Wednesday 31 July 2019

Book Review. The Cosmology of Love

Book review

The Cosmology of Love by Edmund Wigram.

The concept of love at the heart of being is not new.

Empedocles stated ' At the beginning of time, Love completely dominated the universe'. Empedocles was born around 490 BC, and still today scientists, philosophers and religious thinkers grapple with the enormity of the Cosmos and our individual status on that tiny speck we call Earth.

Edmund Wigram has found a way to explore the complexity of being and consciousness through embracing love as the energy for life. He explains how love nourishes the heart, that sacred place of peace  which can be found within us through meditation and teaching. His views are written with clarity and following each short chapter are hints on how to delve deeper by imagining the beauty of nature as a tool to allow love to begin flowing into your heart place.

Choice underlies each and every statement. We are all free to choose and this, to me, emphasises the inclusivity of his ideas. No matter what gender, no matter what religious beliefs, no matter what culture, everyone can find tenets of truth in these writings.

This book straddles the self-help and philosophy categories. In these days of increasing complexity of human life where loneliness and depression are pits that anyone can find themselves falling into, this book offers succour.

I have the great privilege of knowing this author, one of our local writers. He has spent the past thirty years as a healer, travelling the world and learning from eminent healers. This book he has described to me as his life's work, though he was quick to comment that he has not yet finished, and we must wait for the next instalment.

Saturday 27 July 2019

How I became a writer at 30,(or 50, 60, or any other age)

How I became a writer at 30,(or 50, 60, or any other age)

I have read a number of articles by writers enthusing about their blossoming career at a mature age. In fact, the majority explain how they have become published writers ( as if this is the only goal), and they use their post as a way of further promoting their work.
This is not useful to the average beginner. Of course it is encouraging to hear of an author who publishes their first book or first poetry collection and I applaud them for their effort, but when just starting out, the process of writing relies on self belief rather than envy.
I would say to anyone wanting to start writing, your age is entirely irrelevant.
The words that you want to get on paper will keep trying to surface through your everyday thoughts until you embark on that journey. And when you do, you will be captivated by the whole procedure. Whether it results in a published piece of work or not is far less important than the pleasure you will gain through writing.  
So don't be influenced by the experience of others.
 Begin, and your life will be changed for the better.

#amwriting #encourage  

Monday 22 July 2019

Let's read

My desk is beginning to look  like this

I made a New Year's resolution this year to read more and to read outside my comfort zone, to dip into different genres and extend my range.

So far, it has not been a great success. I used to read a lot on going to bed but since eye surgery I need eye drops at night and they blur my vision. If I read first and tell myself to put the eye drops in later, it doesn't happen as I fall asleep first.

My next cunning solution  was to use an MP3 and listen to audio books. That worked fine until I developed a problem with one of my ears and the ear phones became uncomfortable.

My newest strategy is to set a task for myself and the writing group to produce book reviews on any books we read. An element of competitiveness has been introduced and I won't be left out.

Everyone says that reading is essential to hone your skills as a writer. I never doubted that until I heard an author comment that he never read books. He was a gentle spoken, approachable speaker called David Munro and he was promoting his newly published book 'Awakening'. Could there be some truth in his statement? Perhaps the clues will be revealed in his book. I bought a copy and I intend to write a review. Watch this space.

But first, there are some other books to finish.

Sunday 21 July 2019

What's in a memory?

My great-grandmother, image from a digitized glass photograph

For the last two sessions in the Write Yard creative writing group we were looking loosely at memoirs.
There were readings from published and unpublished works. An extraordinary story of family life in the frozen north of Canada in the 1920's who survived through remarkable hardship. An excerpt from Svetlana Alliluyeva's '20 letters to a friend', the daughter of Stalin, describing her privileged life in the Kremlin. And many others.
There were stories of schooldays remembered with remarkable clarity. The little girl who brought in her prized fossil collection to show her teacher, who assumed they were being donated to the school and locked them in a cupboard. The girl who often sneaked into the biology laboratory to see the animals and got drawn into a percussion workshop found the course of her life irrevocably changed from that day, becoming a career percussionist. 
One member brought a coffee pot, part of a set which had been inherited through the generations, and was greatly loved. In the same way that photographs remind us of relatives long since gone, so do the pieces of jewellery and other treasured items kept safely in the cupboards of our homes. 
Everyone has significant memories which may differ greatly to those of others who were also present at the same events. The way memories may be corrupted by information gathered later, for instance from photographs, cultural attitudes and  our own remarkable mental processes means that every moment saved and catalogued in our brains is individually unique.
And so there is a place for documenting and sharing even the most mundane of happenings. What may seem ordinary today may be unusual or even extraordinary tomorrow. Those diaries and journals, written generally for personal pleasure,  are windows into history and culture.

#memory #amwriting #preciousthings #creativewriting

Wednesday 17 July 2019

An emerging creative force

an early winter morning

The move to Scotland opened up so many pathways with the profusion of creative communities and the stunning landscape.  Why had I left it so late in life ? No point in regrets, for every day brings new ideas and stimulation.

And so The Write Yard creative writing group was born in March 2019, in a small pre-fabricated building behind the Cafe Royal in Annan. There had not been a regular writers group in the town as far as I am aware. On the first day, four enthusiastic women turned up and the numbers have grown over the months.

What experience had I in running a writing group, you may ask?

Well actually, none.

 Planning the meetings has been an interesting exercise, and I hope that the time and effort involved will have a positive impact on my own writing.

The purpose of the group is simply to get everyone writing. I encourage, cajole, give them exercises for homework and joy of joys, they come back to the next meeting with written work which never ceases to amaze in its variety and quality.

Everyone has a story to tell, you simply need to find a voice.