love

EVERYONE BRAVE IF FORGIVEN

Today I am inspired by the beautiful novel Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave.

Bravery during WWII London and Malta is central to this novel. The language in which the novel is written is beautiful and engaging. The characters are likable and believable.

If we are brave can we be forgiven for the decisions we make? War certainly effects people in different ways. Some can chose to conduct their lives as normally as possible. Others go out on a limb to serve their country, not just on the battle front but on the home front.

One of the main characters of this book, Mary North, served at home. Firstly as a teacher and then as an ambulance driver. Both occupations were ‘below’ her social standing and both were brave. Can her family forgive her for this bravery of service?

I like Mary. Not only did she show bravery but also niavety, vulnerability and compassion. Her story was inspiring.

The other main characters of the book are her friend Hilda, her love interests Tom and Alistair and the young negro boy whom she befriends Zachary.

I particularly found young Zachary inspiring. He starts off as a shy, weak young boy confused and lacking confidence and ends as a strong young man. Sorry but that is all I can say without giving too much away about him and the subplots that involves him. But let’s say that he and Mary have a very special bond.

One of the most inspiring quotes from the novel is : “It was simply a peculiarity of the British that they should be stoical about two hundred and fifty nights of bombing, while the sight of her with a negro child offended their sensibilities unbearably.”

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Sam’s letter to Jennifer

Today I am inspired by the lovely book Sam’s Letters to Jennifer. I finished reading this easy to read book on the weekend. It is written by James Patterson, who is better known for his crime stories than love stories, but he does not disappoint with this book.

Sam is Jennifer’s grandmother. She is unwell so Jennifer returns to the small village where she resides to be by her side.

The letters she has left for Jennifer to read are inspiring. They are letters revealing a deep secret. They are letters of hope. They are letters with lessons for Jennifer.

Jennifer is also an inspiring character. It was inspiring to experience the depth of love she has for her grandmother and it was inspiring to see her let go of the past and live the moments she was experiencing now. To fall in love again was a huge step for Jennifer but a rewarding one.

The two love stories, Jennifer’s happening in the book and Sam’s revealed through her letters, are beautiful love stories and give inspiration to anyone who needs to be inspired to fall in love and be true to one self.

 

 

Friendships

Today I am inspired by friendships. One of the most valuable things in my life are my family and my friends.

I am inspired by the love and warm feelings felt by the friends that are in my life daily. The bond.

I am inspired by the connections with friends whom you may not see very often but when you do there is no awkwardness. It is comfortable, as if  we are frequently in each other’s company.

I am inspired by those who I barely know but welcome me with open arms.

All of these frienship types I have experienced this week. Today I am grateful I have experienced them and confident that I will again.

Talking on the phone with life long friends. Sharing our joys and concerns.

A text message out of the blue from a dear  friend telling me she is having surgery. That she was unsure about sharing it but then knew she should.

Lunch with friends we haven’t see for two years. Greeting each other with a hug. Chatting, sharing stories of our girls, sharing food and wine. Promising not to leave it two years before our next get together.

Friends whom I have an online connection with, who are connected through our admiration for one rock star. Friends who I have meet in person just one other time, welcoming me with a smile, introducing me to others, dancing and singing together in a night to celebrate the life and music of our idol.

There are strong friendships, there are frienships based on a common interest. There are life long friendships and friendships that hang around for a season or a reason. Friendships change with time. Some disappear, some become stronger, others static.

To me friendships are not just inspirational but necessary. They bring joy, love, support and learnings into my life.

Friends; a valuable aspect of my who I am.

 

Here Comes The Sun

Today I am inspired by Jeremy Oxley and Mary Oxley Griffiths and their book “Here comes the sun”. Jeremy Oxley is the lead singer of Australian rock group The Sunnyboys. Mary is his wife. In the 1980’s at the age of 22, Jeremy was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He went through some harrowing experiences with the mental health services and of course his own mental health.

Mary had been widowed for 5 years, working as a nurse when she met Jeremy. With the encouragement of her twin boys Mary pursued a relationship with Jeremy after she had discovered he was unwell.

I am inspired by her strength, her dedication, her patience and love to help Jeremy believe in himself again and eventually be confident enough to take to the stage again.

I am inspired by his strength, his resilience and his honesty.

The book is well written. If you are a fan of The Sunnyboys you will find it inspiring and interesting. If you are interested in mental health issues you will find it inspiring and interesting. If you believe in the power of love, patience and resilience you will enjoy this book.

9/11 Memorial New York City

Just under two weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City and it was a privilege. The 9/11 memorial and museum are a stark reminder of that terrible day that I don’t believe any of us will forget. It is also an inspirational memorial to those who survived, those who fought to help the injured and those who strove to make sure nobody forgets what happened on that day. The voices, the videos, the damaged items that were retrieved are there in this museum in the most respectful way. The visitors are respectful. Everyone seemed to look in silence or speak in a whisper. Everyone was taking themselves back to the moment they realised what had happened. No matter if you were in NYC or on the other side of the world, we all remember where we were, what we were doing when we heard the news. We all remember our shock, our fear and disbelief. This memorial and museum remind us of those feelings but also of the strength, the resilience and the love of New Yorkers.

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ONCE

What inspires me today is the musical ONCE.

The story and the music are inspirational. I left the theater with a warm feeling in my heart.

A young Irishman who writes beautiful songs is on the brink of giving the music away when he meets a beautiful Czech girl who inspires him to not only finish his songs but record them.

This is not an ordinary musical. The cast do not  break into a song for the sake of a song. The songs are not corny and cheesy. The songs are a character in the story. The songs are just as important as the characters and plot. The songs are beautiful. The songs are inspiring.

 

The Christmas Story

Can you believe that it is one month until Christmas? Wow where has the year gone? Today I am inspired by the Christmas story and the real meaning of Christmas. A message of unconditional love, peace, hope and the birth of Jesus Christ.

The commercial aspect of Christmas that yells “buy me”, “spend more dollars”, “the latest and the greatest will make your loved ones happy” is uninspiring. God gave us a baby. He did not spend money, it was not grand. The baby was born in a stable, in a cradle of hay. Not a golden crib full of money. His birth gave us hope, love and light. That is inspiring.

Don’t get me wrong I love the decorations, I love the lights but do they need to be on display in October and pulled down on Boxing Day? I would love to visit London at Christmas time and see the beautiful lights and decorations of Oxford street. They look magical. They look inspiring lit up against the winter sky. I have been fortunate enough to see the Christmas decorations on Orchard Rd Singapore. They make you feel alive, they bring excitement and anticipation into our lives, just as the birth of Jesus Christ did.

This Christmas I challenge you to be inspired by the real meaning of Christmas. Even if you are not a Christian I inspire you to take a breath and think about the meaning of Christmas.  Give with love, give with meaning.

Beauty and The Beast

Beauty and The Beast is an inspirational story that reminds us that what in in the heart is more beautiful than what is on the face! That love is more beautiful than egos.

Belle, a beautiful, intelligent girl, falls in love with a beast. She sees beyond the giant, beastly creature. In his eyes she can see his kind heart. Through her dedication and unconditional love for her father the Beast sees love and learns to love again.

Gaston, an egotistical handsome man wants to marry Belle, not because he loves her but because she can further boost his ego with her beauty. Gaston reminds us that one can be good looking on the outside but if there is no goodness in the heart then we can be uglier than the ugliest of beasts who have love to give.

The beast reminds us that one can be ugly on the outside but beautiful internally. When we open our hearts to others, when we allow ourselves to be loved we can love in return and the beauty of our love will soon erase any existing ugliness.