Bob Dylan’s recent Nobel prize for Literature underlines one of the things I’ve always appreciated about him — his poetry, and the way he uses metaphor and rhythm and beauty to tap into personal and universal experience. Earlier today, I was struck by one of his lyrics whilst listening to Shelter from the Storm. It was a lyric I’d never properly noticed before —
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be in an audience at the RSA in London, watching Krista Tippett in conversation with Elizabeth Oldfield (who is Director of the think tank Theos).
Krista Tippett is a bit of a role model of mine. She’s a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times best-selling author. In 2014, she received the National Humanities Medal from Barack Obama for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.”
The Writing Life (1990)
Pulitzer Prize-winning Annie Dillard is one of my favourite authors. Her non-fiction narratives and explorations have helped me see things I would never have otherwise seen, and have given me ‘permission’ to probe deeper into my own wonderings and curiosity. If you’re into nature and discovery, I highly recommend her simultaneously beautiful and brutal book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
In The Writing Life, Dillard offers her nuanced thoughts and stories that will interest both non-writers and writers alike. Feeling her soul and light and quest for deep truth come at you page after page, like waves breaking, is both intimidating and illuminating; reassuring and provocative. Her mind and prose have inspired me to ‘shine my own light, and not hide it under a bushel’. Highly recommended for artists, creatives and seekers!
I’ve been elected onto the RSA Fellowship!
The RSA is the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and being in the Fellowship basically means I get to use the letters FRSA after my name 😉
More importantly, it means I am part of a network that enriches society through ideas and action. I hugely align with the platform and ideas that the RSA cultivates, which all work to release human potential:
“Our mission is to create the conditions for the enlightened thinking and collaborative action needed to address today’s most pressing social challenges.
We serve this mission by acting as a global hub, by enabling millions of people to access the most creative ideas, by nurturing networks of innovators, and through researching, testing and sharing practical interventions.”
I’m thrilled to be a part of the RSA network, and I can’t wait to get stuck in…
Body of Work (2014)
This book was super-helpful in sifting through all the experiences, jobs and ideas I’ve had, and finding the threads that link it all together.
From Pamela’s website:
“The world of work is no longer predictable. As it becomes increasingly rare to have a stable career in any field, we’re left with patchwork resumes and piecemeal lists of achievements. How do we make sense of our diverse experiences—and how do we explain it?”
Pamela shows us how to join the dots, and pull the strands of our stories together. She re-examines how we define ourselves, our careers and our lives. Recommended!
As well as being on the Ministry of Entrepreneurship (MOE) Operating Board, I’m pleased to have been invited to speak at the upcoming MOEvement conference. I’ll be speaking about listening — in International Development, and in our own lives.
“With 140 delegates, speakers, sponsors and volunteers the MOEVEMENT conference aims to deliver fun, learning and inspiration. There will be countless ways to connect and engage with community members, speakers and delegates.”
If you’re looking for new ideas, a new community, and bags of inspiration, this event is for you!
Once, I ran the Dublin marathon. It took me five hours, but I was embarrassed about that, so I said to most people that it took four. I didn’t train very hard and it was excruciating (my big toenails fell off). But I loved it.
So I’ll be watching the London marathon runners set off on Sunday, and a little bit of me will be wishing I were there (though with some more serious training under my belt…).
I recently read Richard Askwith’s exhilarating book, Running Free, and it reminded me how I love running. I’m not really sure whether it’s the idea of running I love (the fitness, the solitary strength, the time to think, the low cost, the opportunity to run through nature), or whether it’s the actual experience of running I like. Probably both. Either way, I run.