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The Awful 2017

Absolutely. Yes.

“As this year comes to a close, all I hear anyone talk about is how grateful they are that such a snafu of a year is ending.  After listening to this commotion, I myself began to start feeling that 2017 was indeed one of the worst years of my life …

I asked myself: how can I ensure that 2018 does not become such an awful year?”

via The Awful 2017 – Live with a Heart

(Oops, I tried to reblog this earlier but it went to my old site. Apologies if anyone followed a bad link to nowhere …)

Continue reading

Dear 2017

It would be easy to throw a match and walk away while you burn. But I won’t do that. I know it wouldn’t be entirely fair. Yes, too much death and hardship. Too many challenges on the health front. Too many loved ones in peril. Too much bad behaviour, bad choices, bad situations. Too much instability. Too much violence. Too much hurt. And not everyone and everything made it to the end.

But there were some good things in there. Or things I’ll choose to remember and take some pleasure and/or pride in any way. Here goes – all of these things took some measure of courage and effort.  Continue reading

This December book

1991 was the one year in my life where I routinely kept a written diary. I stuck with it that year because it was a school-mandated activity. I’m really grateful for that experience. It’s an incredible record of a year as well as a lesson in how useful and calming that practice of regular, written self-reflection can be.

I also kept a journal for drama and theatre studies I recall … but that was a slightly different matter. In that case, it was (I think) a part of our assessment and our teacher would read and respond to what we had written. I very much enjoyed that experience too … but it was not a private act. Though, in retrospect, I remember having a pretty foggy grip on the idea of the private and public  and I know I would have been extremely candid. Continue reading

In conversation (or is it convocation) with the Internet

Lately, I’ve been unsure whether this blog should be public or private, professional or personal.

Personal blogging tends to leave me feeling exposed and vulnerable; professional (or heavily ‘public face’ curated at least) leaves me constrained.

Even more recently, however, I’ve been reminded (by, for example, reading Barbara Browning’s The Gift) that it’s that intersection and interplay and in-between space that I actually really enjoy. That I need to remember it’s not one or the other – it’s never one or the other, even if you kid yourself it is. So I should toughen up and let it be. It means I might disclose too much occasionally and perhaps feel a little embarrassed. It means my ‘public face’ potentially becomes less and less consistent or, if not that, certainly richer and more complex. Which, of course, has both advantages and disadvantages depending on the audience and the moment. Continue reading

As 2016 becomes 2017

As 2016 becomes 2017 I’m listening, for the first time, to Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. It’s dark, and lovely. I wonder if I could use the same words to describe 2016? Dark, certainly… Lovely, I’m not so sure, although there has certainly been a lot of good. Actually, if I really think about it and push back that dark curtain that is all of the deaths, cruelties and victories, there have been quite a few lovely moments. Overall, at least on a personal level, I think the good has outweighed the bad.

And so, the time to make resolutions or, as I did for this year, choose your ‘one word’ instead has come around again. In 2016 my word was shape-shifting. It turned out to be quite apt- I lost track of it a few times but, nonetheless, it seemed to lead the way. I moved house, city and job and there were quite a few occasions where I felt the need to become (or that I had already become) something less familiar.

This year I want both a word and some resolutions. I have a big year ahead, I think I’ll need both.

[The stroke of midnight fireworks must be about to happen here. I wonder if I’ll be able to see and hear them as I write?] Continue reading

Aside

‘Somehow we don’t feel the same way about someone on stage: Performers are usually rewarded for their bravery, applauded for making themselves vulnerable. Bloggers, on the other hand, are seemingly hobbyists and amateurs, even if they’re getting paid for their work.’

via The 80/20 Rule — Matter — Medium.

It’s an interesting suggestion, that many (most?) don’t see blogging as performance, or that, if they/we/I do that they/we/I have different criteria for what makes a good performance/performer.

(I’m not sure what’s going on with the they/we/I here … I’m uncomfortable with continuing the generalised ‘we’ of the quote I think. Who is this ‘we’?)

The stage