This is NOT to be confused with the countless array of ‘adult’ colouring books that the magazine shelves of every supermarket have been flooded with. The ‘Mindful Market’ is booming and throughout this great nation, homes and offices (and, yes! Even restaurants!) are equipped with colouring pencils and pages of intricate, monochromatic, woodlands; underwater worlds with paisley patterned fish and mysterious mandalas. I’m not saying that this “in the moment” stuff doesn’t have therapeutic value… On the contrary, I think it’s an invaluable tool for relaxation and improved mental health… What I will say, is that I’m really, REALLY over the colouring thing! (I know… I’m sort of getting close to ranting now… ) But whilst we’re on the topic… those red signs, bearing a crown and the words “Keep Calm and Colour In”… Please ‘mindful market’! Give us a break!
Zentangle feels different. I like to be the one doing the designing… and it really does focus my mind on something other than the madness. (The word Zen puts me off and I normally refer to this sort of creative activity as ‘tangling’. I make cards and gift tags, incorporating words and pieces of map).
If you’ve never had a go, I really recommend just doing a Google search. It’s ever so slightly addictive and it really does give you a complete break from the world around you, as well as the stuff within.
I wanted to write about the way that I spend hours looking at words before I put them together, and even then, unsatisfied, I pick them up again and shuffle the order. I do this so often, and probably to the detriment of anything I write.
I wanted to write about how hard I find it to even begin to write, because of the fear that I can’t do justice to my subject; how, as a perfectionist, I torture myself about how badly I’ve expressed something… how frightened I am that instead of a glittering diamond necklace, I come away with a cheap imitation, or a broken thread.
I wanted to write about the discipline of writing… writing without editing, plain, honest, raw…
It’s what I’m good at, and you honestly won’t hear me use that phrase very often.
As the official leader of The Society of Burnt Out Teachers, I nowadays realise that although my passion for teaching English and English Literature will never waver, the transference of my enthusiasm doesn’t have to be within a classroom. No. In some ways, it’s easier to deliver it within a mentoring relationship. Because, as most good teachers will agree, at a certain age, its RELATIONSHIP which is the single most important factor in the delivery of successful teaching.
Mentoring allows a relationship to flourish (hopefully) and then, once established, it’s an open landscape on which, as a trusted mentor, you can help to build whatever scene and whichever structure, will most benefit and satisfy the mentee.
I’ve mentored a lot of your people, before and during my teaching career. Nothing sparks me like being able to nurture an ambition in someone. I love to help breathe hope into other people’s hearts. Nothing gives me a renewed sense of purpose like showing someone else their purpose.
Lighting. – I did a little post mentioning my love of the softer season’s evening lighting but I’m also mad about LAMPS! I have a growing collection of the weird, the wonderful and the beautiful!
Longfellow – The beauty of his words very often nearly drives me over the edge!
Lakes – Particularly the deep blue pools in the Pyrenees
Licorice-I’m quite mad for the stuff! It has to be hard – tear – with- your- teeth licorice. The sort that you can buy in little bags… cuttings…
Learning- I’m fascinated by the world and it’s people! Sometimes I wonder why we/I bother to research something,my tendency towards nihilism creeps in. Then I realise that I have a genuine love of knowledge and of learning. And sometimes it’s okay to do something for its own sake.
Lemon – Generally love lemons!
Literature- I couldn’t live without it. Oh… and Languages… I love to learn new words in any language. I’d like to be fluent in all the European languages,ancient Greek, Arabic and Latin!
Hmmm… Overall, L is looking kinda like a lame excuse for a post.
(I know it’s cheating but sometimes you just have to take a shortcut.)
J is for Jesus. Mostly, if you read the gospels, a very likeable chap. Mystical, yes. Unpredictable, very. Would you have hung out with him? And if you would… for what reason? Because no doubt about it, he was pretty rebellious…and exciting… Would you have enjoyed the drama? Would you have liked it that he caused a stir? Would you have been attracted by the cool magic stuff? Would you have been drawn to his intense love and his wisdom?
C.S Lewis had a lot to say about the matter and I leave his famous quote about Jesus here. It’s a good one to ponder…
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I came across this brilliant piece of art as I was walking down one of the streets of the Gloucester Road in Bristol. The idea of The Creation of Adam has been used alongside a short poem and a dedication to the artist’s late father.