Tag Archives: resilience

The world is in good hands….

Woke up this morning feeling wearied, and weighted, by the woes of the big world and of my little domestic world. On the home front, there was the minor despair of realising that the repair work on my bathroom had stalled yet again. On the international front, there was the sadness of remembering that today, 6 August, is Hiroshima Day. And to make the 68th anniversary of that dreadful day even more distressing, there was the news of further problems at the Fukushima nuclear power station; namely that radioactive water has been leaking in to the sea. http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/9006381/Radioactive-water-emergency-at-Fukushima

What next, I woe..ed to myself. Some port wine, or gin, to fortify my spirits, as recommended to our women folk in years long gone by.  Not quite the tonic at 10 in the morning, I decided, but   only  just. Also I didn’t have any  in the store cupboard :). So, what next? Well,  what came next was exactly the tonic I needed. It was a television interview with our New Zealand Wonder Woman, Helen Clark.  Helen Clark used to be our Prime Minister. She was the first woman in New Zealand to be elected Prime Minister http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Clark  Her government was defeated in 2008, and Helen, looking weary and disheartened ( at least, I thought so), resigned from politics.  In 2009, she was appointed head of the United Nations Development Programme; she is the first woman to hold that position. And, she has recently been appointed for a second, four-year term. According to Forbes, this makes our Helen the 21st most powerful woman in the world and a possible candidate for the first female United Nations Secretary General.

But it’s not Helen’s power, or her ‘firsts’ for women, that inspire me the most. It is her compassion, her love of her family, her hard work and her wonderful intelligence.  Oh…and her skiing and mountain climbing prowess  are impressive, too. It was a joy to hear her talk this morning about the importance of bringing hope and resilience to places like Haiti and Niger. She is obviously challenged and energised by the problems of the world; tackling them with intelligence and common sense and profound understanding. She has found her feet on the international stage and she is thriving again. Helen,  good Helen, I thought, if the world is in your hands, we have hope.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Helen_Clark_UNDP_2010.jpg(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Helen_Clark_UNDP_2010.jpg)

Hopefully, this link to the interview will work for those of you who are interested and live outside New Zealand.

http://tvnz.co.nz/good-morning/extra-helen-clark-video-5527781

http://www.odt.co.nz/entertainment/books/267242/academic-addresses-well-worth-effort

And, if there is hope for the world, there is hope for my bathroom. A minor problem, for sure, but vexing all the same. I have a feeling that Helen, being the good Kiwi lass she is, would have got stuck in with paint and plaster and fixed the problem herself by now.

© silkannthreades

Garden in my Pocket

Most likely, the saying “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket” is well known to many. But I heard it for the first time this morning and fell in love with it immediately. The Garden in my Pocket at the moment is a magazine rather than a book. I am reading Oxford Today, (Michaelmas Term 2012) – Volume 25 No 1. The front cover features an elegant portrait of the remarkable Aung San Suu Kyi.  The caption reads, “Resilient in the Face of Adversity”. I like that; resilient in the face of adversity. And always with a flower or two in her hair.  That, perhaps, more than anything, during all her years of struggle, impressed her resilience and strength upon me. Imagine, being in the worst of circumstances and still remembering to put a flower in your hair and look serene. ♥

Other little seedlings now planted in my pocket garden thanks to  the magazine:

I discovered Cornelia Sorabji, India’s first female barrister, (Somerville 1895) and one of many  famous Indian Oxonians;

And I learned about  Zuleika Dobson

and that the Oxford University Press provided the type for the text of the first Bhutanese passports. Apparently the OUP had a beautiful and elegant handset Tibetan type that was perfect  for the job. The magazine article describes it like “aubretia tumbling over a Cotswald wall”.  A type like tumbling aubretia; glorious description and what a beautiful type to have in a passport.

Small question? Does aubretia (or more correctly ’Aubrieta’) grow in Bhutan?  Possibly?

Another question; have you ever wondered what it might be like to have a real garden in your pocket? Try putting a sprig of rosemary, or lavender, or a rose, or all three in your pocket. For the sake of the washer-person in your life, don’t include any mud, caterpillars, slugs or aphids.