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21 July, 2017
  With No Experience in Such Matters by Stephen Dunn. To hold a damaged sparrow, under water until you feel it die is to know a small something about the mind; how, for example, it blames the cat for the original crime, how it wants praise for its better side. And yet it's as human as pulling the plug on your Dad whose world has turned to faeces and fog, human as..... Well, let's admit, it's a mild thing as human things go. But I felt the one good wing flutter in my palm - the smallest protest, if that's what it was, I ever felt or heard. Reminded me of how my eyelid has twitched, the need to account for it. Hard to believe no one notices.   That&r - Read full bulletin

14 July, 2017
  The evolution of the human species cannot be seperated from storytelling - a 'hardwired' brain function. This is Ursula le Guin:   "So people seek the irreproducible moment, the brief, fragile community of story told among people gathered together in one place. So children gather at the library to be read to: look at the little circle of faces, blazing with intensity. So the writer on a book tour, reading in the bookstore, and her group of listeners reenact the ancient ritual of the teller at the center of the circle. The living response has enabled that voice to speak. Teller and listener, each fulfills the other’s expectations. The living tongue that tells the word, the living ear that hears it, bind and bond us in the communion we long for in the silence of our inner solitude." That&r - Read full bulletin

07 July, 2017
  Being without grace - I envy how much women admire 'a great dancer' - almost 'reverence'; people of African origin seem blessed with a special 'attunement'. This is the second half of an impressive poem about the power of dance: Some Bright Elegance, by young Zambian/British poet Kayo Chingonyi. Full poem.   Channel a packed Savoy Ballroom and slide across the dusty floor as your zoot-suited, twenties self, the feather in your hat from an ostrich, the swagger in your step from the ochre dust of a West African village. Dance for the times you’ve been stalked by store detectives for a lady on a bus, for the look of disgust on the face of a boy too young to understand why he hates but only that he must. Dance for Sammy, dead and penniless, and for the thousands still scraping a buck as street corner hoofers who, though they dance for their food, move as if it is only them, and the drums, talking.   That&r - Read full bulletin

30 June, 2017
  Depression is only nasty - stealing our capacity to function; 'melancholy', however contains 'consolation' and is welcome in my life. Enjoyed this article "in praise of melancholia' by Mark Kernan on the excellent Open Democracy website.   “Melancholy is a particular kind of sadness, an emotion born of suffering but reflective rather than creating a debilitating depression.......It also has a faint quality of mourning, even a kind of grief, but for what? Our lost innocence? All that is lost in the past, and all that will be lost in the future? The human condition is full of bewilderment, misunderstanding, loss and grief because we will lose the people we love, and because things will not work out in the ways we want, so mourning and regret are inevitable..... Thankfully, great art can console us, particularly great music......The melancholic note in popular music—the ‘blue’ note understood by the great African American Jazz artists of the twentieth century—heals, soothes and, if we allow it, can transform our suffering into this kind of knowing and accepting melancholia.”   That&r - Read full bulletin

23 June, 2017
  Jean Monnet (1888-1979) is regarded by many as the chief architect of the European Union. Never elected to public office, he worked behind the scenes - 'less competition', he said:   "There will be no peace in Europe if the States rebuild themselves on the basis of national sovereignty, with its implications of prestige politics and economic protection ........ The countries of Europe are not strong enough individually to be able to guarantee prosperity and social development for their peoples. The States of Europe must therefore form a federation or a European entity that would make them into a common economic unit.......The sovereign nations of the past can no longer solve the problems of the present: they cannot ensure their own progress or control their own future. And the Community itself is only a stage on the way of the organised world of tomorrow”.     That&r - Read full bulletin

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