Humility Or Humbug 2011

It’s a rainy, thund’ry day here in Härryda, Sweden (where Kent and I live in the country).  The telephone is out.  Somebody’s or somebodies have stolen the copper cables that have been hanging temptingly for months now  (we live in a sad, corrupted conscience-free world).  So here I was, doing the dishes,  energized by coffee and wondering about the difference between humility and insecurity, they looking very much like each other.

Humility Or Humbug


It was a humdrum day.

Nothing on my mind,

I looked up humble

Where I found humdingers:



For fingers.

Not a humph of sound,

For, humanized I pondered on

The difference ’tween

Low self-esteem

And lack of self-importance:

One, humility,

The other, well, –

Just plain old insecurities.

It is a fine line, hard to recognize.

The insecure seem often humble

And the humble insecure.

Good to analyze,

Who is the one to tell?


Then we come to arrogance.


Humility Or Humbug 7.5.2011

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Circling Round Vanities; Circling Round Reality;

Arlene Corwin










No, the grass is never greener.  Stay home and enjoy your Detroit could-be paradise.  Help it along.

By the way, I worked in a wonderful jazz club in the 50’s!  I don’t remember the name, but Detroit was the place then.

Comment by Sue Shoemaker on Tuesday
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In your intro, Arlene, you mention someone stealing copper cables.  Being from MI … we have heard so much about the destruction of old homes and other properties due to the theft of copper lines in Detroit.  It’s interesting to hear that this is not just a Detroit or even just a USA phenomena.  Sometimes it is easy to think that the ‘grass is greener’ in other places in the world.

Comment by ARLENE CORWIN on Monday
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Pardon if this comes into your mail more than once.

Out this week –

Vaguely About Music

Arlene Corwin

The seventh in a series circling around some aspect of life: time, woman, the creative process, mysticism, vanity, our times and culture,Vaguely About Music deals with aspects of jazz, performance, criticism, celebration, mourning – all to do with music, the players, the performance.

Available on,, Barnes& Noble.

Also available as ebook

Comment by ARLENE CORWIN on July 7, 2011 at 10:31
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I forgot to mention, – as a starting point I was fooling around with the hum’s.  So in the seriousness of the message is the fooling around-ness too.  Even in the most serious matters there must be and is fun – and (conversely) and perhaps even more important, even in the fun and under the fun lies always the serious.  Contiguous walls. (see next blog).


Arlene, Sweden

Comment by Marian Van Eyk McCain on July 6, 2011 at 20:48
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“…within the nowness of seconds, if you live in them, there is wisdom, and in that wisdom, security.” That’s a really profound statement, Arlene. I like it. And as Sue so rightly says, control is a total illusion.

Yes, that’s the beauty of poems. They are like Rorschach blots in the way they trigger associations, impressions, ideas, insights…

Comment by Sue Shoemaker on July 6, 2011 at 19:01
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Not sure where I first heard the phrase … THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL … but it seems to relate to the discussion here.  When speaking of “security” and/or “change” … as much as we would like to think that we have “control” over these things … the fact of the matter is that the idea of CONTROL is just an ILLUSION.

Comment by ARLENE CORWIN on July 6, 2011 at 18:47
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As the I Ching or Book of Changes says, there is nothing else but change.  So, of course, all things being dynamic, there can’t be security (as we usually use the word) absolute.  But within the nowness of seconds, if you live in them, there is wisdom, and in that wisdom, security.


And no, it isn’t what I meant in the poem, but your (Betty) and Marian’s response show what delicious things can come from a little poem.



Comment by Marian Van Eyk McCain on July 6, 2011 at 8:51
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That is SO true, Betty. And I guess that’s why Voltaire called life “a daring adventure.” Facing that, square on, is what ‘radical aliveness’ is all about.


Comment by Betty Taylor on July 5, 2011 at 23:24
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There is no such thing as “security” in this life and it’s pursuit is a fruitless dead-end.

Think of all the empires built upon our fears and our pursuit of security–insurance businesses, financial markets, hospitals and health care businesses, nursing homes–the list goes on and on. We invest precious dollars in a futile attempt to ensure our safety. Life is not safe. Investing in these things out of fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. We end up creating the end we fear.

I know this may not be the  road you were going down, but this is what your post stimulated in me.




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