Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Things Brought into My Life....

...which I want to pass on to you.

I have been receiving some incredibly considerate emails lately. Most are simply words of encouragement or quick reality checks, some set forth life lessons, while others are solid attacks on the enemy, as if it were shared. All to get me through the next little bit. I think you need all of these at various points along the way, occasionally all in one day.

I have also been given some lovely things from people who get to see me in real life (the lucky few!). I wanted to pass these on, not least because I have noticed a hefty measure of burnout in blogland at the moment - in both hemispheres. Hoping they will help a little.
This exact mug and Happiness tea were given to me by a friend, Emily. Pretend to warm your hands on it and take a sip. It's a very large mug:

The boyfriend set me up with the best, chunky (organic) vegetable soup to watch a handful of TED talks. (If you're not all over these by now, sort it out!). Here is one we watched given by (pop) philosophy essayist Alain de Botton, on a kinder, gentler philosophy of success. Some twitchy eye moments particularly when he makes his conclusions, but certainly some helpful tools to manage the Sunday (status anxiety) blues. (The comments are also worth a browse).

We also watched some oldies. Probably the most thought-provoking of this oldies lot (and certainly the most kooky) was Amy Tan's talk, Creativity:

And, finally, The Journey, a poem by Mary Oliver (not easy to find without a photograph of a sunset or waterfall), sent to me by a friend whose pretty name is so distinctive that I can't name her here:

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Thanks to my supporters and as the Brits say: Chin up, tigers!


Kate said...

Yay for tea and soup and cuddles!

Hang in there, and when you next have a TED talk, this one's my favourite:


LPC said...

Tea and Mary Oliver. Ahhhhhhh.

Anonymous said...

You have very nice and supportive friends!

Thank you for sharing. I have major burnout and needed both the happy tea and the Tan talk. You rock.

Good Enough Woman said...

Look at you, AH! Passing on encouragement to us in this--YOUR--time of stress. I love the mug. I LOVE tea. And when my trip is done, I will buy a new mug and sit down with some tea and TED before I dig back into my own thesis. You go, girl! Your posts are great inspiration and motivation for me.