'The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.'
Working on my second new blog which will appear for the first time on New Year's day. I'd intended to write only this one but growing confidence has convinced me the second has to start to begin with the new Mars in Aries energy of January 1st 2019.
I've loved writing this one but I shan't be doing it every day from now. One more entry tomorrow to complete my commitment to write each day in December.
From now on I'll be alternating the two blogs and I've a lot to share about both topics. It's more important than ever in future that we find our individual voices and share them. Not for self-puffery but to connect and unite. I'm looking forward to find out how I can help others on their paths of exploring what unique gifts they have to offer.
My new blog
A trip to Five Leaves Bookshop this morning to order three books. Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche: John O' Donohue, A walk in wonder: Peter Frankopan, The New Silk Roads.
They should keep me occupied!
Looking forward to ordering the new John O'Donohue title, Walking in Wonder.
How are you with meditation practices? Does the word itself put you off? Do you prefer mindfulness as less religious and more practical?
My first meeting with meditation was in 1974 when I attended a yoga class. No preconceptions other than there was no way I’d be able to do the lotus position with my stiff knees. By the end of the first class I’d decided this yoga definitely suited me, after the instructor told us to stop if it hurt. You have to remember this was in the era of no pain, no gain exercise videos. The second reason I liked it was that we lay down at the end with a suggestion we imagine a candle flame. If you’d told me that was a means to meditation I’d have disagreed. It seemed to me simply a beautiful image to hold.
Fast forward many years and classes, I still couldn’t do the lotus position, but I had realised the benefits of regular yoga. I approved its aim of uniting mind and body. Through the varying approaches of teachers I absorbed different ways that I could still my mind if only for moments. When my final teacher gave up, I struggled to fit in a class with my self-employed lifestyle but continued at home with DVDs.
By then I’d begun to practise meditation as a separate daily exercise with varying results. I found some methods too severe for my taste and my mind struggled to understand the logic. In the last five years I’ve tried Buddhist classes, Centering Prayer in the Christian tradition, Hindhu methods. Each has added to my understanding but something in my personality finds it difficult to stay with one method for longer than about three months. There’s the need to keep it alive and as one teacher called it, juicy.
Having posted a beautiful card yesterday about Peace, I have to admit I love a good crime novel. Not enjoying all the visceral, serial killing, dismemberment novels, I prefer a classy psychological thriller. I'm more interested in the why rather than the gory details of the how.
In the last couple of years I've enjoyed the series published via the British Library from the golden age of detection. These may seem less interesting to our bang wham culture but I've discovered some fascinating authors like Anthony Berkeley, responsible for the formation of The Detection Club, an invitation only group of writers which still exists. Its current President is Martin Edwards, editor of the British Library series. In his own right a very fine writer with series set in Liverpool and the Lake District.
I'm part way through a book of short stories put together by Martin Edwards as a tribute to Peter Lovesey, creator of Cribb and Peter Diamond. Fun read as each author weaves into their story connections to Peter Lovesey's writing. Contributors to this 80th birthday celebration include Ann Cleves, Michael Jecks and Simon Brett.
I was lucky enough to hear Martin Edwards speak about his own writing and interest in The Golden Age of Detection. It's always good to hear what starts people writing and I learned a lot about that period of writing though I've re-read Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers for years. They're some of my go to authors when I'm frustrated with my own writing.
Two early presents this morning. A wonderful sky and meeting a young tabby cat. Can't show you the cat but here's the sky.
As a follow up to my post about Jacqueline Freeman and her book Song of Increase, this is a musical description of bees in the winter.
BBC Radio 3 Carol Competition was based on a text, The Bee Carol, by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate.
Following a trail from the first clue in my crossword I found this reading of a Christmas poem by Penguin authors. A delightful 4 minutes.