Time will not stand still

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Photo provided by J Hardy Carroll

Early memories helped me to understand what I might become. All around me hung the trappings of war. Don’t get me wrong, I was loved. Yet from a early age I knew that in some way war might define me. A battlefield was my playground, it inspired dreams; but never could I have predicated what was to come. For there is another side to me, an equally determined side, but so different. Nurtured by those around me, in time I will learn to balance the two halves that inspire me.

Footnote: Genre Biography… I was attempting to write a brief biography of Winston Churchill’s early life. As a child he explored the same stately park as I did.

A fine day at Mevagissey

A fine day at Mevagissey

This Post Has 53 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    He certainly was intimately linked with war for much of his life, including some atrocities

    1. Michael Humphris

      He grew up part of a powerful aristocratic family. I heard grim reports from local people. But I decided to concentrate on the two halves of his personality.

  2. Iain Kelly

    An interesting experiment with a complicated subject. Unfortunately too many see Churchill as a one-sided hero rather than a great man with many flaws.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Iain, my belief is, that he was aware of his flaws, but was unwilling to disconnect himself from the power of his upbringing.

  3. jillyfunnell

    Reputations seem rise and fall with the passage of time and not all settle in one area of opinion – as far as Churchill and everyone is concerned, except a very notable psychopaths, I always echo Joe E Brown at the close of “Some Like It Hot” – nobody’s perfect.

    1. Michael Humphris

      In recent times many reputations have certainly be challenged. my belief is, that Churchill was aware of his flaws, but was unwilling to disconnect himself from the power of his upbringing.

  4. jillyfunnell

    My previous comment should read: reputations seem to rise and fall with the passage of time and not all settle in one area of opinion – as far as Churchill and everyone else is concerned, except a very notable few psychopaths, I always echo Joe E Brown at the close of “Some Like It Hot” – nobody’s perfect.

  5. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    Churchill was a fascinating man. Not perfect by any means. Nicely written piece.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Rochelle. I feel that Churchill was aware of his flaws, but was unwilling to disconnect himself from the power of his upbringing.

  6. Fabricating Fiction/Louise Jensen

    This was really moving Michael. Good luck with the book.

    1. Michael Humphris

      So much has been written about Churchill, I doubt that I can say anything new.

      1. Fabricating Fiction/Louise Jensen

        You’ll have your own unique way of telling it though Michael.

        1. Michael Humphris

          I am grateful that you feel so, thank you. Louise

  7. J Hardy Carroll

    Nice story, Michael.

    1. J Hardy Carroll

      Just a note: the plural of half is halves, and plurals never have an apostrophe. Apostrophes are exclusively used for possession. Go ahead and delete this. I usually don’t point out typos, but there are a lot of writers on this page and this is a pet peeve of most of them. cheers 😉

      1. Michael Humphris

        I should not write in a hurry; as the evidence of my messy education appears. I was pleased that you pointed out the fault. Thank you.

  8. pennygadd51

    This is a brave attempt at a difficult subject. Well done for highlighting both the warrior and the artist in Winston Churchill.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I suspect one could spend a life time studying Churchill’s life. It was however how and why the warrior turned to art that interested me.

  9. Sandra

    He was a complex character for sure. But then, aren’t we all, in our own ways.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That is true. In part it is that complexity that interests me. Thank you Sandra.

  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    I think this element of having both part inside I think that complexity exists in every human…

    1. Michael Humphris

      That complexity has often interested me. Thank you for taking the time to comment, it helps.

  11. anuragbakhshi

    Aah, great men explore the same park 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      You are to kind, thank you.

  12. Snow's Fissures and Fractures

    I found it funny how your title contrasts the last line of my poem. Life’s little quirks.
    I think we all need to learn to balance different sides of our nature. Very insightful piece.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I was glad that this piece flash worked. I am grateful for your comment on this post, it got me thinking. I look forward to reading your post.

  13. JS Brand

    I liked this Michael. A nice description, in a nutshell, of a complicated boy who grew into a complicated man.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Churchill’s was so often photographed, and it seems to me that some of those photographs give a quite an insight into the man. So pleased that you commented

  14. Keith's Ramblings

    So much has been written about Churchill, but will we ever know what actually went on in his mind?

