Ostomy Memories of Normal


LOOK IN THE MIRROR. What you’re looking at is normal or, at least, it is YOUR normal. That face may be more or less attractive than other faces, but it is YOUR face and, thus, it is what you see as normal. And who’s to say what’s attractive, anyhow? Standards of beauty come and go and differ from one culture to another. There are Pacific Islands where fat women are regarded as the most desirable. You’re not going to find any diet books there. Normality is a standard that is much more difficult to measure in some contexts than others. It may be something that can be counted and, by simple arithmetic, an AVERAGE can be determined. Or it may be entirely subjective, like the guy staring at the woman with large breasts and a face like a moose. “Wow,” he exclaims, “she’s beautiful!” NORMAL, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, as we find ourselves dealing with “the new normal,” such as multiple mass shootings per week, increasingly devastating climate catastrophes, and politicians with such fragile egos that they can’t admit they lost an election. Normal in today’s hyper-partisan times becomes, essentially, what we become used to seeing. But that’s no legitimate measurement. It’s like the familiar term STATUS QUO which Ronald Reagan famously defined as “the mess we’re in.”

Good morning, Henry,

I think the definition of 'normal' is very personal. It is how you perceive your reality and everyone's reality is different. Two people can view the same situation and translate it differently.

Then there is the 'new normal'. My 'new normal' is living with an ostomy which has actually changed a lot for me. Since my surgery (March 2020), I have changed... I am different physically but also emotionally, spiritually, and even in my personality.

Hmmm, I forgot my point... must be having another 'spell'... LOL


Hello HenryM. 

Thanks again for supplying a somewhat challenging concept to get my rhyming head around. Whilst it has temporarily distracted me from my focus on 'kindness', with some imagination, it does have some tangential relavance.

Best wishes



I feel someone’s ‘normality’
depends on personality,
for that’s our guide to how we see
what’s false and what’s reality.

I’ve shown how bullies have a norm,
which other people might call ‘form’,
that means normality for them
is what the rest of us condemn.

Their victims’ on the other hand,
experience and understand
the cruelty of the bully,
which for them is ‘normality’.

When politicians lie and cheat,
could it be they must compete
with their colleagues in the ‘House’,
where most of them are cheating louse.

Where deceit becomes normalised,
it takes a lot to be surprised,
that this is what they are best at
especially in their spat-format.

But, before this rhyming ends,
I must make mention of my friends,
whose ‘normal’ shows that they are kind
so, this is what will spring to mind.

When I think of ‘normality’,
it smacks of commonality,
ordinary familiarity,
which comes with regularity.

Thus, everyone might easily
have different viewpoints that they see,
so, clarity in disparity
becomes the new ‘normality’.

                                          Be Withers 2022

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This is one of my favorites of your verses, Bill.  Is there perhaps a typo?  In the 4th line, 4th stanza: "were" should be "where"?

Reply to HenryM

Hello HenryM. 

I thank you for your accurate observation, which you may have noticed, has now been corrected. 

It's a pity you are not closer as I could do with a proof reader who can spot these mistakes before they go to press. 

Many is the time I re-read past work, only to notice glaring typos and other mistakes when it is too late to rectify them.

One of the problems is that this type of genre really lends itself to reading at a pace of one-a-day, or even one per week,  rather than trying to do the whole job as fast as possible.  I understand that anything under a 7% error score is acceptable, but it is still an acute embarrassment when a  mistake is found by anyone other than me!!

This one at least will not get into the book without rectification  Thanks again.

Best wishes


How to Manage Emotions with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

The sharp eye of a diving Kestrel, Henry!

Me too, Bill!... The "did I really write that?" moment, must have been possessed!


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