Tag Archives: fear

Thank You

For all the good and the bad

the nice and the ugly

the easy and the difficult

for talents and faults

for righteousness and sin


For up and down

for heavy and light

for work and for rest

for the forest and the path

for light and for dark

for day and for night


For building and breaking

for health and for illness

for ease and for pain

for having and lacking

for sanity and madness


For peace and anxiety

for joy and depression

for yesterday and tomorrow

And for today


Because how else would I have known

that your grace is enough for me


How else would I have learnt

that your love overflows


How else would I have come to rest

in the safety of your arms


And how would I have understood

That whether on mountains or in valleys

You will always be there


Clara Harris – How dare you leave me?

In 2003 Clara Harris was convicted of the murder of her husband David Harris.  That she killed him was never disputed because it was caught on camera.  Clara, either in a fit of rage, or accidentally, ran her husband over in a hotel parking lot where he had met with his mistress, Gail Bridges.

Clara was born in Bogotá and worked hard to fulfil her dream of working in the United States.  A dentist, she met David Harris, an orthodontist and together they ran half a dozen successful dental offices.

Everybody in their workplace was aware of David’s affair with the office assistant, Gail, who had earlier, during her own divorce proceedings, been implicated in an affair with a woman called Julie Knight.

The jury took into account ‘sudden passion’ before sentencing Clara to twenty years in prison.

Clara Harris was a woman who worked hard at success, in life and in marriage.  The news of David’s affair came as a devastating blow to her and she became intensely insecure.  She went so far as to ask David to make a list of comparisons between her and Gail which she set out to correct immediately.  Such as losing weight, colouring her hair and making an appointment with a plastic surgeon.

On the night of the murder, David had told her that he was meeting with Gail at the hotel to put an end to the affair.  When he did not return home, Clara and Lindsey (David’s daughter) went to the hotel to look for him.  Now I can imagine what state she was in.  How her stomach turned in fear of what she would find.  And what she did find was David and Gail walking in the hotel lobby, hand in hand.  They had spent two hours together in a hotel room.

A scene followed in the hotel lobby with Clara apparently attacking Gail.  David then took Gail to the car park and Clara and Lindsey got into her Mercedes.  At some point, as she spotted David and Gail, Clara put her foot down and tried to run them over.  She says all of that time is a blur to her.  Gail was injured slightly but David was seriously hurt.  Onlookers say that Clara then ran over David again and again.  He died shortly after.

Now I don’t condone what she did, murder is not a solution to any problem.  But I can put myself in Clara’s shoes.  Firstly, she was completely unaware of her husband’s affair although everyone around her knew.  Secondly, when she found out, she did everything in her power to get him back, including more sex.

David’s behaviour is not really shocking, I suppose many men do the same.  But to compare her physical attributes to Gail’s is a bit low.

I will not dwell on Gail Bridges.  Suffice it to say that I cannot have sympathy for any woman who puts herself in a position where she could break up a family and destroy children’s lives.

Clara is not a character that invokes sympathy, but I think thousands of women could empathise with her.  The woman scorned.  Not out for revenge, but suddenly confronted with the fact that her husband does not want her anymore.  Lies, sex and rejection.  And a sudden fit of passion in more than one sense of the word that ended in the death of one, and the misery of more.

My Death Sentence

Hi, my name is Bob.  I grew up in a country and a time where the death penalty was the acceptable punishment for taking a life.  I had no reason to question this law, not even when I saw others do so.  It did not pertain to my life.  Murderers and rapists deserved to be removed from society permanently.  Why give them a cushy, rent free life in prison when we know that they hardly ever serve their full sentences, and that they are very likely to re-offend upon release?  How many stories have we not heard of killers given time off for good behaviour, only to kill again and again?

Well, my opinion changed one evening in 1984.  I was 25 years old.  At 7:15 I answered a knock at the door and found two policemen outside.

“Good evening, are you Bob ******?”

“Yes, I am.  What is going on officer?”

“We would like for you to come down to the station to answer a couple of questions”.

The officer looked stern and I suddenly felt my heart in the grip of icy fingers.

“Questions about what?”  I tried not to sound frightened, I knew those are all signs cops looked for.

“It is in connection with your neighbour, Rachel ******.  But we cannot discuss it here, come down to the station with us and we should have you home in no time.”

I agreed, hurriedly told my wife that I was needed for questioning and tried to ignore the panic in her eyes.  We got in the car and drove off.  That was the last day I spent in my own home in twenty-eight years.

Rachel had moved in next door to us two years previously.  She was a mousey, quiet woman who lived on her own.  My wife and I introduced ourselves to her upon her arrival but only saw her thereafter in greeting over the fence, or when we pulled out of our driveways together.  I knew that she was a kindergarten teacher and guessed her age to be in her mid-thirties.  She had a cat and liked to potter around in her garden, which was lush.  She mentioned to my wife that she also grew herbs and vegetables successfully.  Neither of us had ever seen the inside of her home.

That was the extent of my knowledge about Rachel *****

And here I am on death-row, convicted of her gruesome murder the night before the cops came knocking on my door.  She had been raped, sodomised and beaten.  Death came by strangulation.

The jury decided my case purely on circumstantial evidence.  It was before the scientific breakthrough of DNA.  And anyway, samples of the DNA left behind at the crime scene had been contaminated and lost to the extent that today there is not enough left even for mitochondrial DNA testing.

I have spent all my appeals.  My execution by lethal injection is scheduled for next month.  I will then once again be free, but not to enjoy my family or anything in this world.

