Tag: happiness

The ClearOut Podcast Episode 9

Getting Comfortable with Chickens and Ignorance Episode 9 of the podcast has a look at what we know and what we understand, and asks if we can reduce our anxiety by getting more comfortable with what we don’t know and what we can’t control. Pets with confusing names feature early on. There is also a trip to the river, a…

The ClearOut Podcast Episode 3

Am I a Clown or an Idiot, or Both? In episode three of the podcast I revisit some acting low points in my life before embarking on a discussion of clowns and their role in the formation of my acting identity. I argue that there is something clowns can teach us about living more honestly and happily. Along the way,…

Taking Care

Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise (Daniel 12:1) In a crisis, I look to myself. It is rarely my first instinct to seek help or counsel elsewhere. I partly do this because I have a certain amount of faith in my own resources, and I partly do it because I possibly have less faith in…

Greater than, less than, equal to

The only part of the conduct of anyone for which he is amenable to society is that which concerns others. In the part that merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. John Stuart Mill A celebrated individual is being interviewed about their triumphant life, their wealth,…

What about now?

“…my personality had been completely erased. That’s why I’m so boring. People stopped listening to what I was saying, and didn’t seem to notice I was there. Everybody forgot about me. I wasn’t a boy, I wasn’t a girl… I was just a cypher, a sort of glyph. Life’s very difficult when nobody knows you’re there. I couldn’t get a…

Getting back in the ring

Lappeenranta, Finland. November 2004. I stood in the shadows of a darkened stairwell, another man standing close to me, nervous energy hanging in the air around and between us. He bristled with anger and intent while my mind raced over what was about to happen. I concentrated on my breathing, willing myself to be loose and limber and receptive. I…

Who’s afraid of the dark?

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ― C.G. Jung Darkness and light. A dichotomy of great purity and simplicity through which humanity examines and ponders itself. Echoes of…

Up with this I shall not put!

In his brilliantly disturbing novella, The Testament of Mary (ostensibly about the mother of Christ but arguably about the inevitable unhappiness of mother-love), Colm Toibin articulates very well the dilemma of choosing between a righteous course of action and the more pressing demands of self-preservation: I watched in horror, but I did not move or make a sound. Nothing would…

Away with the fairies

…home is the place of belonging. Home can also be the opposite of that, highlighting the sense of not belonging, the sense of otherness. Home then, embodies a strange paradox in that it can be understood as both happy assimilation into place and tribe as well as being one’s concept of defiance, individuality and difference. From this interpretation we can…