Monday, November 18, 2013

Publication of the new editions of my books

I am now very happy to announce the publication by Singing Dragon Press of three of my books, Keepers of the Soul, Patterns of Practice  (formerly The Pattern of Things), and The Simple Guide to Five Element Acupuncture.  The new covers can be seen at the top of this blog.
My fourth book, the much revised Handbook of Five Element Practice, is also at the proof-reading stage, and should be available in December 2013.
Details of how to order the new editions of these books are given by pressing the tab above called My Books.


I read in the newspaper this weekend the story of somebody called Freda Kelly who had been secretary to the Beatles for many years and has only just now been persuaded to write about her time with them, something she had so far refused to do.  She sounds a lovely, balanced person and I was very struck by some of the things she said, such as:

“I never wanted to write a book.  I always thought they would want the juice, the argument bit, and I don’t believe in that.”  And, after being persuaded to tell her story by her daughter, “I wanted to make a little film for my grandson … to know what his granny did in her youth.  He’s three.  I want him to be proud.”  And finally:  “I’m not obsessed with money – I only need enough to live on.”

It’s such a relief to come across somebody so different from all those famous people nowadays who think it’s alright to write (or have ghost-written) an autobiography before there is anything in their life, apart from their fame, to be written about.  In my day (such a horrid, but true expression), I thought autobiographies were only written towards the end of a life as a way of the author assessing what has happened to him or her, not as a way simply of making a lot of money.  And I notice that some famous people now write more than one autobiography, as though they view their life from a different enough perspective to make another book worthwhile.  Surely we need some distance from the events in our life before we are ready to assess this in any meaningful way?

I have often considered whether I would ever like to write my own autobiography, and always decided against it for various reasons.  The main one is that I like being absolutely honest and I dislike hurting people, so that I would hesitate to write the truth about important episodes in my life.  I can hardly restrict what I write to people who are safely dead because many of those who knew them are still alive, and may be upset by what I write.

I was struck by something Mary Beard, the classical scholar, wrote in one of the books of her blogs.  She said that she regards a blog in some ways as being both a diary and an autobiography.  As I, too, am thinking of publishing my blogs in book form, perhaps that will take the place of my autobiography.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The world is one

The world is one, now that everything that happens on this earth is known in minutes by the whole globe.  We are all connected, both in tragedy, as when we see the disaster in the Philippines, and in simple human contact, as an email I received yesterday showed me.

Guy and Mei are now into their second week in Nanning, and I received an email from Guy telling me how things are going (very well, indeed, I gather, to my great relief), and attaching an email he had received from a New Zealand acupuncturist, trying to contact me.  So there was this thread passing from New Zealand to Guy in London, which was then forwarded to Guy in China then on to me, back in London again.  And I am now going to sit down and reply sending a message back from London to New Zealand.  Through this email we have drawn a circle round the world.

This has made me realise once more how apt a description the worldwide web is.  It is both an amazing and a terrifying invention, tightly enmeshing us together, as though we do all indeed live in some spider’s web, exposed to one another in a way no previous generations were.  It links us so closely that it should make the world a less lonely place, and yet it can also distance us from one another, as increasingly we are learning to contact each other, not voice to voice, face to face and eye to eye, but through machines holding each other at bay.

And the desperate now invade our homes as we sit in front of our TVs feeding ourselves from our well-stocked larders, whilst watching poor Filippinos struggling to reach food and shelter.  Do they feel that the numerous microphones recording their tragedies and sending news of them winging through the world lessen their pain?  Or do they feel even more isolated, as though well-fed outsiders are staring at them like visitors to a zoo?