    Click to visit Keith’s Ramblings!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Churchill was photographed a lot. It feels to me that some of the photographs do give an insight into the struggles he experienced, in balancing his political life, with his creative side.

  15. Rowena

    MIchael, thank you for drawing my attention to Winston Churchill’s artistic side. Did a Google search and went on a delightful adventure. Thought you and others might appreciate this link: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-making-history-winston-churchill-made-paintings
    This article asked whether his capacity as a painter gave him insights into the battlefield. I don’t paint very often but do a lot of photography and have noticed how much better I see things through the lens than the raw eye. Since taking up the violin, I’ve noticed more about the patterns in things, especially in music.
    Apparently, the brightness of his palette was inversely proportioned to his mental state and that he used the brightest colours during his darkest moods.
    There is so much to explore in Winston Churchill and no doubt there’s much available too.
    Good luck with it.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    1. Michael Humphris

      Rowena If I have aroused interest in Winston Churchill, then I did my task with my tentative attempt at being a biographer. I watched as Winston Churchill was taken to be buried. I was sitting on a wall near the village of Bladon. As a child I also spent a considerable time playing and exploring within the grounds of Blenheim Palace. Your thoughts on the colour palette Churchill used interested me. Vincent Van Gogh also turned to vivid colours as his depression worsened, it could be an area to study.

      1. Rowena

        When I’ve painted, it’s tended to be verty expressive with bright colours and thick paint…the thicker the better, although it really stressed me out when it came to how the thing was going to dry with the kids and dogs running around and balls flying through the air. I thought I’d done a post on it but didn’t find anything but there was this one where my son painted himself and the colours are pretty similar. You can see that the seed didn’t fall far from the tree.
        https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/self-portraint-in-rainbow-paint-day-5-five-photos-five-stories/
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

        1. Michael Humphris

          Lovely to see a happy face, paint and all. I really wish that my school art teacher had allowed such a degree of freedom,

  16. draliman

    Thought-provoking, I loved the last line.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I was so pleased to read your feedback, thank you.

  17. subroto

    Interesting take on the prompt. Churchill’s daughter Mary Soames has said that even by the standards of their generation, Lord and Lady Randolph Churchill were ‘pretty awful parents’ to their eldest son when he was a boy.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I do wonder about that, perhaps Mary was making excuses for Randolph. or perhaps neither where really ready to be parents.

  18. Sascha Darlington

    I have never read as much about Churchill as I probably should. I do like what you have done with this piece. It piques curiosity.

    1. Michael Humphris

      If I have aroused interest in Winston Churchill, then I did my job as an biographer correctly, so Sascha I thank you so much for your feedback

      1. Sascha Darlington

        🙂

  19. JoHawkTheWriter

    He was indeed and interesting man, made more so by his ability to rise above his flaws. And how interesting you played in the same park. That was touching. Thanks.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I guess most people have flaws, as you said it is how one rises about those flaws that is the mark of an individual.

  20. lisarey1990

    This is really good. I don’t know too much about Churchill so it was interesting to learn a bit more about him. Good luck with the book!

    1. Michael Humphris

      There are so very many individuals of interest in the history of mankind. We can only learn about so many. Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is appreciated

  21. Brenda's Thoughts

    A well written story about an interesting character, to say the least. I love the last line, “I will learn to balance the two halves that inspire me.” Crucial for us all.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It is frustrating when people are not encourged to find such a balance, I really appreciate your comment

  22. Sarah Ann

    Nurture and love can overcome environment. This is a great snapshot of how our adult selves are shaped by our childhoods.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I was pleased to read your comment, it encouraged me to consider undertaking more writing in the same vein.

  23. gahlearner

    I think only those people who accept all facets of themselves can grow. A fascinating story about a great man. With growing power the impact of one’s mistakes grows, that’s the true tragedy of not being perfect.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It is an interesting subject area, that I hope I may be able to write about again. I am grateful for your thoughts on this subject, thank you.

  24. michaelwynnauthor

    Well told Michael, a fascinating subject

    1. Michael Humphris

      It is an interesting subject, even down to how the royal family might look now had Edward not married Wallis Simpson.

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