I’ve found so much in the Pentlands since moving to Edinburgh. Beauty and calm, mostly. Birds. Space to walk and run out problems, too. Places to be with the kids, to eat and talk. The city’s wonderful but if I didn’t have something opposite to frame it, I’d appreciate it much less.
One 2016 day I found the remnants of a Nazi Training Camp in the Pentlands. My intuition had told me something wasn’t right, I didn’t realise exactly what till I saw this, two weeks later.
Take nothing for granted, I guess.
Years ago, while reading about dog training, I learned the phrase, ‘pressure creates counter pressure’. I was struggling with our then enormous puppy pulling on the lead. The phrase underlined my feeling that yanking back was only making my arm hurt more and my stress levels soar. So I stopped yanking back. Disengaged from negativity. Got used to standing, waiting for fresh eyes and curiousity. Eventually, it worked.
Scotland’s at a crossroads about whether, among other things, we value evolving multi-culturalism over a United Kingdom. Yes or No.
Pressure and counter pressure.
What’s all this #52and40 malarky about then? Find out here.
The zombies are calling me.
People who refer to other people as ‘they’.
‘They’re all the same’, and, ‘that’s what they want you to think’.
People who’ve given up on hope and change and hunkered down, rolling a boulder called fear into the cave doorway and frowning about how they’ll get the smoke from the fire to vent in a closed space.
I feel the temptation.
It’d be easy to sign up for the Daily Mail and play Loathe My Neighbour.
But, goddammit, I’ve no experience of easy ever feeling worth it.
Read more about #52and40 here and follow the hashtag on Twitter.
My friend had been wondering what to inscribe on a piece of pottery. She found her answer through Google:
‘Better to light a candle than curse the darkness’
Beautiful, isn’t it? The kids and I have talked lots recently about ideas around either being part of a problem or part of a solution. It almost sounds too binary to be valuable but it seems anyone can spot then talk about a problem. The inspiring folk who provide light and change seem to be rare in their efforts to search out solutions, too.
More info on #52and40 here.
I’ve known folk who did everything for change and, at the end of short and happy lives, died.
When change moves at a glacial pace it’s hard to know what the point is.
I think the point is to make your life a laughing one full of hopeful risks and challenged potential anyway, even if the only payback is a clear conscience.
A clear conscience is a radiant experience, after all.
Change is drip-fed right up till the millisecond the damn breaks against the pressure.
Maybe change is closer than we know.
What’s all this #52and40 malarky anyway? Read all about it here.
It strikes me that not knowing how to do something is not a good enough reason for not trying to do it. Lots of people don’t like that fact, if you state it as your reality.
We like to believe that there are things we can do and things we can’t do. Our minds like to trick us into thinking that if we just stick to the things that we can do then we’ll be safe and everything will be easy. Yet, when we stick to safe and easy we usually just end up a bit bored and predictable; pink turns to beige and joy turns down its volume to a lightly sighing contentment.
Our minds do us a disservice, quite a lot of the time. We live in a society that promotes ideas of fear as if they were oxygen. Our western stream of consciousness screams self-esteem and yet largely still belittles people with the audacity to value themselves. Our conditioned thoughts place limits on us and shut doors to rooms we can’t imagine ever entering, because we’ve told ourselves they’re not for us to see or enjoy and that they’re for someone more suitable.
Then you hear a story about someone who just stepped into a room that they’d previously cordoned off and how they started making their way, tiny step by step, across the carpet to the window. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear a person like that tell the story of enjoying an entirely new view and then looking back into the hallway with a reborn perspective on their life and how they frame ideas. These people then start to say things that are borne from possibilities rather than fear. Maybe one day they’ll run a 10k, or go to China and take photos of old men in old villages wearing old hats, or cook a full traditional Turkish meal, or swim in the sea.
Some people who hear the maybes will think the person they’re listening to has gone mad.
Other people will see or hear something that tells them the other person has never been more sane. The person who’s travelled from one way of thinking to another knows that they’ve poked a hole through the matrix and seen reality without the limiting filter on.
And that they can’t go back to where they were.