A SYMBOL for the Times—WordPress Anonymous

SYMBOLS MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS to different people. Two fingers held in the form of a “V” might mean victory to some, peace to others.1 peace 0812

A clenched fist held high might mean solidarity to some, power to others.

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A thumb held up alone might indicate approval to some, or the number one to others. A yin-yang sign might depict the two sides of everything.

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In some countries, jewelry worn by women is a sign of their wealth, like this silver anklet from India.

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Flags make good symbols. The rebel flag of the Southern States in America might stand for separation, while the flag of the EU means unification. The swastika in red on a soldier’s uniform might mean the exact opposite from its original intention when used millennia ago by ancient peoples, which then meant something closer to “be good.” Other symbols mean different things to different people, too. Some people adore the symbols, some people abhor them: a cross, a six-pointed star, a crescent, snakes, a skull and crossbones. Or the many versions of a Buddha head.

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A young woman sitting alone at a table with her head held deep in her hands—well that’s never a good sign, whatever it means.

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And what about this WordPress icon. Just what does it mean these days? I’ll tell you what it means to me today: frustration, bordering on defeat. I’ll tell you why. But first, the caveat: I realize it’s my own fault.

However, I’m only human, and humans sometimes feel the need to blame somebody else for things they can blame on others when they feel they can get away with it. I’m blaming WordPress. They’ll never know.

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image by WordPress

The reason it’s my own fault is because I just recently got behind in this blogging rigmarole. I got behind because—as you may have read in my previous post—I procrastinate. Bigtime. And I got behind in commenting, on both my own blog and on other blogs I follow. And fine, if anyone feels the need for an apology, I can express regret and make it sound sincere. To anyone who may have felt slighted, I am sorry. I’m trying to do better now that I’m sitting here on the beach in Bali. Condolences appreciated.

Apparently, sincerity—like many things—is relative.

But let’s move on. Let’s deal with the bordering-on-defeat frustration and the WP icon. An icon is a symbol. So here’s the deal with that. I had answered pretty much all the comments folks had left on my blog. I do not like leaving those comments unanswered because if someone made an effort to let me know what they think, I feel a responsibility to respond immediately, the same way you would want to thank someone immediately to show your appreciation for their giving you a present. Because when someone comments on my post, it truly feels like a gift.

So then, I started clearing out my inbox, catching up with the days (weeks) of unread, unanswered posts of others. Another relevant issue is this: I’m a slow reader. No, but I mean a very slow reader (must be some undetectable disconnect between eye and brain, or something?). I was reading and commenting and caught up to about four days behind, making good headway. And then BAM! I’m sitting there looking right at it while it begins to happen. I see it coming, I know what’s about to go down, and there’s not one thing I can do to stop it, or change it.

The Weekly Digests from all the blogs I follow weekly start loading into my mailbox, five or ten at a time. I’ve never seen this happen before, because at home, this happens while I’m sleeping. In Bali, I’m in a time zone four hours ahead. The blogs still unanswered from four days ago are now…buried pages away in Hotmail-ville.

There’s one symbol I never use. Because it just seems so…well, childish. And stupid. Innane. Vapid, really. And it actually offers me none of the satisfaction that it seems to offer other grown men I see using it. However, if I were to use that symbol—some call it the bird; some, the finger—I would use it on this dang inbox here, right now. But I won’t. I’m a bigger man than that. I’ve read books, and I’ve learned lessons on “acceptance” and giving oneself over to, and embracing, “what is” as proper etiquette when walking a spiritual path in life.

Still, a good symbol sometimes allows for our human-ness to express, and satisfy, itself. I’ve heard a saying that goes something like this: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Right now, the tough would start cracking their metaphorical whips and continue plowing through emails, work through those freakin’ Weekly Digests. However, I am going to lower my unsatisfying finger (you can only be so consistent, or spiritual), take a walk on the beach, and dine on a cob salad or mie gorang for dinner. I’m embracing what is for me at this moment, which apparently will include no metaphorical whip.

You can find other entries for DP Photo Challenge: Symbol

You can find other entries for Lucile’s Photo Rehab:   HERE


  1. Deep breaths, Badfish! You will catch up on the ones you really want to read, you may never get to some of them, and no one will think badly of you. It’s summer! My reading and commenting have diminished greatly and I felt bad about it for a while and then said The-Symbol-You-Never-Use-It! This blog stuff is supposed to be fun; if it’s not, you might quit and we don’t want that!
    No need to answer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! So you really are feeling like a Bad Fish Out of Water. Take a deep breath, order an Anker with you mie goreng (or bakso), tell yourself it’s all going to be OK. Ohm… Ohm…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel your pain. Well, not completely. I don’t have to deal with that whole on the beach in Bali ordeal. Nope. I just have to sit here listening to my neighbor’s leaf blower. Or is it the weed whacker this time? I’d love to employ that finger symbol, but I’m afraid he’d saw it off with his hedge trimmers. Is it quiet on the beach in Bali? Never mind, you don’t have to answer that. I won’t feel bad if you don’t.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, I guess you really don’t know pain until you’ve dealt with the Bali-Beach-ordeal…all that sun, all those waves, all those tans, all that fresh air. It gets to you.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You poor thing. I get overwhelmed trying to keep up sometimes, too. I’m very thankful that not everyone posts something everyday! But you should remember something… You said: Because when someone comments on my post, it truly feels like a gift. My dear, if the comments are truly gifts, they don’t come with strings attached. So if they don’t get answered, we love ya anyway. So chillax. And enjoy that beach (since the rest of us can’t!)

