New Years Day 2018 – about ‘nothing’

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Up late ” gosh, is that the time!” Off to Sainsbury’s to buy another bottle of champagne but apart from that did nothing much except watch TV and cook a huge lunch of which we managed to consume about 30%. Our Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Marcus Welby gave a very down-to-earth talk about caring for people, focusing on the recent disasters of the past year, and reminded us that the founder of Christianity cares for us all unconditionally on a 24/7 basis. Well, he didn’t quite use those words, but that was the gist. I was impressed by his greeting of emergency workers using their first name and of them feeling comfortable enough to treat him as a normal human being. The Archbishop worked in the oil industry for some time and I feel this gives him a really good practical basis for dealing with people.

I never really switch off work such as ideas and business which needs to be done (well not really but I like to get things out of the way) and made arrangements for a gardening job tomorrow but apart from that I was in first gear. My thoughts tend to turn towards holidays and in this connection there was an interesting article in the paper about not where we should go but what sort of experience we wanted.

My contention is that we have only processed about 1% of the knowledge and experience that we have attained over the last span of time and that the best way of processing conversation and ideas is threefold. First, by being on our own and meditating about something. Secondly by talking to people who will actually listen, could be part of an affinity group, and thirdly by writing a book or diary.

A diary of any sort can be experienced in three parts. The first time, you discipline yourself to contemplate what has happened and give it shape and form, secondly you write down the whole event with observations. This acts as a very good end of day routine, and thirdly you can read it weeks and months or years later and review your experience in retrospect. Curiously, since I started writing on February 1 last year the amount of ups and downs of emotions I have experienced have been remarkably dampened down to almost nothing.

To put it another way knowing that I’m going to write to my experiences at the end of the day is enormously stabilising partly because I’m not writing only for myself but those who might read it as well and who knows benefit in some way. I have my regulars throughout the world who read every page, and others who log in from time to time, and yet more who flip through a page or so and then disappear into the ether from whence they came.

One thing that is interesting, there is never ‘nothing’ to write about. Even “nothing” contains a lot of elements. If anyone is interested in the idea of a New Year’s resolution, why not attempt to write a diary. Mine is quite a sophisticated version I grant you but to start with why not get a simple blank note book or open a new WORD file and jot down a few sentences as they come into your mind. The chances are that having written two sentences, you will want to write more and then more. The brain loves to work.

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