The incredible power of myths and fairy-tales
One of the highlights of last year (which was a truly awful year in most respects) was having the chance to go on a workshop with Caitlín Matthews http://www.hallowquest.org.uk/ Held at Woodbrooke, the Quaker study centre in Birmingham https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/ , “The Paths to the Grail” remains an island of calm, learning, fellowship and a deep sense of the numinous, and a shining, beautiful couple of days of my life. A true oasis, if you like. I had wanted to go on one of her courses before, but never so much as this one. In the hell of all the horrible, sad events, this gave me respite. Continue reading
A Troubling Vision
I am sorry; this is not a Christmassy post, so please feel free to ignore if you simply cannot face more doom. I know we are all trying to keep our own sanity and self-care for emotional well-being is vital. Continue reading
Normally I tend to write a post, then copy it and paste it here. For once, I am writing directly into the blog. Continue reading
A Living Nightmare of a Decade?
There’s been a thing going round. One of those things. Posting a picture from ten years ago and one from this year, to illustrate the changes in a decade. Another thing has been to list your achievements in the last decade. Both have made me shudder. I couldn’t find a picture of me from 2009 that I wanted to share and when I have compared to now, it’s clear the decade has aged me. But ten years ages everyone, so no surprises there.
It never rains but…
You know the saying, and others like “troubles never come singly”. It seems to be true. The last blog post I wrote, I said I was very close to releasing a new book. I still remain very close but the chances of getting the final tasks done any time soon are fairly small.
April was a cruel, hard month. First one family crisis came along, and dealing with that left me so depleted, I came down with shingles. That’s not fun, I can tell you. Then, just as we thought we’d got the situation under control, I got complications with said shingles. More pain, more anxiety, more feeling like death warmed up. Then a further family crisis happened. That’s combined with everything else and I have a full-on flare of the EDS/JHS. The pain is excruciating and I am so, so tired.
Shingles alone is nasty enough. The risk, post shingles, of heart attack and stroke, rises by around 40%. Being post-menopausal, my protection against those catastrophes, afforded by a functioning set of ovaries, is gone. If I push myself, I put myself at greater risk of serious consequences. I’ve had some extra blood tests to rule out various other things but the musculo-skeletal issues are draining me of all energy anyway.
And the other question is this: is the world in a hurry for yet another book, to add to the millions of others out there? Short answer: no. While I know that many are looking forward to a new book from me, I also know that nobody is wanting me to put my health at risk to get it. I know my books make a difference to lives and that makes me content that it’s worth writing and publishing in a world that is largely dominated by capitalist models that I despise and abhor, because what I write fills a valuable niche, however small (in capitalist terms, read that as unsuccessful financially).
So, enjoy the May-time flowers and if you have good vibes or prayers to spare for me and mine, they would be gratefully received.
Fragments and Inertia (musings and mutterings)
In the ten or so years since I began blogging I’ve seen a lot written about SEO (search engine optimisation), detailing how to gain greater prominence among the various search engines. I’ve concluded that for the most part, what gives greater prominence is paying for it, whether by using a paying platform, or by plug-ins that you also pay for, or by choosing a blogging platform closely allied to the companies that run search engines. So for years I tried to use titles that might spark interest or somehow be picked up by the search engines (I’m not naming any…). But these days, finding a title for a blog post mostly involves finding something, anything, by which I might find it again amid the thousand or so articles filed away. Hence the fairly uninspiring title of THIS post.
I wanted to write a post that gives some sense of what I’ve been doing and what I have managed to do and what I have not managed to do. Oh, and why.
Good news is that I am quite close to publishing a new book.
An Epiphany, of sorts
Today marks Epiphany, the festival that for most marks the end of all things Christmas. It commemorates the arrival of the Magi, coming to pay their respects to the infant Jesus, though much of what people think they know about the Magi is a much later medieval addition. The bible does not give names to the visitors, nor does it state that there were three. That aside, it’s a charming addition; it personalises these shadowy visitors and gives them flesh and human attributes, as well as the gifts they brought, which were largely symbolic ones. I am sure that the holy family valued the gold; it probably got them through lean and difficult times. Frankincense was at one time worth the same ounce for ounce as gold and myrrh not far behind. I burn both during the Christmas period and I usually burn some beautiful incense called Three Kings after I take down the Christmas decorations (though the crib scenes remain until Candlemas).
But that’s not the epiphany I am talking about. The word has come to mean a sudden, dramatic and powerful revelation. During a recent episode of extra-nasty depression (that general base line for me is just fairly nasty and the extra-specially nasty was paralysing and unbelievably destructive) I had an insight I have had to sit with to see if it may be true, and that insight is the epiphany I’d like to explain. Continue reading