Greg Correll


Greg Correll

Greg Correll
New Paltz, New York, US
September 21
Founder, Chief of Deselopy (small packages); Editor (
small packages, inc.
I write.


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AUGUST 19, 2009 4:27PM

a homely error, certainty.

Rate: 40 Flag

It is a homely error, Certainty.

I abase myself every time
I assert with Venom,
however dilute.

How can something so simple
-- lovingkindness --
be so hard to do?

We must saturate with
and surrender to lovingkindness
or else

continue to
embarrass ourselves
and piss people off.

How do I show
strong thought and ideas
without undue conviction

and find others
who can
as well?

How do we begin,
you and me,
quick online talk

thoughtless provoke?

Can we agree on an opening?
Can we choose some that work?

no more whack-a-mole.
Let's grin and bear
each other.

Online combat sucks
up everything

Let's pretend we are contrary cousins
on the porch swing, full and happy,
where roving children surround us,

amid the sparkling calm of family,
and let's
get along.

Let's allow back in dignity.

Try retreat gracefully.
There. Tra-la! That's it

Copy this:

Try a bald statement
    retreat gracefully.

Try provocative but not final
    retreat gracefully.

Try personal story
    retreat gracefully.

Try what we both share
    retreat gracefully.

Try poke, without cruelty
    retreat gracefully.

Try draw ironic contrast
    retreat gracefully.

Try one solid fact
    retreat gracefully.

Try describing a great value
    retreat gracefully.

Try admiring a desire
    retreat gracefully.

Try listing good sources
    retreat gracefully.

Try reporting some news
    retreat gracefully.

Try describe each other generously
    retreat gracefully.

Try two attempts at quick online talk;
and even if the first exchange works
    retreat gracefully.

and if the second one does or does not
    retire the field gracefully.

This works for me. Today I wrote
    retreat gracefully
13 14 times

I didn't
say it once

Today on a some One's post I tried two things.
Not terrible results, and I
    retreated gracefully.

    We both know how a hand feels.

    Sometimes the lesson is to just
    hold our coarse sand in a bowled palm
    and be kind to each other.

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Do you feel me brothers and sisters? Can I have a witness?
Hear ya, feel ya, see ya. I'm your witness.

I'm a big one to type a comment and then cancel it - never allowing it to be seen. Not sure if that counts as retreating gracefully or just completely avoiding the fray.

Bottom line - I really like this piece.
Amen! SAY it brother!

(retreat gracefully)
"I abase myself every time
I assert with Venom,
however dilute."

My favourite part and a lesson I'm still learning. Thanks for reinforcing it, Greg.
I second that Greg, unless it's already been seconded. And if seconded, etc... Very positive, well done piece.
I have no problem retreating and I am the King of forgiveness but I will not retreat from venomous hate spewing vitriolic in this world. Luckily, I haven't encountered one of those on here in a long time. I choose to ignore them.

Well done...
Excellent thoughts Greg, beautifully presented. I'm going to see if I can put them into practice; I do try, I really do:)
I am gonna cut this out and tape it to my wall. This is wonderful. This is the POINT.
Amen, brother and hallelujah!

Speak to it!
I loved this post but also thought a lot about the title. We have had several discussions around my work about the different uses of words by different cultures. Homely is one thaat keeps coming up and that has offended people when it's use has been misunderstood. In the UK and Australia homely means cozy, warm, comfortable, well taken care of, something lovable. Quite different than the way we use homely in the US to mean something ugly or plain, something in bad taste or something you could easily pass by. As I read your title, I wonder which meaning of homely works best and which you meant when you used it.
I'm feeling the love out there.

mamoore: well as it is poetry i don't want to be too specific. But given the odd blend of negative and comfort-word in "homely", and how "Certainty" deludes us, and is in fact rather unattractive...
Beautiful!! And rated.
In complete and full solidarity. Just beautiful. Call me as a witness to this and your writing any day.
I'm your witness, Greg, whenever I've blown off steam with a rude comment, I've felt like shit about it for days
Witnessed. Appreciated.
Oh THIS is what I was wanting to say and you did it poetically! Thank you. Excellent!
I think this is great
I applaud you Greg. I am so glad to see this post.
Let us all get along.
Some how, some how.
A big thank you from me.
'retreat gracefully' - thank you!
I don't know what this is about--whether someone has inspired this need for restraint from you--but it's a perfect articulation of what's required for civil discourse. I absolutely love it.
And you know what? I really needed this right now. Really. A complicated web of interaction with carbon--as opposed to cyber--friends is getting me down, making me feel bad and insecure and bitter and teary. And I think I will just retreat gracefully. Not only in the formal public sense but inside my own mind. I'm putting it to rest. Thank you.
"Let's pretend we are contrary cousins
on the porch swing, full and happy,
where roving children surround us,

amid the sparkling calm of family,
and let's
get along."

