About Me

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I still feel like a teenager on the inside, unfortunately my children do remind me how old I am!! I have lived for 20+ years as an Irish expat in The Netherlands. My favourite city here has to be Amsterdam.

Writing, reading, authentic living. It's all here at The Writing Process

Welcome to my blog. Let me start by telling you that I love writing. I love the sense of vitality it gives me. I love that it helps me to make sense of the world and to the people in it. I love that it helps me become wiser, more intuitive, empathic, and most of all autonomous.

All aspects - reading, writing and observing - are what make the process complete. The essence is storytelling, and learning about
life and yourself.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Voice, truth and courage

Since writing my previous blog on the film The King´s Speech, thoughts on speech and communication and a child´s need to have a voice have been occupied my mind. The film was most definitely food for a wide range of thoughts. And it had me mulling over various questions.

How many of us, in this life, struggle to have our voices heard?

How many more never let their true voice be heard but rather, bury their inquisitiveness in some deep, dark place inside and spend their lives keeping up a front?

How many act and speak in a way that is not truly authentic or a reflection of their best selves?

I suspect that the number is larger than we like to admit.

These are the people who live the lives of quiet desperation, yet seem on the surface quite normal and in fact average. But average they will remain. For them life is little more than survival and survival is achieved by spending enormous amounts of emotional energy either denying or suppressing any notion that there could be more.

These are the people who learned early on not to want too much, not to shine too much, but not too little either.

The ones who stammer should be glad. Their soul has chosen to give a sign that something is out of kilter. Where they have chosen to toe the line, their voice, or rather their struggle to have a voice cannot be hidden or buried away.

Overcoming the stammer forces them to face their stress and the discomfort that caused it in the first place.

It is true too for dysfunctional families. Some go unnoticed apart from the fact that they may appear a little odd as a unit, a little out of sync. Something intangible feels a little off centre, and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is.

Blessed then the families whose dysfunction is evidenced by a difficult child, one who refuses to toe that line and support the system. This is the brave child who has the courage to bring the dysfunction to the surface and who is willing to bear the burden for the entire family. This is the child who is prepared to smash the doll’s house and expose the lie, often at great psychological cost to himself. He does it because he wants to have a voice, and he wants to shout it out. He is the stammer that shakes up the entire family.

And the child who truly stammers, has maybe come from such a family (maybe not). His staccato speech may be the result of too much intimidation by the authority figures in his world, of too much criticism, of too much punishment for making a noise. They too are courageous and should be praised, much like Lionel praises Bertie in The King’s Speech and says

“You are the most courageous man I know.”

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Because I have a voice

The words spoken by Bertie (George VI) to Lionel Logue, his speech therapist. This one phrase draws together a multitude of insecurities, pain, fear of ridicule and frustration that have cast a shadow over Bertie’s life.

His stammer has been at the root of much of his misery. It caused him to be teased and bullied by his brother and father. He has been the butt of many family jokes, even as a grown man. It is hard to know what is the chicken and what is the egg. History tells us that Bertie’s father, King George, was a harsh disciplinarian and a nightmare for a sensitive child like Bertie. Perhaps, then, what started out as simply a reaction to his father’s discipline, later became a serious speak impediment.

And that is the crux of the film The King’s Speech, and the basis for the rather unorthodox methods applied by Lionel Logue to ‘cure’ Bertie’s problem and facilitate his role of wartime king.

We can sum up The King’s Speech as - one man’s struggle to let the world know and hear that he has a voice and another’s struggle to win his trust and confidence, so that together they can rise above the fear and intimidation that cause and exacerbate Bertie’s impediment.

Exquisitly filmed, accompanied by an amazing sound track and with a script that is brought to life by a cast of superlative actors, that is the winning formula for The King’s Speech.

But there is even more to it than that. The chemistry between Colin Firth (Bertie) and Geoffrey Rush (Lionel Logue) is sincere and passionate. Geoffrey Rush is the perfect facilitator and lets Colin Firth shine in this magnificent role. In turn, Colin Firth at no point over plays his role or upstages his co star. Both jointly and separately play the role of their lives. A well deserved prize winning film, that at no time succumbs to sentimentality or pity.