A Calendar of Consolation, selected by Leonard Woolf (1967)

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)

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. kirstwrites says:

    Blimey, no wonder his missus was a bit gloomy! I too find a lot of hope and inspiration in the soft rock poets of the 1980s – an under rated literary genre. John Parr’s stirring message in St Elmos Fire “I can see a new horizon underneath a blazing sky/I’ll be where the eagle’s flying higher and higher” is a source of great comfort in troubled times! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooh yes! Good one! And I find myself getting really quite emotional at Winds of Change by Scorpions these days…much underappreciated!

      Like

  2. Oh dear, Lenny has a very different idea of consolation to me! You are so right – Bon Jovi all the way. In fact, stadium rock all the way – there’s something about men in spandex leggings sporting bubble perms that soothes the soul.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mugginshere says:

      this comment made me spit tea! Love it!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Me too Muggins Here!!

        Like

    2. Haha! Now, I loved grunge as a teen, and therefore was predisposed to dislike all the bubble perms. But now, with the wisdom that age has given me (!), I think there is indeed some comfort in the all-out stadium rocking!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mugginshere says:

    Sorry to hear you’re in need of consolation this year (or is this pre-emptive?). In a similar approach to Bon Jovi ad infinitum, I find reading old favourite books particularly comforting. Getting lost in familiar worlds and words for a few hours is a great tonic. Although sometimes the best tonic is the one that’s mixed with gin! :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah it’s pre-emptive thanks, and I want to stay positive for 2017!! Oh yes to the reading of old books, especially ones from childhood. And yes to gin. Always yes to gin!!

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  4. Pennsylvania “Dutch” (actually they were German immigrants not to be confused with the Amish who are Swiss in origin) saying (my grandma had this on a plaque), “Too soon old, too late smart”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bookheathen says:

    Don’t let your love turn to hate! What a terrific mantra for the future of our planet.

    Liked by 1 person

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