An Echo Chambermaid

Openness is a virtue. This is our belief.

For progress to take place, for fresh ideas to flourish, for peace to reign, minds must be open. This is our creed.

The ability to look at the world from the point of view of Another is one of life’s greatest goods, so the liberal liturgical texts say.

I’m open-minded. Open to people of different colours, cultures, shapes and sizes. But open to what exactly?

Open to their right to exist? Yes.
Open to them enjoying life’s freedoms? Broadly, yes.
Open to them upending my life and ideas? If I’m honest, probably not!

The ability to look at the world from the point of view of Another is good and right. But what if I don’t like what I see?

I honestly can’t tell you when I last listened to a radio station, read a newspaper, attended a conference or festival that didn’t reinforce some idea I already held; or even made me feel surprised and vulnerable.

The ability to look at the world from the point view of Another is good and right. But do I really do it?

It feels like my daily life is one safe space. There’s very little to shock, to surprise, to disagree with. There’s hardly any room for the little Englander, the communist, the extreme liberal…

If I’m honest, I spend most days cleaning, tidying, shining and polishing my preconceived ideas like a chambermaid.

An echo chambermaid.

Why I Write and Lessons from Five Years of Blogging

This blog post is based on a talk I recently gave to a small group of people from my local church. It was part of an event we run for those in their 20s and 30s. The event is based loosely on the TED Talks format. Each speaker seeks to challenge and encourage those listening to learn something new: a practical skill or some piece of knowledge. We believe that God is Lord over all Creation therefore he doesn’t look down on bike fixing, or gardening, or even writing. In fact, he cares about these things. The big aim of my talk was to encourage my listeners to begin to take the first steps towards writing publicly. I did this by sharing some of the lessons I’ve learnt from my five years of blogging. Continue reading “Why I Write and Lessons from Five Years of Blogging”

Some interesting thoughts on what it means to be “well-read” – by Morgan Jerkins of Book Riot

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Here is an excerpt from a short article, Is Our Concept of “Well-Read” elitist by Morgan Jerkins:

“Let’s face it: we place value in certain works more than others. Not many people may have read Things Fall Apart, but they have read and will most likely praise Romeo and Juliet. Continue reading “Some interesting thoughts on what it means to be “well-read” – by Morgan Jerkins of Book Riot”

Some advice for writers, from Anne Lamott

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently finished reading the book ‘Bird By Bird’ by Anne Lamott. I’ve extracted some quotes from the book which I found interesting and helpful. Here goes:

Continue reading “Some advice for writers, from Anne Lamott”

They Say Home is Where the Heart is. But What if Your Heart is in More Than One Place?

I hopped onto my bike and started to ride. It was half past 7 in the morning but it was still very dark outside.

I pedalled enthusiastically, hoping that I would warm up quickly. Each vigorous push of the pedal only seemed to invite the cold wind my way. At this point, what I really wanted was my bed plus a nice cup of tea. But I had to quickly banish such thoughts because I wasn’t going to be getting any. “This 20 minute ride had better go quickly”, I thought. I pedalled harder. I needed to get into work on time.

Continue reading “They Say Home is Where the Heart is. But What if Your Heart is in More Than One Place?”