Trust the Magic of Beginnings

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” 
Meister Eckhart


The Reading Chair

The Reading Chair

I have always believed that on New Year’s Day, I must do something that I have never done before.  Beginnings have a mystical energy that motivate me to set aside whatever I am doing to consider a different path or a specific challenge.

This year was no different.

In the early hours of January 1, 2015, I learned how to borrow e-books from the Vancouver Public Library.  While it may seem rather obvious to the tech savvy, this was no ordinary task, especially since I wanted to link the download to my computer, iPhone and iPad.  I was on my own.  The library doors were closed for New Years.  I am now the proud recipient of two library books.  The best news is that I will never have a late library book.  It seems that on the last day, the book vanishes from my bookshelf.  Imagine!

I find that the thrill of success encourages a spirit of recklessness, as I soon found out when I stopped by Reading Interrupted a few minutes later and committed to reading Dante Alighieri this year.  Here is my rash statement:  “Gulp!! I am going to take on a huge challenge! “Remember tonight…for it is the beginning of always.” Dante Alighieri.  My Italian is rudimentary but nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

When I say my Italian is rudimentary, I mean basic level!!

And yet, I think I will take Meister Eckhart’s advice and “trust the magic of beginnings.”



New Years with Ford Madox Ford

A Paris Rose

Gertrude Stein came up with the expression:The Lost Generation, after she encountered a young car attendant who failed to impress her with his mechanic skills. The garage owner confided  that young men were easy to train, compared with those in their mid-twenties to thirties who had served in WWI.  He called them the lost generation – une génération perdue.  Ernest Hemingway popularized the term in his novel “The Sun Also Rises” and gives credit to Gertrude Stein.  It came to refer to a cohort that came of age during WWI and included distinguished artists such as Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, T.S. Eliot, John Dos Passos, Waldo Pierce, Isadora Duncan, Alan Seeger, Erich Maria Remarque and Ford Madox Ford.

Born in 1873, Ford Madox Ford was a prominent English novelist and editor. At the start of WWI, he worked with the British War Propaganda Bureau, writing two propaganda books.  On July 30, 1915, at the age of 41, he joined the Welch Regiment and was sent to France.  This decision marked the end of his cooperation with the British propaganda machine and changed the direction of his literary endeavours.

As I look forward to a new year, I am inspired by Ford Madox Ford.  When confronted with the reality of conflict, he chose a different path – the truth.  May we remember his courage as we move forward… Continue reading