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Category: Story

Improving our understanding of Dementia ?

Improving our understanding of Dementia ?

  I am gathering together a small collection of books all published by Jessica Kingsley who is certainly one of the most innovative and ground-breaking publishers working in this       field. Their list covering a range of books on dementia is well worth examining.  ( www.jkp.com ) These first two books handle at first hand the experience of living with dementia People with Dementia Speak out Lucy Whitman  2015 JKP 304 pages £14.99 and Whatever the hell happened to my brain?…

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HAPPINESS AND ITS DISCONTENTS

HAPPINESS AND ITS DISCONTENTS

In our era, the idea that we should lead happy, balanced lives carries the force of an obligation: We are supposed to push aside our anxieties in order to enjoy our lives, attain peace of mind, and maximize our productivity. The cult of “positive thinking” even assures us that we can bring good things into our lives just by thinking about them… There is something quite hollow about the ideal a life unruffled by anxiety. It’s why I think that…

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Gifts and Graces

Gifts and Graces

I have come to admire the way different individuals function in their profes­sional roles. Yet finally I represent the role my way, in my person, in terms of my gifts and my graces.  These “gifts and graces,” as the Methodists put it, are not better or worse. They simply are different. Dif­ferent gifts, different graces; one role, many approaches. When I forget the obvious reality of different gifts and different graces, three images in the New Testament bring me back to…

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TELL ME WHO I AM

TELL ME WHO I AM

Stories are ways of telling others who I am.  But are there  limits to narrative? “You cannot tell me who I am, and I cannot tell you who you are. If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you? That brings us to the second problem.  Although in the end  we alone are capable of experiencing who we are, we are instinctively gifted in watching how others experience themselves.  We learn to life by living…

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Disappointment?

Disappointment?

Here is a short piece published in Fridays’ Church Times   We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.’ (Martin Luther King) One of the more disturbing pastoral conversations that rather shocked me was with parents who expressed their profound disappointment in their two children. I knew one child well and admired the other’s confidence and skill very much. We all need some space to express our fears and negativities. This memory has been stirred by recent conversations…

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The Speaker

The Speaker

The Speaker (BBC 2 14th April 2009 8 – 9pm)   What makes for a good speech? How do those of us who are tasked to speak become better (more convincing) speakers? What is a significant speech? Young people from across the country are gathered together and offered an opportunity to speak in various places. They are given the chance to offer pre – prepared pieces and then put into large arenas to speak on a variety of subjects without…

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What is a story?

What is a story?

  A narrative or story is a construct created in a suitable format (written, spoken, poetry, prose, images, song, or dance} that describes a sequence of fictional or non-fictional events. It derives from the latinverb narrare, which means “to recount” and is related to the adjective gnarus, meaning “knowing” or “skilled”. The word “story” may be used as a synonym of “narrative”, but can also be used to refer to the sequence of events described in a narrative. A narrative can also…

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Human Restlessness?

Human Restlessness?

I had a fascinating conversation with a friend last night about the whole business of staying and moving.  This is, I think, related to the restlessness which we all share in to some greater or lesser degree.  I have friends who are constantly restless – who are almost incapable of staying in one place for any length of time.  They want to move on.  Their face is always looking forwards and towards something else.  They are never plagued with looking…

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Bits of the Jigsaw

Bits of the Jigsaw

Since my sabbatical earlier this year it has been understandably quite difficult to maintain any time of regular rhythm of reading.  I am keen to want to harvest the privilege of those days spent in Washington and Chicago libraries absorbing and reflecting on narrative.   But some of this has practical implications for my work amongst older people here in Temple Balsall.  I am intrigued to know how might glimpse something of a person’s life – it’s shape and wonder. …

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What is in a story?

What is in a story?

  The rain has stopped and there are promising signs of sunshine – I rise early and have some breakfast in Starbucks which at 6 45am is too full! I share a table with a young black woman who is reading her Bible. This, I have found here, is very common. How many of you have your Bible open at this hour?  The advantage of sitting in a throng of people is that there are all kinds of things going…

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