Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Reading, Writing and Unseen Helpers

Dear Diary,

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Dalai Lama

This will be a shortish blog today.

It is a no-work day and just for a change the forecast is heavy showers. I’ve been wanting to do some outside painting, only touching up jobs really, but it’s just been impossible. That’s apart from the weeding needed in garden which looks more like a jungle every day.

But never mind; I’ve more than enough reading matter and lots of writing to get on with. I have just started reading How to see yourself as you really are (crap title, but serious book) by the Dalai Lama, translated by Jeffrey Hopkins. A friend reminded me of the Dalai Lama the other day, she had just read his autobiography and was completely taken over by him. She admits she is a cynical person and definitely not the sort to have heroes but he has become one for her. She wanted me to request lots of his other writings for her so I searched the library catalogue and found loads including the above mentioned (new) book. I can highly recommend it.

I’m a great believer that we never find books by chance rather that we are led to them. They find us in fact, do you not agree?

I’ve had my last OCA writing assignment back from my tutor and as usual her comments and suggestions are really inspiring. I’m back into it now (writing my life story as an adoption memoir) and have started working on it early in the mornings before I get up. This time of day seems the best time for me writing-wise; perhaps it is my age but it gets harder to write as the day wears on. I love writing in bed and as it is Summer (it is Summer isn’t it? Please remind/promise me it really is) I can lie in comfort, snug and warm and have one eye on the treetops, the river and the field beyond.

I wonder where you write? I love reading about writers and their lives, how they get their inspiration, where they write etc. How they spend their days. Every week the Guardian on Saturday has a photo of a different well known author’s writing room and a little piece written by the author about their ‘writing space’. I find it fascinating and it’s one of the first pages I turn to. I only read a paper on Saturdays and that usually lasts me the whole week.

How I write is by scribbling barely eligible notes on a pad and then I type them up on the computer later, in the little 'study' upstairs in the cottage. I have the wonderful view there too, I am so lucky. It is soothing to say the least.


Ideas and Attitude.

My head is buzzing today and I am feeling more positive about things, perhaps it is because the sun is shining, (at the moment!). Lately things have been getting me down and upsetting me somewhat but I am looking at them in a more positive light and I am being helped by my ‘unseen friends’.

Talking of which the next blessing...

Purplecoo folk.
(My Unseen Friends of an Earthbound Kind).

The online community is expanding and turning into something evermore wonderful. What we have far exceeds anything we would get from some glossy magazine. Special thanks to the site management angels.

Which brings me nicely on to my next blessing which is:


Remember dear Sarah Ban Breathnach and her Gratitude Journal? She was the one who got me going on my Blessings. Do read her books if you haven’t already, they are a joy.

Jokes and the sharing of same.

I have sent a lot of funnies round in an email today to my friends and relatives who I think need cheering up, but then again in this weather don’t we all?

Last but not least

A good night’s sleep.

I’ve had two in a row now. Probably thanks to Dr Stuarts Tranquillity Teabags; they certainly seem to be working.

Before I go, a poem:

As Once The Winged Energy

As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood's dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.

Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.

To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.

Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions...For the god
wants to know himself in you.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Bye for now,

PS The painting is of Mary Shelley, (Frankenstein and all that!) at her writing desk


FunkyMunky said...

I love to get recommendations for books to read and am now desperate to read something by the Dalai Lama!!

As for where I do my writing, this is currently a major bugbear with me as I write in the "computer room" which is a converted garage and it's far too hot in there because of the halcyon lights and close proximity to too many electrical appliances! I read an article at the weekend about someone who has built a garden shed and converted it into a writing room. How I wish we had the space (or the money) to put one in our back garden!
I do envy you your seemingly perfect writing haven!!

Blossomcottage said...

I do most of my writting in my head, I can think so much fast than I can type or write, I sometimes think I should get a dictaphone so I can speak into it and I could write it down at my leisure.
The words of the Dalai Lama are always so mystical I often refere to him if I am worried or in need of a little wisdom in my life.

lampworkbeader said...

