Showing posts from November, 2015

Loving the fat Buddha

“Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another - physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion. In equating physical beauty with virtue she stripped her mind, bound it and collected self-contempt by the heap.”  ―  Toni Morrison ,  The Bluest Eye Once upon a time there was a girl who was gifted two Buddhas. One came all the way from Laos, was cast in metal and was a slim, elegant, beautiful figure in a perfect lotus position with the serene smiling/not smiling expression and seemed a very authentic depiction of Zen calm. The other came all the way from a gift shop in Bristol, was cast in clay and was a sprawling, fat bellied, beaming guy who looked like he was too busy having a good time to worry too much about achieving enlightenment. The girl moved house many times in the years that followed and the authentic Buddha came with her wherever she

Climbing a mountain

Last Sunday I walked up Glastonbury Tor. My third visit in three years and the first time I've had the energy and the physical capability to do so. Standing in the fierce wind, pulling in great lungfuls of fresh, cool air, blood pumping I felt so blessed. Alive, vital and part of the landscape this beautiful hill held me above and connected me to. Third time lucky and also a way marker of the progress of my growing health, a reward for all the physical and soul work I have done. There was a wonderful moment on the final stretch towards the tower when I thought I might have to stop for another wee breather.  Instead of stopping I invited myself to carry on for the extra sense of triumph of stopping when I reached the tower, knowing that it was just one more step, and one more step, and one more step. Knowing that I would allow myself to stop at any time freed me to carry on right to the top in one final, glorious (sweaty, huffy puffy) move. It might sound insignificant b

Out of the frying pan and in to the fire

I was having a chat with my very wise and lovely friend  Kelly  the other day and we touched on the proverb "out of the frying pan and in to the fire". We both concluded that given the choice, sometimes, the decisiveness of the fire has to be preferable to the frying pan but getting in that fire takes a lot of courage. When I jumped from my publishing job I thought I was stepping out of the frying pan and going to sit happily at the kitchen table. I wrapped up my departure in stories of creative businesses I was going to start, arty jobs that would satisfy me and convey me gracefully from my ever decreasing life to one of joy and fulfilment. I see now these were comforting fairy tales I had to tell my mind. Distractions to let me jump in to the fire. I mean, the fire is so dangerous that our mind just wants us to keep as far from it as possible. Even if we are sizzling up like sausages in the pan, so uncomfortable in our own skins that we might burst, the one thing our mi

Honouring my ancestors

Peace be with you.