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Posts from the ‘arts’ Category

6
Nov
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Subscribe to the new Blog

If you’ve already subscribed to this WordPress blog (or even if you haven’t!), you may have noticed that not a lot is happening round here…

But all is not lost. Now you can get all the new posts by signing up on MailChimp here or click on the image below. Read more »

18
Oct
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Q IS MOVING HOME!

So the revolution has taken place. But panic not. This will remain as an archive, but it won’t be updated from now on. So click on the image for the new site. Read more »

1
Oct
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Q marks the spot – Treasure Map 85 (October 2015)

Sacred Treasure

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29
Sep
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Q Combinations 7: Lewis, Fujimura and Elemental Love

It was a while back when I encountered this poem from the polymathic Lewis, that master of words and fantasies and reality. It is an astonishing poem (some suggest his greatest). Read more »

18
Sep
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Q Combinations 6: Auden and Brueghel (a bit of a cheat, this time)

So I should be upfront about this one. It’s a cheat – because I’m not the instigator of this particular combination – the poet was. And it’s one of his best-loved – although the subject matter is not cheering, it’s certainly all too real. Despite being inspired by a renaissance painting of a greek myth! Read more »

10
Sep
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Q Combinations 5: Kamienska & Wyeth and a winter hope

If the last Q combo was a chronological mismatch of artist and poet, this one is seasonal. Today’s still been pretty warm for a British September day, so it’s perhaps rather incongruous to be thinking about winter. But a dear friend and colleague, Jennifer, sent me this all too brief poem last week, and so I felt it was a perfect combo contender.
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1
Sep
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Q marks the spot – Treasure Map 84 (September 2015)

Sacred Treasure

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27
Aug
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Q Combinations 4: Donne, Chagall and a possible prayer of Jacob’s

This is a complete mismatch chronologically – but there seems an undeniable synergy here (to me at least). For Jacob (the deceiver) is the one from whom the nation is named and the one privileged with extraordinary divine encounters. Read more »

21
Aug
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 8: SOME LITERARY COMPANIONS…

William Nicholson wrote Shadowlands, the play (which became the film) inspired by C.S.Lewis’s extraordinary testimony A Grief Observed. In it, he gave Lewis this lovely line, one he never actually uttered, but may as well have done.

We read to know we’re not alone

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18
Aug
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 7: SOME TOP TIPS…

As I wrap this little sequence of ruthless self-exposure up, various omissions and oddities have occurred to me, so the easiest thing is probably to string them together in a miscellany that’s almost Pauline in its randomness (though naturally without his claims to authority). Read more »

16
Aug
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 6: SO YOU WANT TO HELP…

I’m glad. In fact, if you didn’t, I’d be quite concerned for you! But be warned. This isn’t for the faint-hearted. It will try your patience and frustrate your sympathies. You’ll definitely have days when you’ve had enough. Perhaps months. So you’ll shrug that you did everything you could but to no avail. [There are only so many hours in a day, and you’ve got your own issues.] So you’ll assume it needs someone else to take up the baton. If that’s the case, then may I make a gentle plea with you? Don’t get involved in the first place… Read more »

16
Aug
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Q Combinations 3: Thomas, Spencer and the Tangible Kingdom

So here’s the 3rd Q Combination. I don’t know how well known these two geniuses are beyond British shores – but they are true 20th Century greats. In their different ways, both articulate a deeply earthy, incarnated spirituality. Read more »

14
Aug
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 5: THE INSENSIBILITY OF FAITH…

It’s been very moving to have messages in the last few days about my black dog posts. Thank you! At least it shows that it’s been worth it. As I mentioned in the first post, I’m genuinely not motivated by the kind of confessional culture that is all around us; still less am I trying to elicit sympathy. And I’m definitely not seeking advice or support (kind though some offers have been!). It is only to help those who don’t quite have the words for this yet. But I do realise that it’s raised lots of questions for some… Read more »

13
Aug
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 4: THE END OF THE ROAD…?

So where does it all lead? Well, that’s precisely the problem. It can often feel like the road down has only one conclusion. Or perhaps terminus is the better description. Which is a terrifying thought. Not to mention taboo… Read more »

11
Aug
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 3: THE DARKENED CAVE…

I touched on the surprisingly physical reality of the black dog yesterday. It’s surprising, because, of course, depression is as much about emotional pain and scars as anything else. But here’s the really weird thing: the emotional anguish actually feels physical at times. I think I really get now why people talk about feeling heart-sick. It is a piercing constant, perhaps a little like having emotional toothache. Read more »

11
Aug
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 2: TECTONIC VULNERABILITY…

The thing about volcanoes is that they’re as immovable as mountains. Rock solid in fact. But of course that’s the deception of appearances. And in geological terms, they’re savage beasts, easily provoked to ire by invisible tectonic interference.

It probably seems a totally incongruous metaphor for the Black Dog – but probably only to those whom he’s never pursued. Because there is something so irrational, so mysterious, so dark even about so-called depression that it is as destabilising as a major geological event. Read more »

10
Aug
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 1: BEHIND THE MASK…

Poets and artists have had it. Leaders and teachers have had it. Normal and extraordinary people have had it. For all I know, even educated fleas have had it.

All kinds of stats get flung around about the black dog (1 in 4 so they say??) but who knows? What matters is not the exact numbers but how commonplace it is – and yet how extraordinarily varied. Read more »

9
Aug
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Q Combinations 2: Jyoti Art Ashram & Angelou

So here’s the 2nd Q Combination. This time much more contemporary. Maya Angelou was a truly remarkable, versatile writer, who died only last year. I’ve nowhere near read enough of her stuff, but everything I have has blown me away. Read more »

2
Aug
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Q Combinations 1: Rembrandt & Herbert

Have been thinking of different things I can do on the blog, and one of them is to offer occasional juxtapositions of creativity that warm the heart, stretch the mind, quench the soul. So here is the first: a bringing together of two masters (to whom I’ve returned more than once on Q). Read more »

1
Aug
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Q marks the spot – Treasure Map 83 (August 2015)

Sacred Treasure

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