Diagnosing Normal NaPoWriMo

Shadow on a carpark in perth western australia
TJ and H shadow
Who are we? What are we? What can we be? We spend an existence growing to “know thyself” yet still what we discover is but a shadow of the reality

I met a normal person once
An unsettling experience
Of course I’d heard of the condition
But being so very rare…well…
I feel I couldn’t help.
And you know how I love to help.

The poor soul,
Was probably crying out,
For love
Or understanding
Maybe friendship?
How was I to know?

They say they show subtle signs
Of normality,
But you cannot classify them
Unless several signs are present
And I lacked the expertise

All I know
Is that given my lack of professional knowledge
They appeared normal
And so I was careful
Not to upset them
By laughing too loudly
Or giving my opinions
Or asking them to think

And so we parted
Without an “episode”
But I made sure to
Read all about them
On the internet
So that next time
I would treat them


I have joined in for the first time NaPoWriMo (a late starter) with a poem a day in April.
In response to Day 9 of NaPoWriMo
The prompt:“Write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write. This might be because it expresses something very personal that makes you uncomfortable – either because of its content (“I always hated grandma”), or because it seems too emotional or ugly or strange.”
The more I see the more I question what is “normal”. The human condition is so varied, the intellect so mysterious that trying to classify existence as normal or not seems so fraught with problems that it is impossible. Yet we rush to label people at an earlier and earlier age as being “abnormal” and often go straight to drugs as the first “management” option. I do wonder how much of the “abnormality” manifests as a reaction to the intolerance for those who might not be easy to know, who make you have to think or try a little harder or need more than your advice to “go and see someone” when they are going through the inevitable difficulties of life.
We all need help sometimes and professional advice is certainly of great benefit when the brain grows too fixated or the spirit exhausted, but I don’t want to strive to be “normal”. I want to strive to be content with who I am…an individual filled with odd quirks, flaws, joys and sadnesses and the occassional flash of brilliance (or at least a little glimmer now and then). The range of human experience has been as varied as ever, so you could say that it is perfectly normal to be “abnormal” if you take a look at the statistics.
I am not talking about the far end where destructive fanaticism or perverse behaviour show a human psyche out of control, but if you, like me, have felt different in a world which more than ever wants you to confirm and ask yourself if there is “something wrong with me”, perhaps you can take comfort in the knowledge that I suspect “normalcy” is in fact the only thing that is abnormal about being human.


  1. I read a Maya Angelou quote the other day about if we keep striving for normal, we’ll never know how amazing we can be… YOU, my friend, are amazing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great post, you’ve made so many good points (which I agree with, obviously). If you’re familiar with the play, “Harvey”–I’ve tweaked the original line which probably illustrates my life best. Just substitute “normal” for “reality”–and I think you’ll see both serve equally well:

    “I’ve wrestled with reality (normal) for 35 years, and I’m happy to say I finally won over it.” by Elwood P Dowd, in “Harvey”.


    1. A great quote which I think is better for the changing. So sorry I missed this earlier and WordPress had decided it was spam. We probably weren’t “normal” enough for it. Viva la difference I say!


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