- Introducing the Website
- Worth and Worthiness
- Sheffield University and AGD
Friday, 17 August 2012
New Website Is Out
Here, to start us all off, is an Angel in her bath.
I aim to write this blog every Friday. Today, Friday, I am putting my money where my mouth it, I am both talk and trousers, and here is this week's account. Today I will cover the following -
As of now, it is live and it is very very simple. Here it is -
When I asked Neill to do it for me, I wanted the minimum of fuss and so, this is what he has done. I would appreciate feedback, which you can do on firstname.lastname@example.org. I think that is the website covered. I am carefully not leading you and in a court of law, I would be said to be Impartial.
Worth and Worthiness
Watching Russell Brand's TV programme last night on drug addiction, I wondered not only at his worthiness, but the worthiness of all the people in the programme. I was struck with how some people are publicly worthy, and some are not. Are they all still worthy? I expect so. And then, I thought, am I worthy? Are the people I know worthy and if they are, what are they worthy for?
Russell Brand was definitely worthy last night. He produced a programme supporting his views on total abstinence for the treatment of drug users. He was passionate and visual and famous and as a reformed (but not cured, one day at a time, he said) drug addict, he knew exactly what he was talking about. We were briefly introduced to Chip Somers, the Chief Executive of Focus21, a charity that puts drug users through the total abstinence programme, we briefly met Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett Divisional Commander of Brighton and Hove, and also briefly, we met Mike Pattinson of CRI, a charity aimed at rehabilitating drug users in Brighton. None of these fellows were visual and famous, but they were passionate. Their focus was amongst the dirt, danger and thanklessness of addiction.
I was struck by the worthiness of Chip, Graham and Mike. Goodness me, they began and run charities dealing with drug addicts! Chip was a drug addict and now he spends his time getting on with running his charity to help hundreds of other drug addicts, having created and organised it from the bottom up. And then running it so that it works. How blinking difficult must that have been? How on earth did he do it? He was a drug addict for, did he say, 27 years? He has now a clinic, a system, a philosophy and lots and lots of dreadful druggy clients who he will, if they let him, help. He doesn't seem to be motivated by fame or fortune. He is motivated by something that isn't about what he looks like, nor what is said about him, he just gets on with the job. Same with Graham who as a police officer, locks up druggies. He didn't think that helped, and is involved with Mike who runs another very community based and humanitarian charity aiming to rehabilitate drug users. And succeeding. They both want to help, and so they do help. They do Big Worthiness. So do other people who run charities to help, people who go out of their way to make a difference. There is big worthiness in the hospice and Age UK where I volunteer. Lots of it. All that worthiness chugging along, and no one is famous for it. Russell Brand is famous, Chip, Graham and Mike are not. Nor are lots of other people doing worthy things. I love how they do the hard stuff though. I was terribly impressed by the dedication to making a difference. Russell? He is also addicted, I think, to himself, but if he does make a difference for the good, then Fab. Have a Worthiness Badge and wear it with pride.
And then I thought about little worthiness. Do little acts of worthiness have to be planned? Can you do them on a kind of running tab? For your act to be worthy, it has to be of worth. Otherwise it is not worthy, and if it is the opposite and harmful, then it is unworthy. Am I worthy? Does my work, my life, do my actions offer worth? I thought, I hope so. Those I work with and for, and all of my friends, we try to be worthy. But we have to work at it and keep paying attention. We all want to make a difference, and we have to remember that in order to make a difference, the focus is not upon us, it is upon the people we are working with. That is quite hard because I would love for a few of the Sussex Beacons to be lit on the Sussex Downs every time I am really worthy, and for people to say to each other, there go the Sussex Beacons. That Antonia Rolls has been awfully worthy again. Time for another statue in another Sussex town square, bless her heart.
AGD and Sheffield University
A year ago, thanks to my dear other half, Alan, whose first degree came from Sheffield University, the University and I agreed to do an A Graceful Death exhibition with attendant seminars, workshops, talks and stuff from Sheffield University on the end of life. We thought November 2012 was a good time to do it, but as the time approaches, we have all begun to mumble into our cups of tea and shuffle about saying ooh well, I can ask so and so what they think, and, run it by me again? So, armed with passion and worthiness, stoked and inspired by discussions with dear friends trained in the art of kicking me gently and lovingly up the bum, I suggested to the University that we combine forces for the Dying Matters Awareness week in May 2013 instead of this November 2012. It would mean working with Sheffield University and all of the faculties and academics interested in end of life matters. So far, the University has said they like the idea, and will talk more together, and get back to me. In the meantime, I will continue with the two paintings I am doing for the exhibition, and the new essay I have on death from the remarkable, brilliant and eccentric author Olivia Fane. So when Sheffield University call me to say, we have hired the London Philharmonic Orchestra to play at your opening night, I will say I too have been busy! You now have not 45 items to display, but 48! A Graceful Death, like Topsy, has grown! Bring it on, Sheffield University, bring it on.
My friend Fern, who is a witch, taught me Reiki I. I love Fern. She is a witch, yes, a spiritual, loving, worthy, peaceful, nature loving witch, who doesn't do spells. Fern is a Soul Midwife and would hearten any dying person's heart with her kindness and love. This Reiki business is a turn around for me. I always steered clear of it thinking it was for people who thought Disney films were documentaries until I met Fern. Nonsense, she said, let me explain. Oh all right I said thinking, the Little Mermaid is not real, Dumbo doesn't exist Fern, help, someone...
I did my first introduction in April. Fern said I should only practice on myself and other family and friends, don't do strangers and those you don't know well. Reiki is a form of healing developed in Japan in 1922; the healing energy comes through the palms of the hands which are placed directly on the body or held just above. Fern was right! I felt brilliant after my first introduction, and thought Wow! I'm a healer! I chased 15 year old son around the house that first day, aiming to do a full body healing session on him and eventually caught him. Lie down! I said, I am going to heal you. He gave in clutching a crisp five pound note and I healed him. He slept for 2 days after that and I thought, this is brilliant. I can Reiki my household into oblivion, but then I had to go to bed too with the effort. Fern told me that I had overdone it, and to only do a bit now and again, and that in 5 months time I would be ready to do my Reiki II. The thing is, there is something to it. I Reiki'd my partner Alan's knees on the dance floor at his son's wedding so that he could dance, and it worked. In September I will do Reiki II with Fern, and then I will come up behind you and Reiki you just when you think you are safe.
And Furthermore ...
To end now, here is a painting of Lord and Lady Cadogan, standing in front of the huge stained glass window that they paid for to renovate, in Holy Trinity Church in Sloane Square. Here they stand with Jesus, two of their dogs and a favourite bar of chocolate by the altar. In order to fit it all in, I have re designed the altar area a bit, so don't be too confused when you go into the church and find out that it is not the same as the painting. If you are too affected by it, you can always call me and I will Reiki you into oblivion and then none of it will matter.
Until next Friday then. Be good. And Worthy.