Quest2016 Penetrating Deeper.

The Self Searching Odyssey.

Debbie Millman’s Prompt on 5th December.

Your Quest2016 Prompt today:

How would you do business as unusual in 2016 if you knew – no matter what you chose – you would not fail?

Superficially this seemed easier but in attempting to answer it I recognised it might have eliminated my answer to Prompt No 2. Would I spend a year cozying up to Shakespeare by writing a play that might help me to understand his genius? That now seems entirely selfish. And safe.


What today’s prompt elicited was the full confession ( to myself) of my terror in joining a group. #Quest2016 has been the first toe in the group waters. I tasted my fear of other people. I identified its roots in a lifetime of rejection from my father ( before I was two) and ever since, culminating in my daughters, now adult. I am terrified of other people. I have sheltered behind solitude, and having powerful ideas. Ideas rejected equally ( which made them precious friends, we suffered together!). Only ideas have kept me going; writing them has filled my years, reading them has comforted me. The very few who celebrated them are my only friends. I know no others.

Suddenly I feel stripped naked, and very vulnerable. (Old women naked probably all do!) I suspect that I need to discover whether that life might have been different, if I had been available to be liked, instead of retreating behind what I created. I know a fair bit about love; love of music, love of language, love of understanding, nothing about liked. Just ordinary liking. I once knew how to laugh. I have forgotten how to do that. So I get there by starting to like myself? Then see if anyone else shares that? It might show me a whole new world, and since I am assured it cannot fail it seems even better than Shakespeare.

Philippa at46

Author: philipparees

A writer ( mostly narrative poetry) of fiction and non-fiction. Self publisher of fiction and Involution-An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God (Runner-up Book of the Year (2013), One time builder ( Arts centre) Mother of four daughters: Companion of old man and old dog: One time gardener, lecturer, wannabe cellist, mostly enquirer of 'what's it all about', blogger and things as yet undiscovered.

11 thoughts on “Quest2016 Penetrating Deeper.”

  1. Your beauty then and now shines through. I do not know how I would do business unusual in 2016. Carry on writing I suppose, enjoying the many delights of living, being alert to whatever’s going on, paying attention to my dream world – passing on whatever I can in whatever way even as small as a gesture as a smile. I still wonder about my past and in what way it has had an impact on me. Reading widely and thoroughly from sages past and present puts things into perspective for me in some degree.

    Thank you for this post Philippa. From a fan …


    1. You are supposed to be taking wing! The temptation of this prompt was to stay safe and claim a year of writing that would not fail!! Only you will understand why that was not the choice I settled for-although it comes a close second. You know what it is to be liked as all your followers show very clearly. I am prepared to find out!


  2. P, your thoughts stir some uneasy waters here in one who has also been accused, as you say, of not being “available to be liked.”

    The habits of a lifetime are hard to shake, especially when one operates from a reflexive position of defense. One thing that has come clear to me (and it is an unexpected delight): as we age it can become easier to entertain complete departures from the past. What have we got to lose?

    I hope you can find the avenues that will lead you to better friendship with yourself. I don’t think it’s ever too late for that.


    1. I lifted up a box, and the bottom fell out, scattering memories across a polished floor, newly vivid, some horrendous, brighter for being so long hidden. This forced me to confront the pattern, and recognise the habits of seclusion because quite deeply injured. Ideas I could fight with, people not. Trouble is the ability to read the runes and be unable to pretend I cannot see them has led not so much to defence but self protection! I don’t understand jealousy but I can smell it at twenty paces.
      As you say what now is left to lose?I might even buy some new clothes and brush my hair. It would be a start for which even my family would be grateful. That too has been a kind of hiding, being conspicuously inconspicuous! But seriously,writing this post required bravery which showed just how far into retreat I had gone. And yes I should have predicted how it might strike you!


    1. Ah Ashen! How do I respond to that? I have never been called ‘lovable’. Feel a bit onion-y! ‘Thank you is hardly appropriate, bit like ‘thank you for saving my life, thank you for rescuing my dog.On the other hand ‘bless you’ is used for a sneeze! I think we should all devise a form of thanks for extreme gifts.

      But anyway, I would reciprocate, if nothing else. You have been the most loyal and generous friend. How good the world suddenly feels!

      Liked by 1 person

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