When I think back on 2017, I remind myself that this is the year that we carved out a new life in a bigger, bolder city than before. A place where our community means more travel time with strangers on trains than with friends in their homes. A city that is not, in truth, a natural fit. That shades out the stars and puts miles between us and the sea. But we have learned how to do life here; how to not just make it work but embrace the opportunity and privilege that, as well as being all those other things, it truly is. It seems unlikely (though who knows) that it is forever, so we want to make the most of it while we can.
I wrote last year about how I prefer to set down ‘aspirations’ compared to ‘resolutions’ at the turn of the new year. In 2016, these aspirations were not a rod for my back (as resolutions can be) but a focal point to return to throughout the year. They focused the mind without disheartening it. By now most resolutions will have fallen by the wayside but, with life’s recent changes, I’m still dreaming for the year ahead.
As a teenager I was never much of a magazine reader. I wasn’t sufficiently interested in the topics dominating the magazines marketed at me to consider them worth spending actual pounds on. I invested my money on books instead, erroneously writing off the sector from my interests and my purse. I’ve since discovered there are magazines out there looking at the topics, lifestyle and issues that interest and inspire me (one got a mention in this blog post). Even better, over the last few months I’ve had the privilege of being part of bringing one into being.
When catching up on the Downton Abbey Christmas special, the post-festive season adverts told me it was time to start getting fit, redecorating the house and booking holidays. These themes did arise in our New Year’s Eve reflections on the year past and the days ahead, but they weren’t the only features of our discussion. We are content with the framework we have established for our lives, prioritising sustainable living, fostering community, exploring creativity and honouring God. In 2016 we hope to continue on this trajectory, which means making more incremental steps to thread these throughout the fabric of our lives.
It was TED’s fault. A couple of years ago I was trawling online for some generic ‘inspiration’, when I stumbled across Sarah Kay’s TED talk, ‘If I should have a daughter’. It was a revelation to me. I had always loved reading and writing poetry, but I had never before experienced spoken word poetry. I was instantly taken with the idea of poetry that, as Sarah Kay puts it, “doesn’t just want to sit on paper; something about it demands it be heard out loud or witnessed in person”. Continue reading
I have always made time for words. Reading them, arranging them, pondering them…
At the age of four I was proud that I knew my letters. Even on the day that we moved into our new home, the most important thing to me was practicing them and showing them off. This was for some reason not appreciated by my parents when I chose to show off my writing skills on the side of a new chest of drawers (the perils of stray biros and four-year olds!). For the next 15 years the letters stood as a blue-inked monument to my early priorities. Continue reading
Papier-mâché | Chewed paper
mulling it over,
building up the layers,
seeing what they become.
Having considered for too long whether or not to begin a blog (Is it my vanity? Do I have time? Do I have anything to say?), I have taken the plunge. I’m not certain exactly what you’ll find here, but they are likely to cover my forays into: Continue reading