I am no longer for the death penalty.  I still feel that it is a just punishment for those who murder, but now know that too many innocent people are found guilty for too many reasons.

And, if just one innocent person is executed, it should be abolished.   Ask my wife, children and grandchildren, for whom I am saddened above all.

When does Mrs. Ramsay ever see Gordon?

I’ve just finished Gordon Ramsay’s autobiography Humble Pie and I like him even more than before.  What stands out is his work ethic, he goes at it hard and never suffers laziness.

Gordon is a busy guy.  Besides for writing, consulting and managing his restaurant empire in various countries, he also has I don’t know how many TV shows such as Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay’s Best Restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen and The F Word.  Before reading the book I wondered where he found the time to chill but now I understand that for Gordon, to work is to live.

I love Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.  His no-nonsense approach, common sense, readiness to enter into confrontation, lack of fear and his understanding of what makes a restaurant exceptional creates a riveting show.  Gordon is not scared to say it like it is, nor does he give a fig about his enemies.

In ‘Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’, restaurants in trouble get help from Gordon.  This usually involves fighting with owners, managers and chefs as well as restaurant make-overs, new menus and thorough health inspections.

In most of the shows the owners are opposed to these changes even though their businesses are failing.  I cannot understand why they ask for his help in the first place if they are not prepared to play ball.  Surely they know what the man is like before they ask for his assistance.  And surely that is why they ask in the first place.  Why then get bent out of shape?

Gordon comes from a poor background because of an abusive father who hardly worked and moved his family from town to town.  That became the driving force for Gordon, never to be like his dad, to succeed in life and to provide for his family.  I don’t think anybody can argue that he has done a bloody good job of it all.

Gordon thrives on adversity.  During his training years he learnt to work harder when pushed.  The more severe the opposition, the tougher he became.

Here is another example of someone who climbed to the top without much help, managed in spite of the utmost adversity and whose suffering was the cause of his victory.

Cheers Gordon, may you forevermore increase.

I was rescued, once

I was only 21 and in a big jam.  So much so, I did not know where to turn, who to ask, what to do.  I was pregnant and my options were limited.

I remember sitting on the pavement at the bus stop.  Worrying, wondering, trying to figure out a way which fitted in with my youthful plans.

Then I saw it.

I was hanging from a cliff.  No ropes or safety equipment.  The gorge was so deep that I could not see the bottom.  Only the long, long fall.

My arms were getting tired and I knew that I could not hold on much longer.  People started appearing.  Everyone had a suggestion:

“Step there, that should give you leverage to haul yourself up!”

“Move your hand slightly to the left, there is a rock you can hold onto.”

I did not consider any of it.  Just hung there, hoping.  My fingernails were tearing.  The weight was too much for my arms.

More people who loved me and were afraid.  They starting shouting at me in frustration.  I looked down and wondered how long the fall would last.  Could I die in mid-air?  Would I hit something on the way down?  I shook my head.

Then he appeared, walking towards me.  There was no panic about him, or fear of any sort.  When he reached me, he simply bent down, grabbed me by the wrists and pulled me onto solid ground.  I was safe.

I knew that I would be okay.

I still am.  That jam took me along a path I never wanted to walk, with people I did not foresee and heartache I would have wanted to avoid.

The thornblanket became my biggest gift.

Life is like ‘The Truman Show’

I really enjoyed ‘The Truman Show’ starring Jim Carrey.  It is about a man called Truman who is unaware that he is living in a live reality show which is broadcast to millions of viewers daily.  Inevitably though, he starts questioning his reality.

Truman’s hometown, Seahaven, is a set built under a gigantic dome which is inhabited by actors.  Every facet of Truman’s life is managed by the director, even the weather.  The story allows for various things to happen to Truman to ensure that he does not explore life outside of his boundaries.  Eventually though, and in spite of his fear of water, Truman sets out on a little boat in order to discover the world.   He finds a flight of stairs with an “EXIT” sign and notwithstanding the director’s entreaties, he leaves the only world he has ever known.

Our lives are like ‘The Truman Show’.  We live in a world designed just for us and overseen by the Director.  He keeps His eye on each and every one of us at all time and protects us from harm.  Yet, we live in fear.  When Truman finally faces his fear of the ocean, he discovers that the water is only a couple of meters deep.  The same goes for us, the things we fear are nothing but illusions because our perception of reality is so skewed.

We are faced with hundreds of images daily.  I read somewhere that we see more images in a day than people a century ago saw in a lifetime.   Understandably so because they only saw the farm and occasionally the nearest town.  It is almost impossible for the human mind to cope with all those
images.  In ‘Test your Brain’ on National Geographic they show that you can only pay proper attention to one visual stimulus at a time.  Most else that happens around it will pass you by and your mind will fill in the blanks for itself.  It will make up a story around the one thing you focused on.  And as has been proven, you will be prepared to testify in court to the ‘truth’ when in reality you never did see the colour of the perpetrator’s hat.

‘The Truman Show’ story is entertaining but science has proven that much of what we believe to be true is nothing but a false impression.  Perhaps it is time to seek out the Director of your show because only He will be able to divulge the truth to you and lay your fears to rest.

Look up at your heavens tonight and recognize it for what it is, the dome of the set of your life, with seas only a couple of meters deep.  Maybe then you will be able to become a ‘Tru-Man’ – by questioning your reality.


‘The Truman Show’.  Available from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Truman_Show  (Accessed 17 October 2011)

Available from:  http://my.spill.com/forum/topics/rate-the-last-movie-you-saw?commentId=947994%3AComment%3A2831940 (Accessed 17 October 2011)