2020 visions

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Extraordinary times see ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And so despite the pessimism, the constant examples of care in the community offer considerable optimism.

Small groups of people are springing up with offers of help to those who have needs or find themselves on their own. Thus dark clouds are transformed with silver linings and I cant help but feel joy and faith in the future.

We need to find better descriptions for human beings than those written albeit poetically by Shakespeare when he describes the acts of humans as folly and as quickly forgotten just as fast as they were done:

“Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing (Macbeth Quote (Act II, Scene I).”.

We can console ourselves with other great works that have described apocalyptic events and found the best (and the worse) in human nature. I am reminded of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” – which people love and people hate. I love the description of parental love which oozes throughout the novel made more potent due to its backdrop: a worldwide calamity.

I have yet to do big events with big significance but have done many small events with small significance and for the moment I am satisfied with that. Learning to live with blame and responsibility, but quietly and without resorting to anger – that alone makes life significant.

We don’t know what the future brings – catastrophe and redemption sit alongside each other and we can all strive to performing small events which have great significance.

What’s catching my ear: 4th February, 2019



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No apologies for my fondness of podcasts when there are so many powerful podcasts around.
1 Kirsten Neff forever associated with compassionate approaches is interviewed here and marvellous lines just flow enough for them to be great reminders for whenever we get in trouble. Simply wonderful.

2 Similarly, the podcast featuring Joseph Burgo is a profound listen. It made me consider shaming experiences as opportunities rather than as events to be avoided at all costs. Initially I was quite sceptical but the longer you listen the greater his credibility grows – a treat that I will relisten to.


What’s catching my eye: 18.8.2018

1 Self-Renovators: This podcast offers a nice gentle dig at self help which is often quite hilarious

2 Some nice notes on self compassion:

3 Male suicide: My eyes will be on the television programme on BBC2 on Wednesday at 9.30pm …. Suicide is the biggest killer of males under the age of 50.

4 The Essay on Radio 3 is often hit and miss but this one hit all the right notes – its about Iona as a spiritual retreat and sounds just the place to go to escape from a busy world, narrated eloquently by the featured poet: