31st December 2012

Thinking back over the past year, I can think of quite a few times and occasions when I’ve felt as if I’m talking a different and incomprehensible language to those around me. (Even though ostensibly the people present share a common native language, or supposedly a common belief or faith!)

Fortunately, for my sanity and sense of integrity, there have also been spirit-lifting times and occasions when I have been delighted to find myself heard and understood.

It is important for all of us to persist in making ourselves understood and in seeking out the people and places that make us feel at home, because there is a shared language. As the year ends, it’s time to say thank you. Thank you to friends and family for encouraging me to find the words I need to share. Thank you to the wonderful storytelling community from the Craft of Storytelling, Emerson College that I still feel warmly connected to. Thank you to the Oxford Ukuleles and fun-filled music making. Thank you to Joined-Up Singing for heart-felt community singing.


I’m currently reading and enjoying a book by the inspiring Joy Mead, and loving the way it speaks the language I’m often searching for. A Way of Knowing is about small things and little occasions, the smells, colours, sounds, the looking, perceiving, thinking, remembering of our lives and the love that makes them significant. It celebrates the wisdom of poetry, stories, and the precious silence beyond words. Here’s just one quote to share:

Perhaps we need to find new ways to gather together as human beings to honour life, to worship… Free from absolute and supernatural claims, free from destructive, harmful dogma, free from the unbelievables with which many have struggled for years, but true to poetry and story, we can maybe celebrate all of life’s moments fully and wholly and be open to words of exploration, lament and celebration that all can share...  we can move to an open place with a language of connection, shared values and shared humanity.”

So as 2013 beckons, may you find the language you need to share, and people and places to share it with.

From Dag Hammarskjöld: For all that has been – thanks. To all that will be – yes.