"retreat gracefully"


As most know I like to respond to each comment but time does not permit today, so I say hallelujah and amen to all suchlike. We rejoice in the slightly bitter pleasure of restraint.


Lainey: cool.

The only change we can ask of ourselves, the one that actually works, is lag time. Decrease lag time so that our natural responses are overtaken by wisdom guided by experience.

We still gnash our teeth wanting to press send. I know I do. I WILL blow it again, but less and less often, if I decrease lag time.
I'm a witness and I love this. Retreat gracefully...a powerful act to some that is seen as submission. But true retreat with grace is anything but. Thanks for will be my mantra for today.
We both know how a hand feels.

Yes, and there is a great difference between a caress and a slap. ;-D

I try to manage my online life with a couple of simple rules, one of which is:
Unless it is absolutely obvious, always assume good intentions.

I think it would help also if we had the nerve to ask for clarification when intent is unclear. There is nothing wrong with asking a commenter, "Um, what did you mean by that? I'm not sure."

I also believe in staying away from people who piss me off. It is far easier to do than it is to engage them. They have a right to say what they want, and I have a right to ignore them.

Love the write-up, Greg. It should be on the cover, but it won't be.

I posted a link to your prior post 'No One Wins Online Fights' on someone's post today - first and probably ONLY commenter b/c it's gotten so messy there on that blog. JSYK, I've listed that particular blog of yours as one of my favorite blogs. So from my site to yours, agreed all the way. Am de-friending fighting bloggers. It's all too much with everything else we deal with. I come here for fun and comfort. So start a flaming war=get defriended so people will no longer be getting your blogs in their panel of favorite authors.
Amen, Greg. (I was ready with an "Amen" even before you called for a witness.)
This is a wonderful piece you've written. Peacemaking is an art that authors can make incredible use of - as you have done here.

The advice to “retreat gracefully” is not easily understood. Anyone can start and further a quarrel. It takes tremendous strength to do as you have proposed.

Rated and appreciated with great respect.
Amen brother Corell...I know you have disavowed the deity, but this reminded me of this:

"What, do you wish to know your Lord's meaning in this?
Know it well, love was his meaning.
Who reveals it to you? Love.
What did he reveal to you? Love.
Why does he reveal it to you? For Love.
Remain in this, and you will know more of the same."
--Julian of Norwich, 1373
I’ve been thinking for a long time that OS needs an etiquette guide, and this would serve as a wonderful charter!

Thank you for your beautifully bowled palms, Greg. Let’s hope the seeds of lovingkindness take root.

Greg: One of the best things about OS is the chance to do exactly what you suggest -- retreat from the (I'm going Catholic for a moment) occasion of sin. The temptation to react (rather than respond) to a post or comment can make me dizzy with tension. I have a collection of long, cleverly worded, elegantly reasoned reactionary comments that I had the luck and I suppose fortitude to file elsewhere and read the next day. They didn't look the same and the satisfaction I felt for having not sent them was greater than the "gotcha" feeling I've experienced when I wasn't able to control myself or my emotions.

My point? I've come to see that retreating, as you call it, works. The opportunity NOT to contribute to a hullabaloo -- especially not in my well-established, clever ways -- helps me recognize what those ways are and gives me a chance to respond to the world and and to do so differently than usual.

There's no growth without struggle, not fire without friction. Knowing enough to retreat, to wait-a-minute-there, to sleep on it, to NOT say it just now -- can be as important to the life as what we DO say.

So, yeah. Amen brother. You've told it like it is. Thanks
Wonderful. Forbearance, retreating gracefully - what an amazing change it would make in so many conversations. Today, when I am tempted to be judgmental, I will think of your image of contrary cousins on the porch, full and happy, surrounded by roving children.
You CAN get a witness. No doubt. Lovely and chockful of lessons.

What if you've been retreating gracefully too much, I wonder? When you really want to say, "I'm mad!" I wonder. Can you retreat gracefully and still keep your voice, I wonder.

I'm sure you'd say yes, you can.

(Perhaps inappropriate to post here, but since I'm here, I wanted to thank you so much for your wonderful comment on one of my last pieces. It made me feel really good.)

Retreating gracefully now.
:) I still have to learn this
Witness! Witness! Soul brother. Love it.