Things I Grapple to Understand

The longer I live the more things arise that I simply can’t get my head around and what I find interesting is that these are an integral part of the thinking/practice of people that I could well be chatting to here on Social Bridge or in a cafe somewhere in Ireland.

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Bridging Thought-Processes

So, here’s a few items for starters and I’d be delighted with help in developing an understanding of what can seem like parallel universes to me:

  • What is Donald Trump’s appeal (apart from his $$$$)?
  • How is it possible to believe in God and Heaven and Hell?
  • What it about abortion that gets Irish people so agitated ahead of say homelessness, inadequate provision for many people with disabilities and older people who are frail …?
  • Why do we let people suffer pain that we wouldn’t dream of putting our companion animals through?
  • How can you give a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to such a generalised question on a job application as: “Are you comfortable around dogs?” (Think tiny puppy to vicious guard dog).
  • How can people have headphones on while going for a walk on a beach?

I certainly don’t wish to offend anyone but I want to find ways of understanding.

What do you grapple to understand or have you resolved everything or simply stopped trying to get your head around what can seem like impossible questions?



Today has been a day when the word Understand has been playing over and over in my mind. It all started  when I playfully said to puppy Stan “You’re the Stan in ‘Understand” on a walk a while after I found him chewing his way through a hardback book of poetry from Ireland called A Fine Statement. (I’d have been raging with any other animal or person who had torn the book to shreds, but I blamed myself for leaving it within his reach and also admired his taste in poetry!)

But what about Understand? What does it mean; what can it mean?

Here’s my latest effort at defining it:


And in case you’re wondering about the photograph of the leaf which I took in Mount Congreve yesterday, it made me think of the much loved hands of my late Mother, who adored trees,  as she grew more and more fragile, yet ever more insightful and understanding.

Mount Congreve Garden, Co. Waterford
Mount Congreve Garden, Co. Waterford