June has been a strange month. Starting with hints of gloriously warm summer days to come, it ended with thunder storms and a return to the wooly jumper. We’ve been exploring landscapes. Walking Devon cliff tops on foot; cycling up the Isle of Wight’s hills to attain a viewpoint of ‘the Needles’ stunning rocky outcrops. Once there, I mostly took photos of nearby rusting metal. Perhaps there’s no accounting for taste.
May was, perhaps, about investment. We began it in Northern Ireland, investing in our relationships with family and old friends. We ended it on a beach on England’s South Coast, flying kites and investing in our own wellbeing as the world fell away, leaving only colourful kites dancing on the wind as the evening’s light faded.
Reflecting on the past month shows me that April has been about considering perspectives. This round up is a little late as we spent the Bank Holiday weekend back in Northern Ireland, in the area where I grew up. Returning there is always refreshing, reminding me it can remain a home, even when I’ve built another here.
Looking back on a month when I was more fatigued and had my eyes on the prize of the Easter break, it is perhaps unsurprising that I collected videos to inspire and motivate me. Bringing together audio and visual, story and aesthetic, film can be both all-consuming and passive at the same time; an appealing and powerful combination for tired brains in need of spurring on.
Ah February, you seemed to disappear in a haze of busyness and an associated earnest pursuit of outdoor escape to counteract it. A few of the things that have spurred me on through the month have been:
Contemplating this article on ‘effective altruism’, a movement advocating the people ensure that the action, money and time dedicated to making a difference makes the biggest difference possible. I’m not totally on board with all of it, and neither is this article, but it does have five tips on how to genuinely make a difference.
I could claim that I launched this new series in January but in truth, it is merely convenient that the idea came together in my mind this month. That said, these are a few of the things that got me spurred me on through a potentially dejected month:
I suspect the life I aspire to is not attainable. That is to say, it isn’t a destination; it’s the journey of a lifetime. Constantly trying to better understand my impact on the lives of others, on this planet we call home. Taking steps to make that impact more positive, loving and kind. Exploring the creativity I didn’t know dwelt within me – with words, with fabrics, with bookshelves, with… I don’t know what else – that’s the point. I don’t live in the expectation that one day I’ll have ‘arrived’. If we achieve ‘one planet living’ (when our impact is not greater than the planet can sustain), then there will always be opportunities to actively have a positive impact, not just minimising the negative. For every word written and shared, scrap of furniture upcycled and fabric sewn, there will remain the possibility of more.