New for 2020 – Podcasts!
From January 2020 I’m recording each post as a podcast, in addition to the written version which you can continue to read as usual. I’m also gradually adding selected posts from the archive (going back to 2009) as podcasts. Click here or on the Podcasts tab in the navigation bar.
This blogThis blog is called A Few Kind Words because the word kindness originally meant being kin, or kindred, or of the same kind. And since we are all humankind, we should remember to be kinder to one another when we communicate. The alternative is to be unkind, to use language which fails to connect or even alienates. The choice isn't hard.
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My visitation by Tycho Brahe last week seemed to strike a chord. Many people responded with suggestions as to what I should do or think – and I’m grateful to you all.
Among other things I was recommended to do ten minutes’ automatic (stream of consciousness) writing about him; to rejoice at the beneficence of the universe and welcome wild imaginings (a little difficult right now, given what has since overtaken the poor, poor Japanese, let alone the Bahrainis and Libyans – what is happening in the world?); to peruse a long list of anagrams of his name; to take dinner at the Brahehus which appears to be a derelict Swedish castle; to spare a thought for an old friend who is currently bound for Svalbard to act in a movie; to buy a tychobrahe effects pedal for an electric guitar; to investigate the lunar crater named after him; and to start keeping a dwarf. Personally, I’d prefer an elk.
But the best response of all began like this: “Have I ever told you that taking five minutes away from work to read your blog is one of my favourite things about Friday? I don’t think I have. But it’s true.” You have now. Thank you, Roshni Goyate, poet.
This, of course, is one of the main reasons I write it, or rather keep writing it, when sometimes on a Thursday afternoon it feels like the very last thing I have the energy or inclination for. But I’ve kept it going now for slightly over eighteen months. Last week’s was the seventy-fifth post, and make of that what you will, oh ye Brahephiles. Anyway, I carry on partly because of the writer’s compulsion to write; partly because of some kind of work ethic that seems to have attached itself to this particular activity – or maybe it’s nothing more complicated than a rhythm. Whatever it is, it makes me feel peculiar at the thought of defaulting for even a week.
I also write it because it helps me to clarify my own thoughts about things. As EM Forster so memorably said: “How can I know what I think till I see what say?” And then, of course, I write to be read. What writer doesn’t? I’ve kept all the responses and comments I’ve received since starting the blog. Today in my ‘blog’ email folder there happen to be 666 of them (and if Tycho being the seventy-fifth post tickled your fancy, stick that in your bong and smoke it). But presentiments of The Beast apart, knowing that what I say has meaning for others completes the circle in the most satisfying way.
So please, dear readers, keep on commenting and emailing. I know that becoming a follower confers no special privileges, and can be a little technologically challenging, but apparently it makes the search engines happy. Simply passing on the link to your friends is enough to make me happy. With apologies to René Descartes and Latin scholars everywhere, it looks increasingly as if blogito ergo sum.