    Liked by 5 people

    • Poor thing…is right! A guy needs a secretary. And a muse. And a ghost writer.
      Thanks, I’m sure you are right about everything here. So I’m going to follow your advice…chillaxing coming right up.


  5. It can be overwhelming at many times, especially after an absence, but comments or no comments, friends made are friends who will stay 🙂 Right now, don’t miss Bali ! Have fun 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really recognize that feeling you have to answer everyone immediately… and it is for better and for worse depending on how I feel. Take a deap breath and close your eyes – people understand that you don’t have time to answer all comments right away and the do forgive if you don’t have the time to answer at all. You don’t habe to answer this comment or read my blog. 🙂 Enjoy Bahli instead!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. An excellent post BF, I’m sure the stresses of blogging are something that many share. I for one really struggle to keep up but all we can do is our best and hope that others understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe you are right. Thanks. I’m just amazed by some folks who post and comment like wizards…while I get behinder and behinder!! Oh well…


  8. Dude, if you don’t have one with you, I just posted a picture of a Laughing Buddha for you. To translate the Buddha’s contentment into a Western phrase it would go something like, “Chill, you’re on vacation.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steveo…I do not have one with me…but there are many Buddhas here, and some in the house I’m renting, so I’m feeling consoled. I’m going to follow your advice and “chill.” Thanks…I checked out your Laughing Buddha…he always tickles my spirit!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Portuguese dock workers use a serious of hand gestures, clenched fist, one finger, often with a series of loud whistling noises. Its an effective means of communication across long distances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very interesting. And, Native Americans used sign language like this, while hunting…and also to talk to other tribes. I guess there’s nothing new on the planet, eh?


  10. I suggest a refreshment and a walk on that beach. For my blog personally please never feel you have to ‘catch up’. Come by when you have the time and you want to check in. No worries.
    I have changed all my settings not to get email notices of blog posts. I would go completely mad. I go to the Reader where they sit waiting for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Those moments when you’re looking for a quick read, find it here. Those moments when you can’t fall asleep and need a read to relax you, find it here. When you find yourself with a few spare minutes and just need to “hear” a friendly “voice,” find it here. WP is what you make it, what you want it to be, and what you need it to be. Anything else, is a chore. Enjoy yourself. No one’s going anywhere without you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. So many things to say… especially since I procrastinated on the last well written post on procrastination. But Hey, water under the bridge – another saying… wonder how we can use it more ways than one? Move on, and you KNOW we’ll all forgive you, first of all, as each of us stands (walks maybe?) in your shoes.

    Reminded me of a song, just now… “Signs” by Tesla… Don’t ask why, I have no clue.

    But were I you, I’d have just written a, ‘went fishing – but I promise I throw them right back in the water’ post, explaining you’d be back and hope to hop back on the blog train and join in the fun, and tell everyone you love us all, just because, and go and relax and forget about email, wordpress (which, btw, when I looked at the icon, reminded me of Volkswagon )… Then we’d know that were you here, you’d have been on top of things, and since we all know “REAL TIME” comes first, we would miss you terribly, but welcome you back with open arms.

    Now, sit down. I have something to tell you. You’ve been infected with ATB Syndrome, and there may or may not be a thing that can be done. We all have it, though. We’ll talk when you get back.

    Go play, enjoy, have fun, frolic and we’ll be here when you get back.

    Sending you peace of mind, and don’t forget to feed your addiction a cookie.


    Liked by 2 people

    • So you procrastinated on my post on procrastination, eh? Sounds like you…spooky stuff again.
      The WP icon looks like a VW to you? You need some serious shut-eye, woman!! But then, you see things differently than most. So I can understand your take on it.
      And I’m with Calen…just wth is ATB? Attached to blogging? Assthatblog? All that bull?

      Liked by 1 person

      • When there is a post about procrastination, it is important to act accordingly. I wanted – as if I don’t already – to understand the whole procrastination thing. I won’t a bore you with the details of having had food poisoning that day, and the root canal just before that. But I figured you were sending a message… sit back, take care of yourself first – and I took it to heart. 🙂

        Yes, the VW looks like the word press icon. I have an astigmatism, so I see things, as you so astutely mentioned, differently.

        If you read all of what came before this, or after even, you’d have seen ATB is Addiction To blogging. I know the signs, and you have them, dude. But, we’re all in the same boat, and I think I can safely say that it’s not headed for any icebergs.

        See you when I see you.

