Showing posts from October, 2018

Chariot of the Soul - finding ways through transition

To join or not to join the continent of  'Europe' in the form of the Roman Empire resonates with Britain's current question of whether to leave or remain in the European Union. The theme in its own particular way runs through this accomplished new novel by Linda Proud, 'Chariot of the Soul'.

Togidubnus is the son of a British king and his Druid wife. It is a doleful marriage, born of the king's abduction and rape. He grows up in the light of his mother and in the shadow of his father before he is sent into exile to Rome, aged ten, as a hostage for Verica's, his father's, loyalty in pre-invasion Britain. He grows up in the home of Antonia, sister to Augustus, watchful of the unfolding family tragi-comedy that is the birth of the Empire and as a friend to Claudius who, exaggerating his infirmities, survives to become Emperor and the conqueror of Britain. Togidubnus is, also, friend and student of Seneca, Roman senator, and Stoic philosopher and one of th…

Climate: A new and regenerating story

In the week that the IPCC published its latest report on climate change accompanied by apocalyptic soundings from some and widespread apparent indifference from many especially mainstream media and politicians, I decided to read Charles Eisenstein's new book, "Climate: A New Story".

Upfront I will confess to liking Eisenstein's work and loving his 'voice' - clear, engaging, balanced with that rare quality, humility, standing among people rather than apart or above, trying to figure life out in its complexities and compromises. A place from which hard-won wisdom comes.

Let us imagine, he asks, we buckle down to tackling emissions. We accelerate the renewable energy revolution, up go the panels, the windmills, the dams. We plant trees, lots of trees. We eat less meat and tuck into all the varieties of soya cunningly disguised. Will we arrive at where we want to be?

Maybe not. The world may end up disfigured, the beauty we sought to preserve sequestered under &…

Living between worlds

You can imagine why Frank Waters, the noted author of the American South West, holds an unsettled reputation since he occupies the very place that his literature faithfully explores: the people who do not quite fit in and, thus, must find their own reconciliation with and pathway through life.

He was of native American heritage, his father was Cheyenne, his mother Caucasian and he grew up in the 'white world' yet sufficiently exposed to the indigenous to be able to move within it successfully (if not always inclusively).

Like the protagonist of his finest novel, 'The Man who Killed the Deer', he could not inhabit a native American tradition as a 'traditionalist' but neither could he slip into 'white America'. Waters own way was to seek reconciliation in a 'mystical' centering where both worlds offer something to a emergent whole. This perception was deeply influenced by his reading of Jung; thus, the intuitive, communal primordial 'Indian&#…