Quest2016 Penetrating Deeper.

The Self Searching Odyssey.

Debbie Millman’s Prompt on 5th December.

Your Quest2016 Prompt today:

How would you do business as unusual in 2016 if you knew – no matter what you chose – you would not fail?

Superficially this seemed easier but in attempting to answer it I recognised it might have eliminated my answer to Prompt No 2. Would I spend a year cozying up to Shakespeare by writing a play that might help me to understand his genius? That now seems entirely selfish. And safe.


What today’s prompt elicited was the full confession ( to myself) of my terror in joining a group. #Quest2016 has been the first toe in the group waters. I tasted my fear of other people. I identified its roots in a lifetime of rejection from my father ( before I was two) and ever since, culminating in my daughters, now adult. I am terrified of other people. I have sheltered behind solitude, and having powerful ideas. Ideas rejected equally ( which made them precious friends, we suffered together!). Only ideas have kept me going; writing them has filled my years, reading them has comforted me. The very few who celebrated them are my only friends. I know no others.

Suddenly I feel stripped naked, and very vulnerable. (Old women naked probably all do!) I suspect that I need to discover whether that life might have been different, if I had been available to be liked, instead of retreating behind what I created. I know a fair bit about love; love of music, love of language, love of understanding, nothing about liked. Just ordinary liking. I once knew how to laugh. I have forgotten how to do that. So I get there by starting to like myself? Then see if anyone else shares that? It might show me a whole new world, and since I am assured it cannot fail it seems even better than Shakespeare.

Philippa at46

Finding the Quest2016(ion)?

Your Quest2016 Prompt (2)today: from Jonathan Fields

You wake up to discover a knock at your door. A wealthy uncle you barely knew has passed and left you a fortune. It’s more than enough to live out your days in glorious splendor, but there is a condition. To be eligible to collect, you must commit your full-time working energies to the pursuit of an answer to a single question of your choosing for the next 12 months.

You are welcome to continue that pursuit after the year ends, for years or decades if it warrants, but you must remain fully focused on seeking the answer until the last minute of the 365th day. A minute shorter, the entire inheritance goes to your annoying and equally long lost cousin, Philly.

The Quest2016 (ion)?

Tempting though it might be to assume the position of the long lost cousin Philly and just wait ( since I already have her name and am probably equally annoying) I realise this is a very pointed challenge.
My first answer to the first prompt was to find an aim for an arrow, a true North for the next year. To understand and reapply that understanding creatively.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery to whom would I play page and study in their footsteps? (Getting out from myself, you see)

Question to be answered

Why has Shakespeare never been equalled or surpassed in four hundred years?

(He invented a language? He used the language of drama with its deep roots in Greek theatre ( Tradition) to talk to his contemporaries about everything (Invention)? He trusted himself to make poetry out of the mundane? He managed to tread a careful line between patronage and independence. He gloried in every aspect of life, and mocked its conceits. He was endlessly inventive and able to work to a deadline. He remains anonymous).

Yes I know, as role models go, very ambitious if not presumptuous. How will Shakespeare help me for a twelve month? In a guided adventure?

It brings me back to ‘The Play’s the Thing’. I have a half written play which began a dissection of failure. I am anonymous, so nearly there. Patronage I know nothing of, nor deadlines, but independence is a familiar and talking about everything comes naturally. ‘Something in particular’ is more difficult. Mocking conceit comes like breathing and gets me into trouble. In a theatre you can just drop the curtain. The poetry of the mundane must be honed so it does not end up as mundane poetry.

If playing to one’s strengths is a good idea (and at 75 makes a virtue out of a necessity) I reckon answering that question by writing a play may be no bad answer. It will cover what I know a bit about; the sound of one hand clapping.You never know, I might hear a sound of two hands clapping.  It will do to be getting on with.

(I must attribute the original idea to a very good friend Brian George. I wasn’t listening when he spoke!)



Tell Yourself? Quest 2016

Life’s Odyssey.

( I have posted on this site which is all about the human odyssey, but derived from my small recapitulation of it.)

I have pledged to take myself to task with ‘Tracking Wonder’. It has become an inflamed need to forge or find a clear path. Not long ago I had an amazing esoteric ‘reading’ ; not of my personality ( all too familiar!) but my soul’s path. William Meader is an extraordinary visionary, whose clarity is compelling. His astrology is not concerned with the surface, relationships, money etc but the driving influences that shape an individual life, and accounts for the repeated patterns within it.

Since I have always believed I have been ‘called out’ to interpret life differently I wanted to determine whether this was a egotistical afflatus that gave my life purpose, or was justified from another perspective, and I really did have a ‘job to do’. Three years ago I published the book that I thought was that ‘job done’. Its conspicuous ‘failure’ is not (I believe) a reflection of its quality ( it has won accolades and prizes) but perhaps a failure of discrimination. It was originally 45 years too early for an alternative science, and now its re-written form as poetic science might have been too late for the sound-bite world of twitter.

So my search is to reconcile either a life mistaken, and misapplied, with little time left to remedy OR to see the perspective entirely differently. The exhaustion might have incubated a little precious time, or brought me to the point when giving up (on that over-long journey) is true maturity?

In answer to Susan Piver’s first prompt ‘What I most need to tell myself in 2016’ I can only at this point offer this ‘To stop rehearsing what once was true, in order to listen to other voices, both inner and outer’ William Meader acknowledged that I was a compulsive pioneer in everything (Aries at a zenith with Jupiter coming up fast) but the danger of Sagittarius as an influence was a tendency to point the arrows in too many directions without taking a fixed and true aim at the most important. I want to be able to see that aim for the arrow. Then I will be able to release it! That is my hope.