Does grace exist?

The woman on the radio plugging her book was talking about her conception of 'grace': she posits that it's about how we move through the world, that graceful people put other people's needs ahead of their own, are kind, polite and considerate to everyone they meet. On that basis can we say that grace exists anymore? It made me think of some of the people I met as I made my way around the world: the barman in a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro who stepped in to help me when the waiter and I…

On putting down the camera

'If a tree falls in a forest and there is no-one around to hear it, does it make a sound?' This is an old philosophical question regarding the nature of reality - if things aren't witnessed do they actually happen? I was reminded of it when thinking about today's writing prompt, which was a selection of photos designed to stimulate some reflections. I love looking at my own photographs from my travels and I am so grateful to have them as a visual reminder of my experiences. However, if I had no photos of my…

A month of writing – what I like

For a bit of context, I am participating in an online writing course which requires pretty much daily writing for the month of November. It's a useful (if maybe self-indulgent) bit of discipline for me, so I am putting my qualms aside and trying to go with it. Today's theme is lists, and the benefits of making them. We have a few topics to choose from. I don't know if I am profound enough to do a list of what I've learned, and listing out all the things I wish for could be depressing so I…

Why I write

As a returned traveller, right now I write to help myself remember. To remember the places I have been and the experiences I have had. To secure them in my mind and heart so I will never forget.  I have lots of photos, but someone I met along the way told me that the best memories are in your head and in your heart.   I write because I want to consider and reflect on the things I have learnt, fascinating things about other cultures and peoples, their history, and how they live. I write…