I have a little notebook to jot down ideas. I always write in pencil, so much easier to make changes and corrections.

Exmoorjane said...

Ah Cait, so many things as usual..... Yes, oh yes, if anyone hasn't read Sarah Ban Breatheach then give yourself a treat and do so. Following Simple Abundance for a year will change your life, I promise!
yes, oh yes, to the site and how wonderful it is....
I usually write on my computer - now in my downstairs study with a view over the garden. But when I write fiction I use a large Moleskine notebook and write wherever the notion takes me....I went through a phase of writing in bed in the morning if I woke early. I also love writing in our local library....but I haven't for a while.... Your blog inspires me to get back to it.

Our house site is very old - the houses next door date back to medieval times and ours used to be cobb and thatch - it was the tannery.... Then it burned down in - I think the 1700s - and was rebuilt, in bits and bobs..... we have deeds and covenants dating back to about 1730 which are fascinating..... But the 'baronial hall' is a much later addition - 1930s - the house was a hotel at that point and it was build on as a music room......
My mother had exactly the same experience you describe when she moved into her old house....the old lady followed her and eventually Mum reassured her that she would look after the house and keep it safe - and the woman left. Mum always said she was a lovely, soft, warm comforting presence.....

Anonymous said...

Such comforting words. I so love to read about other people experiencing astral presence, it makes me feel quite sane!

A lovely warm blog as always.
Crystal xx

Suffolkmum said...

I would really like to read that book by the Dalai Lama too, thanks for inspiring me to find it. Funnily enough (is there such a thing as coincidence?) I had just been told about a quote of his which really resonated with me, and I couldn't get it out of my head - and then your blog came along ....
I must read Rainer Maria Rilke and also this Simple Abundance book. Loved the picture. I get the Guuardian on Saturdays too and it also lasts me the week! Your study sounds lovely. We have a sort of open plan dining room/study, there's a narrow open doorway from the dining room into a little room with just space for a desk and shelves, overlooking the garden, which is where I write.

Pondside said...

Hello Cait - lovely blog, and once again, such a treat to hear a piece of music that just comes as a gift. There are so many decisions to be made through any woman's average day that it is great to just be presented with the music!
Re the poem. I didn't know it at all but I think that it is something that I might find very helpful in my work. As I re-read it I could think of a couple of clients (and probably more) who would love to read those words too.
Many thanks!

Frances said...

Hello Cait,

Here is a little bit of coincidence. I have that very book by the DL, given to me by one of my staff members, who is Tibetan, when he was my "secret Santa," in our little holiday gift-giving lottery last December. I have not yet read it. Shame? No, because I have read others by the DL and know that when I have the proper time, I will read this one, too.

Another former work colleague of mine has often served as security for the DL. He and I also had the experience of apprenhending shoplifters. A different sort of spiritual experience!

My introduction to Tibetan Buddhism came many years ago, when I made many weekend visits to my neighborhood Museum of Natural History to watch a group of visiting monks create one of their famous mandalas from colored sands.

A good time to write or to draw or to paint, is when it is comfortable to do so. I do not find it possible to squeeze my creativity into a set routine. It needs breathing room, like yeast-based bread, to rise.


Faith said...

Soothed as always by your blog.

CAMILLA said...

As ever Cait, a truly wonderful blog. Wonderful writing, poems, and pictures. I agree- I have The Guardian on Saturday, and thatis the first page that I go to. I sometimes have The Telegraph on Saturday also, I like the Reviews, on Books and Art.


Frances said...

Hello again from New York, Cait, and thank you for your comments.

How I do wish to find time to do some painting. I need to sort of glide into the creative mode. It is not a faucet that turns on or off. Or drips!

I mentioned our shared book to my Tibetan colleague today, and how he laughed to learn of it.

Best wishes, and as always, I do thank you for the music. To hear Instant Karma when I want to, wow.