On Finding Clarity

I stood in the middle of a chamomile field wondering why there were flies all over my flowers. Then it occurred that every living thing has a role to play in the ecosystem. Flies have always been here, and going about their business of either feeding on the plant or helping pollinate the flowers.

I’ve always associated flowers with bees and butterflies; beautiful things. On the other end, flies conjure up images of pests, dirt and rot; ugly things. As I looked at this combination of flowers and flies I realized I had two choices, to either let flies be or clean up plant debris around the flowers.

It’s been a very busy first half of the year, for me. On top of the upset caused by the pandemic and workload, I also had this persistent sense of unease; a vague dissatisfaction I couldn’t pinpoint as I pretty much enjoyed things I was doing.

Unhurried in the countryside, I had all the time to observe, think and investigate all different kinds of flies; their movements, behaviour and intentions. One of great interest is a crane fly. I learned that even though an adult fly is harmless, larva on the other hand can stunt growth or kill a plant as they feed on the roots. With that came clarity!

Writing Fury

Writing on fire or writing when everything is on fire is difficult. I’ve been silent on current events not because I suffer from amnesia but because I have so much to say. But one thing I know from experience is that writing from a place of anger is never a good thing, for me. What has been happening in the US provokes. And each time it happens I think, will this ever end; the discrimination, victimization, injustice…

“Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done.” ~ Toni Morrison

I’ve been asking myself how does a writer respond to this moment in history. And Jericho Brown challenges in his poem, Thrive, “You don’t get to be a poet without publicly asking questions that people say it’s rude to answer in public.”

Like most, who know too well about the injustices of racism, I don’t have the luxury to be silent or look the other way. Yet my intention is not to deliver solidarity on hot coals nor do I want to tiptoe around certain topics in an attempt to write cheerfully and agreeably, while the world is ailing. Mind you, we’re still battling a pandemic!

“It’s a clear manifestation of the suppressed anger and sadness we’re told to get over and stop harboring.” ~ KE Garland

Some of my American friends (black and white) I’d recently spoken to want justice, peace and acceptance of one another. I want all these things and more for you, and with you. As you might have witnessed protests around the world, all those against racism stand with you. Please take comfort in that.

Of course, I’ve been reading and inspired by how other writers are responding to these events. To name but a few, here are some writers that inspire:

So, on that note, I feel it’s the right time to take a blogging break and as I normally do every summer. I’ll be concentrating on writing and reading.

Be well, be safe and see you in August! 

My Summer Reads, 2020

You must go on a long journey before you can really find out how wonderful home is. ~ Tove Jansson

I’ve just realised that it’s a little over a week before summer officially starts. Where did the time go?

It’s been so tempting to skip the whole summer reading challenge thing, this year. Haven’t we been challenged enough already with this lock-down! But what can a reader do during a holiday, if not reading? So, I’m forging ahead and also invite anyone who’s up for reading to join me. Reading is a shared experience.

On being a tourist in my own city, Tampere

What is my criteria this year? As I shared in the previous post, travel is one of my interests. When I’m not travelling, I’m reminiscing about the last trip or planning the next. But for reasons we all know travel has been cancelled.

Instead I’m planning to embark on an arm-chair travel with some travelogue, memoir as well as fiction with a strong sense of place in order to satisfy my wanderlust.

I’m setting my goal low as I’ll also be catching up on creative writing, this summer. So, here is my pick:

Bryson is one of my favourite travel writers. He is just hilarious and a pleasure to read! I’ve read quite a number of his books but not this one set in Australia.

It’s been sitting too long on my TBR. It’s time…

I think London’s sexy because it’s so full of eccentrics. – Rachel Weisz

Lisbon is one of the top 5 cities I’d like to visit soon. And Portuguese is one of the languages I’m interested in learning.

Below are two additional books I had already planned to read, and have nothing to do with travel:

A Poetry Book

This a second book in the series, and part of an autobiographical project by this writer. The Guardian claims the book is “not so much a memoir as an eloquent manifesto for what Levy calls “a new way of living.”

Are you reading this summer? How are you choosing your reads? Please do share!

Wishing you a lovely weekend! 🙂