Arnfrid’s Blog

Welcome to the new home for Arnfrid’s Blog, a collection of my online writing.

My passion in life is to share what I know in a way that may be useful and that provokes thought.

Sometimes life strikes me as crazy, sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet, sometimes I rant …

Please bookmark this page for Arnfrid’s Blog if you’d like to visit again. Thank you. Arnfrid Beier

 

A dialogue between an English scientist (ES) and a German linguist (GL)

ES: As you predicted, I didn’t understand your first paragraph, so I can’t respond to it directly. GL: I have to admit to a perennial problem, it’s linguistic and cultural. If I don’t manage to put my explanation here, I’ll try again when I see you. I’ll stop trying the minute I see it’ll bore […]

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Small talk vs. big talk

I want to share something haunting me. You might find it funny, perplexing, but it dogs me. I can’t do chit-chat. I can’t make small talk. I only seem to do big talk which can clear the room or cause a glazed expression in thirty seconds. I’m an introvert for sure, and that means my […]

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Dear Wife

It’s been a little hectic since you went to London. The window cleaner has broken his arm. He always comes when I haven’t got any cash. Anyway, Monday was quiet. Tuesday took me out of it. I left at 6.20 hoping to avoid long traffic queues. But it was worse, everybody had the same idea. Who […]

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How my life has changed since I’ve learned to say: ‘I’

‘I’ has always been a part of me, inhabiting my mind, following me around, yet making me uneasy. ‘I’ wanted out, but was locked up in ‘one’ and ‘you’ and making me ask: ‘Who is this ‘one’, this ‘you’, taking the place of ‘I’?’ However, since I’ve learned to say ‘I’, my life has changed. […]

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Leaving Eggs Under Floor Mats or Getting there

I was sure I would be a counsellor one day, but there was no way I could see that. I felt a million miles from therapeutic anything. The impulse that propelled me to understand myself more so I could understand people’s pain was gone, well and truly gone. What do Catholics say when they stop […]

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When things really matter you can’t say it all in words

When I was 18, I decided to try England for a year, that year has never ended, it’s somehow rolled into a lifetime of fifty-four years and hopefully many more. Sometimes people ask if, after all this time, I think or even dream in English, but I don’t dream in any language, my dreams are […]

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Can words help our mental wellbeing?

The answer seems straightforward: It all depends on what we mean by our words. It’s up to us. We’re in control. But are we? I had my doubts recently, when my head felt full of rabbits, ‘word’ rabbits. They could do everything I can do and even more: They drew me into their story and […]

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Beyond word and thought

Once a week I go to two places at the same time. One is the Subud House in South Liverpool and the other is inside myself. I go to find what words can’t know. My upbringing made the spiritual stuff inside me go underground. The Latihan puts me in touch with it. Everything around me […]

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I’m trying to put life into words, or am I fooling myself?

Life and words, can they ever meet? Or are they really one, only I can’t see it? When I hear what others say I’m confused. What do people mean when they say such things as ‘I’m interested in what can be done with words’(1), ‘…trying to capture or clarify something in words’(2), or ‘…efforts to […]

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Do words conspire to make us who we are?

‘What a miserable day,’ say the words and then it is. Words come and go, seizing every opportunity, not only the weather. Where do they come from, these words? They seem to be making up my life. Why can’t I stop them? ‘What a miserable day,’ and before I know it I feel miserable. ‘What’s […]

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Do words hold a secret?

I’ve been wondering why words are so important. Could we manage without’em? This is an absurd question, but I’m still asking it. Even as I write this, gobbledegook or not, I’m aware it’s words that are making up these lines, not me. So where’s ‘me’ in all this? Common sense tells me that words reflect […]

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Can words make truth?

A valid question as I feel words can do just that. The word ‘France’ makes us think of the good things of life, la cuisine franςaise, la joie de vivre, l’amour and of course la petite mort. The grand truths of life, these words seem to imply. But what if it’s just a wordy game? […]

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How words began to play a different role in my life

When I was training as a therapist I kept a ‘practice’ journal. I thought this would be a simple record of my developing communication skills. I was wrong. I soon discovered something was going on inside me. Someone was talking and someone was listening at the same time, two people holding a dialogue in my […]

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Do words have the final say?

We think we use words, yet could it be it’s the other way round, words use us? We listen and what happens? We agree or disagree or stay indifferent to what words say. Even looking at the world we see it as words present it. ‘What a beautiful tree!’ bursts out. And so it is. […]

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How do we hear words?

It’s in the nature of words to have meaning. We don’t communicate ‘words’ but what they mean. Some words seem to have a ‘core’ meaning, others take their meaning from their contexts. And that’s really it. Or is it? After watching Montalbano, I asked my partner to tell me the story. She did and then […]

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What else can words do?

English isn’t my inner makeup, even after speaking it for more than fifty years I’m often puzzled or maybe charmed by its usage. When I first came to England, I was classed as an Alien, no one would call me that now, but when I hear the wild use of words floating through the air […]

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What can words do?

I feel so strongly about words I almost think of them as hand grenades to lob at thoughts, to explode old patterns that hold us back, destroy us. I do this to shatter the idea of continuity and permanence that we sometimes cling on to. Maybe our brains are like gardens littered with unmovable statues […]

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Whereof one cannot speak…

It’s just turned 2011. So I’m going to write a list of what I want to happen that would greatly improve my life and the lives of others. It’ll start off with ‘Give Arnfrid a big load of cash’, then ‘let him achieve world-wide fame yet keep him anonymous and happy’ and ending with ‘peace […]

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Heil Schicklgruber!

During the last few weeks I have enjoyed BBC4’s German season, about Art, about walking and sharing Al Murray’s wonderful big-hearted intelligent view of a country he’s made his reputation out of mocking. It felt good being German, coming from such a varied cultured people who have such rich history and for a few hours […]

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A place the desire and envy of many

Manicured lawns green and even, hedges straight and crisp, driveways black and smooth, cars new and shiny, paintwork bright and gleaming, shops a’plenty, trees with blossom, why do I hate it so?  Why does it represent a place of desolation of the human spirit to me?  And what on earth made me move here in […]

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My doggone day

Maybe I’m the Mystery Shopper of Life, doomed to walk the highways and byways we all tread, but with a bit of a twist, or a slight sting in the tail.  Days unravel in many ways.  Do you ever have a day where you feel if it was a film you could accept it more […]

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Reisefieber!

I’ve even been to the Himalayas but sometimes I wonder how I got there, not in terms of route or transport systems but how this heap of quivering manhood broke through his worries about travelling, bit the bullet, boarded the plane at one end and got off somewhere else.  My travel anxiety (or Reisefieber) which […]

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The Beauty of Randomness

I attempted to write LOVE LIES: A Journal in a consciously random way, does that sound wrong? Does it seem counter-intuitive because surely, it’s conscious or it’s random?  But for me, surrealism’s strength is in its non-logical nature, not illogical but just not following what we know as logical.  Do you associate ‘surrealism’ with the […]

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News from Arnfrid Beier

This is where I’ll publish news about my work and activities relating to creative writing.

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I thought that was me, but it wasn’t

You stop, you look round and wonder how you got to where you are.  Do you ever feel as if you blinked years ago and now it’s your life? Whenever I feel hemmed in by life or by people or by circumstances or even by the glorious British climate I try to remember that the […]

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