’s tail while their chicken beak picked on me constantly until I was permanently raw and without fingerprints to leave a mark of my existence).

If you read the world news and you’re a me (with natal Saturn square Sun = you’re not good enough, you’re not responsible enough, you’re not… and everyone else is… why can’t you be more like everyone else, etc), you view what you read as a regular reminder of how good you have it even when you don’t feel or think you have it good. And you tend to feel guilty about it rather than think you can enjoy it.

That’s it from me…

Over to you!


  1. This is why I LOVE reading your blog. You find hidden meaning in the most mundane or seemingly boring of questions… (I’m still snickering at “bog off” bwahahahaha!! Thanks Ursula for taking a moment to Share Your World. DIY projects tend to absorb one to exclusion of most other things, or so I’ve found; not that I’ve done many DIY projects myself. I’m mechanically minded (can take apart and put back together things successfully), but I’m really inept at work in general. Pass/fail I guess.

    The atheist view of the God argument is interesting and I once told an atheist who was trying to bait me for my belief that his particular point of view of ‘no God” was so depressing to me that if it were proven, I’d go and kill myself because what would be the point of staying around? I realize there is indeed a reverse side to the reverse side and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It would be nice if they kept it to themselves more, though, wouldn’t it? That includes me.

    I suspect the ‘boring black beret’ is so fascinating because it’s paired with your flaming red hair. Redheads (so I hear, never having been one) may give off an innate ‘warning’ simply by the color of their hair. People tend to still think in stereotypes…the blonde is a dim-wit (and how many times I fought THAT profile when I had blonde hair), and the redhead is a fiery tempered person. All silliness of course. I met someone via another’s blog today that apparently deals in generalizations, and is a thoroughly unpleasant sort (in written word anyway..for all I know in real life they are a sweet and kind pillar of society). This encounter reminded me that one should never generalize anything, because the exception will immediately pop up. Murphy’s law.

    Thanks again for Sharing Your World!! You keep on writing and folks like me? Will keep on reading! When you have time of course! 🙂


    • Thank you very much, Melanie 🙂

      The stereotype for redheads pretty much nails what I’m like, which is why after a period of messing with the colour of my hair I decided to stick with the natural, and have it as a warning of my fiery temper and craziness 😉


  2. I have Afterlife on my list and I’ve watched a few episodes of Street Food. Loved it and I plan to watch more.

    It bothers me to think that there might be people who will just “let themselves go” so to speak if they find out there’s no God(s). There should be intrinsic value, shouldn’t there?

    I don’t like the word “soul” much. I’ve never really been sure what a soul is (in spite of having been schooled by nuns and priests in my early years). My M and I are on the same page about many things, but what really makes us work is acceptance of the parts that don’t work. Is your soulmate someone who appreciates differences? Or something like that? 🙂

    Lots of redheads in my DNA collective. I think red hair is beautiful. (Red is also my favourite colour.) Flaunt it. 😉


    • I just started watching a supernatural drama wherein the lead female keeps telling the lead male that they’re soulmates because he’s the first person she’s met who is similar to her even though they’re very different, and she can talk with him about things which she can’t discuss with others. They’ve spent most of their relationship thus far arguing, calling each other crazy and swearing to avoid each other since their first awkward meeting – they met by accident in the street, he had just caught a criminal and was brawling with him, she was walking along the street, he asked her for help with subduing the criminal and she hit him with a stick because he looked more like a thug than the criminal to her.

      I think “soul” is whatever we want it to be for us, it is abstract until we give it shape and form, which is why it’s so hard to define and pin down, and that’s the same with the concept of a “soul mate” – it is whatever and whoever we decide that it is.

      It’s like energy, but what is energy? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “The reverse also has a reverse side” This reminds me of the game Othello, a game enjoyed when I was young.

    The proverb – It is better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a bull – that’s an interesting one! I actually looked up a bit and found a Chinese article where the author gave an alternate perspective which is exactly what I think too. Thought I would share that in my next post 😉

    Lol nice try on DIY-ing around the house! honestly Ive never seen a woman do those chores properly but I’m sure there are 🙂


    • Cool 🙂 I look forward to reading it!

      Haha! It depends on your definition of the concept of doing something “properly”. Ever since I moved into this house, my definition of the concept of doing something “properly” has changed, I’ve had to adapt to the structure and all the strange fixes which previous owners and workmen have done to it. It’s a patchwork of decades of different people doing things to it, trying to make it become what they wanted it to become, modernising it and finding it difficult to do things because the house itself didn’t want that done to it. It’s a peculiar house which suits peculiar people and a peculiar version of doing things properly 😉


  4. I remember you posted s video in one of your post showing this funny French guy make a mess trying to hang a photo on the wall something like that. Haha that’s what I mean.

    Oh wanted to say earlier but forgot, your dog was real sweet! I’ve nothing against pet dogs but human born in the year of dog is my bane eg. my brother. Previously I asked Mrs Landlady permission to have a cat in the house but was flatly rejected. So when she wanted to get a dog I persistently discouraged her till she gave up the idea. Lol enough of my affinity with dogs.

    Aha I used to like salty too but recent years I prefer it light. Would salty peanuts tempt the monkey? That’s my favorite snack 😀


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