        Peace Out,

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeesh…food poisoning after a dang root canal?!!!! Yeah, the message is take it easy…spooky message.
          VW–well, I meant the way your mind sees, but OK, it’s your eyes, too.
          ATB…got it. Another guess or two, maybe I would have guessed? Addiction does seem to run in my family. But usually it’s brick walls that get hit, not iceburgs.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Let me see if I can paraphrase this… my mind has its reason, of which my eyes know nothing… Hmmm. So you’re right. 😀 I’ve been told that my psyche is far more scary.

            Brick walls, oy with the poodles already.

            Happy Vacation



  13. Oh, Badfish–I did have to chuckle about this one. I, too, read everything in email–my Hotmail account! I’ve heard horror stories about the new Reader–I don’t use that so it’d always be new to me–so email tends to pile up. I have fun with it though, by sorting and responding different ways–by date, alphabetically, by message size…..sigh…it’s get done. The beach on Bali–I’d probably never come back to Hotmail. Take your time…I love reading your posts. Somehow, they always resonate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois, good to know I’m not alone in this nonsense!! And I don’t get that Reader at all, everything’s all together, no way to sort through it, it’s one blog after another with no logical ordering. But you’re right…having fun with it is what it should be about, eh?
      Bali’s OK, if you like paradise and that sort of thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ha, I know what you mean about trying to keep up. Tearing hair out, then simply deleting “new post” emails no matter how much I want to read and comment because there’s only so many hours in the day and we’re in the Swedish countryside with spotty internet and visiting withDon’s family. Soon I’ll get to go through my reader and catch up with those posts, but for now, it is what it is. Everyone has those times when they can’t keep up.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. You totally made the right decision to ‘take a walk on the beach, and dine on a cob salad or mie gorang for dinner…and embrace the moment’. Have fun, relax and enjoy. That is as it should be.


  16. …in Baliiiiiii?!?!?!? Apa kabar?! I’m jealous I must say!!! Love Indonesia to bits. Would love to send you to my friends there and hug them in my place 😉 But I won’t. You got enough to deal with with your blog 😉 Nice post! Love your vocabulary – I keep learning new words when I read your posts because it makes me look them up *lol* I’m a slow reader myself. As I’m still building up my blog I don’t know what it’s like to deal with heaps of comments, but I’m behind with posting and having a look at my visitors’ blogs as well. Good dear procrastination. Don’t let yourself be stressed out, be kind to yourself. You can only do as much as you can do. Besides enjoying the beaches of Bali 😉 Selamat Tinggal!


    • Hey…kabar baik! And nasi goreng. No need to be jealous. Bali is Bali. No change. Just peace, quiet, and birds of paradise. I will give your friends a virtual hug.
      Vocabulary…it’s kind of a thing for me. I have been looking words up and then using them for years. I love words. And language. And somehow making them work together to express ideas. Thanks for the cheer up! I think I’ll go jalan-jalan…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, then you’ve also looked them up… that makes me feel a wee little bit better – thought you were all born with loads of great words *lol* Language is amazing, love it as well. Well enjoy the paradise birds and beware of the nyamuk!!! Because they always makam saya dara manis and that’s not very pleasant 😉 Selamat tidur 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve been looking words up for years! I used to highlight them in a dictionary…that I’ve been carrying around the world for 20 years. Now, I have a Word doc filled with new words.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. The way I see comments that roll in long after I’ve posted, is a wonderful sign my post is still being read! It didn’t die three, four or five hours later, like some insects that live for less than a day. And I love stalkers and trollers, especially ones who have been sent to my blog by The Great SEO of The Ether. I’m sure they are absolutely confused as to how they ended up on any of my blogs.
    So, the Reader is a little organized, if you know what button to click. At the top and to the left, you’ll see the check symbol and “Following.” Just a few spaces to the right is a little gear symbol (or if on a phone, I think you need to scroll down a bit to see it. Things get stacked top-to-bottom the smaller your device screen). Click on that and you go to the list of who you are following. Just below the search box, you’ll see the number of blogs you follow, and to the right of that (or just below, again, if you are on a phone) you’ll see “Date Followed,” and “Alphabetical.” Click on Alphabetical, because who the hell remembers when we started following anybody’s blog. VIOLA! One stop shopping! All blogs in alpha order. No emails to have to flip off. You’ll also notice this is where you can individually select the emails you want to receive vs. the ones you don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW! You’re like a Reader savant! And it’s that other part of the Reader, where all the blogs I follow are listed, and roll, in chronological order. That’s the part I don’t get. How do you find anything in there? Or you just don’t…you just go to the ones you want in the area you’re talking about? Thanks again for your help and info!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Enjoy Bali – I wish I were there too. Love your interpretation on symbol 🙂
    No worries about blogging and being behind with reply to the comments. WP tools sometimes frustrating, I do too, often miss some reader comments 😦 but if I moderate each comments before hand, I took away the opportunity for commentators to get known by other readers…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indah, thanks again, and fine…I won’t worry.
      And I think you’re right, I don’t “moderate” anyone’s comments either. And I’ve only ever deleted one…because it was just a list of a bunch of sites where someone had linked to my page from theirs. Otherwise, I find people’s comments very enjoyable.


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