Happy New Year! After the surprising turmoil of 2016, I spent some time today thinking about which coping mechanisms will help me face whatever 2017 may bring. A good deal of this revolved around listening repeatedly to the poet Jon Bon Jovi’s rousing message of hope, Keep the Faith, until I realized I needed to vary my tactics. Naturally, I raided the bookshelves for inspiration.
I found Leonard (husband of Virginia) Woolf’s collection of ‘comforting thoughts for every day in the year’ and thought it might include some daily mantras to help me maintain a positive outlook. Published 50 years ago by the famous Hogarth Press, this selection of literary/proverbial/biblical/etc quotes is supposed to comfort us in our quotidian worries.
Oh Leonard. How is the following to help me:
Our life is short and tedious,and in the death of a man is no remedy: neither was there any man knowen to have returned from the grave. ( Apocrypha: Wisdom of Solomon)
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable/Seem to me all the uses of this world! (Shakespeare: Hamlet)
There is no state in Europe where the least wise have not governed the most wise. (Walter Savage Landor: Rousseau and Malesherbes)
Ok, so there are some funny bits (St Augustine’s Confessions: ‘Important people call their amusements business’) and some wise bits (Samuel Butler’s Notebooks:’From a worldly point of view there is no mistake so great as that of being always right’) but I would consider Woolf’s anthology an intriguing miscellany of peculiar quotes, rather than something that is going to get me through the next 364 days.
So I’m going back to Bon Jovi. Keep the Faith everyone and, as the man with the girly haircut says, don’t let your love turn to hate. Thank you for supporting my blog in 2016, and good luck for 2017.
(thank you YouTube for the gift of Bon Jovi)