I’m sitting here, at my desk, on a dark cloudy November afternoon. Little Human is asleep and the dogs are sprawled out, wherever sprawling has lead them. The house, is otherwise empty. To the left of my computer, is a glass of vegetable broth and to my right, a tumbler of red wine. Read More
However, despite the initial persuasiveness of the wine, (it’ll be such fun! Drink!), it was a promise with a tepid life span. In fact, it collapsed quite soon after first emerging. In other words, when faced with wine or broth, I’m going with the broth...
If I had a home, I'd invite you all to come.
We'd go outside, light a fire, around which we'd stand, sit and lie. Some of us, would hold hands and some of us would not. But their hearts would burn, as if they were.
And we'd watch as the fire grew bigger, its flame flickering upwards. Our eyes would shine, glistening with the flame and slowly, slowly, we'd start moving. Our feet would be first. Stomping, stamping, our hands would tingle as we stood close to one another and as our hearts came alight, more of us would stand and reach out for another hand.
And the flame would grow taller, warming the chill of the night and the stars would come out from the clouds and the rain would start to fall. So that as the earth started to weep, we'd continue. Standing, sitting, perhaps lying. Some of us holding hands and some of us, if hand holding isn't our thing, being brave enough to let our hearts roar all the same. Read More
If I had a home, I'd say bring your children, bring your husband, wife, lover, partner, guru, sister, uncle, everyone. Bring everyone.
And the more that would come, the larger the flame that would burn. Every skin and every colour and every age and every tradition and every inclination would be there and more and more hands would be holding; because why not?
And as skin touches skin the cure would burn. And as the fire burned we'd begin to sing.
Playing with Little Human the other day. A puzzle. 10 pieces. Not many, but enough.
Here’s the thing with puzzles. You spread all the pieces on the floor. They’re all there. You find the first piece, look for the second. So far: every things going well. The second piece and the first piece look made for each other. What could go wrong?
And so with an exuberant confidence, you glide the second piece to the first, you see how they’re going to fit and you feel that glee of joy at the inevitableness of that fit. And then it happens. The fit doesn’t happen. You try again, because hey, it’s so clear right? This piece and that piece, they’re made for each other. I mean the first even has the number ‘1’ on it, and the second ‘2.’ And this one has holes and this one has prongs and the prongs so clearly, go into these holes.
Except they don’t. Read More
Denmark is consistently reported as being home to the happiest people on the Planet. Given that most of us have a mild obsession with happiness we have a question for the Danes: how? Read More
Luckily Happiness spawns industry and so we can now buy guide-books that help us all learn how to be happier. One of these is sitting on our book-shelf here at The Naughty Nunnery The Danish Way of Parenting: A Guide To Raising The Happiest Kids in the World.
And yes the title may be a little too aggressively marketed at all of us happy deprived folk, but its got some good stuff in there.
I've only read a little bit, but a little bit had a lot in it. So two things:
The Danes are good at reframing. A child doesn't want to eat a meal this doesn't mean they're picky or Oh God I’ve got a bad eater, it simply means the parents need to put it into context. Did they have a snack beforehand? Are they tired? Anxious?
The other point I liked and loved and then went and updated my whole bookshelf as a result of (mild exaggeration) is that the Danes are down with the blues. That is to say that one of the reasons they're so happy is because they're not afraid to be unhappy.
Sometimes we don't get far. At times, our front door doesn’t even open.
The back door does though and so out we go, into our garden; home to a re-wilding project that is ravaging in ernest. So that through our unmown lawn, roses have emerged from nowhere, which of course at some point must have been a somewhere, a wild orchid has come through, plumes of ragwort and tufts of ferns and dandelions and the white fluffy plant that you blow at to set the fairies free. The threshold of our garden is a thick boarder of blackberry bushes. The flies have got to most of the juciest first. We are not too disappointed.
But sometimes the neurotic mother in me spins out: we must go somewhere! She harps. We must do something! She shrills. And so dog and daughter are hoarded into the car and off we go to the land of something.
But sometimes Little Human sort of whistles at the neurotic mother and another part of me whispers: but what is wrong with here? Everyone is content where they are…And so Little Human and I pick up a bucket and head off with dog and go and look for blackberries. Finding ourselves climbing over the fence at the bottom of the garden and finding some worms instead.
Of course life isn’t a constant and so I don’t always feel at ease in our home environment. Sometimes the tiredness blows me so off centre that all I want is to be totally alone. A mother bear in her cave.
I learnt the worlds worst swear word when I was 8 years old.
“You promise that you won’t tell your mother I told you?” My mother’s linguistically generous friend asked me as we walked along by a field of corn at the top of the South Downs.
I shook my head, vigorously.
“It’s cunt.” She said.
I was in awe. It sounded a powerful word, an awesome word. I had to share it with my friends...
And so I did.
The following Monday morning back at school, huddled around a desk I said it out loud.
“Where did you hear that word?” The voice of our teacher roared. I looked up to see a pair of rouging cheeks, bulging eyes and an increasingly frozen body. The end of the world seemed near, although for her or me I wasn't quite sure.
“My mother’s friend told me it.”
And then... more silence.
This is my latest story:
"May my mind come alive today to the invisible geography that invites me to new frontiers, to break the dead shell of yesterdays, to risk being disturbed and changed. May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love, to postpone my dream no longer but do at last what I came here for and waste my heart on fear no more." John O`Donahue
There are those of us who are connected to our bodies and those of us who are not. If you, like me, are one of the ones who have to fight to be in our bodies, then this latest story is for you. Because life is precious and the more we drift and spiral out to join the cosmos, the more we miss of the moments happening now.
And now is where it's really happening... This is my latest story: Read More
Recently Little Human and I moved to the country.
Don’t you get lonely? Friends ask.
Yes and no.
Yes in that we’re still finding our feet and we’re exploring the lay of the land, and oh women oh women where art thou?
But also no...
This is my latest story...
n 2010 I went to meditate for 3 months in northern India. As enlightenment seemed an awfully long away, I started visiting the library at the centre where I was staying for inspiration. One of the books I picked up told a story of a monk who took himself away from everyone to meditate. And the others mentioned this to Buddha and Buddha invited the monk to come and see him. Of course the monk went (imagine Buddha requesting you to come and see him!) and their conversation went something like this:
you’ve taken yourself away?
meditation is easier now?
there is another way.
And Buddha explains how meditation is not about sitting in a quiet, dark room and shushing at anyone who might sneeze or blow their nose, nor taking ourselves far away so that we can concentrate instead it has the potential to happen wherever we are, with whatever is going on. As a friend said to me: it’s not only something we do on our cushions.
This is my latest story...
A while ago I went through a period of intense introspection and at the end of it was a question: could I be a nun?
In the end during a trip to northern India to meditate for 3 months, it turned out that it was more a romantic notion of mine. It's not just that the hills are alive, but that those mountains in the Himalayas are damn cold....
During that trip I was so immersed in this question: will I be a nun? Can I be a nun? That I went to India to explore. In the end I got sick, sick, I want my mummy sick, and so instead of extending my stay as I had been wanting to do to continue meditating over the Christmas period I came home 2 weeks early, got on the antibiotics and watched as my dreams of being a nun seemed to dissolve and life moved in an another direction.
Until… Read More