Friday, December 3, 2010

Graduating high

Such an enjoyable day and so great to see the undergraduates getting their certificates and graduating. Such a nice group and such fun. It was lovely to be there and to share in their joy. I felt quite emotional seeing all of them recieve their just rewards for so much hard work and I wish them all nothing but the greatest luck in life and much success. This is such a fine job to have, not just for the joy of always learning new things and things which interest me but the joy of working with such great young people with such energy and promise. There is no finer job. Seeing those former students take to the stage I was thinking we really must have a better organised graduation in the future so that we have some type of get together, drinks and the like because they deserve no less after all that hard work. Great students and I wish them all great luck.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This too shall pass

Graduation has passed like all things. I now look forward to the BA graduation which I will sponsor and then Christmas. But everything does pass and embracing that reality is all we can do to try and stop it crushing us.

'This too shall pass ... The phrase appears in the works of Persian Sufi poets, such as Sanai and Attar of Nishapur. Attar records the fable of a powerful king who asks assembled wise men to create a ring that will make him happy when he is sad, and vice versa. After deliberation the sages hand him a simple ring with the words "This too will pass" etched on it, which has the desired effect.'

Our only defence, I feel, is the inner smile and the fact that you can always find things to marvel at. This morning, walking out of the airport after saying bye to Sis, the air cold, the car park deserted, all of us sad I then looked at that amazing tree growing near the entrance to the tunnel leading to Burger King and thought, what an amazing tree, so solid, so beautiful, living in that spot. And the smile came back. It really is an amazingly beautiful tree.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


'If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools'
Rudyard Kipling's classic poem is repleat with wisdom and resonates two days after graduation. The speech I gave at graduation tried to be balanced and non political but the L-Orizzont decided to completely misquote what I said. Luckily they also gave me a different name .... Howard! How can you have a relatively simple job and still do a terrible job in a simple job? They didn't even understand the basic English used and created a meaning from my speech which defies understanding. It makes you despair about local journalism.
On a positive note, graduation was fun and a great experience ... made special by family and friends.

Monday, November 15, 2010

breathing easy

A very interesting weekend. Managed to meet a Quaker visiting the Island and so nice to discuss issues like the inner light and emotional growth in the context of Quakerism. Raised a Catholic, the amazing thing for me is trying to see the world from a more emotional perspective and to be less distant from myself ... it is so amazing to realise, at my age, just how distant I can be on the inside from myself and I feel an amazing opportunity for self discovery ... how silly people are when they state that they do not believe in God or anything when we do not even fully realise the mystery within us, this small frame of blood and bones, let alone the whole of creation. After, a lovely lunch with a dear friend, tea and scones, and again, another chance to marvel at the beauty of life in just talking to people, partner and friends and to embrace how wonderful the human spirit can be ... and now with Sis arriving and graduation on Friday ... I believe I am waking from my post-PhD break and am ready to engage with the world again ... mad but honest and thats the best I can do.