ENRICH YOUR LIFE-WITH A READ A DAY
In the fortnight before New Year Eve, we jointly went through our old credo-
Enrich your life with a Read a day.
Readings, letters, journals, photodiaries are part of family and community legacy. My mind’s eye goes back to a coffee and discussion session we had in the now closed Grand Hotel –Funduq Kabir –of Tripoli. That was the origin of the “Tripoli Reading Group” which has over the years evolved into “Mutual Improvement societies”.
The “Tripoli Reading Group” , encouraged,shaped and nurtured by English faculty of the University started with a generative question
“Is the Medical refugee a subaltern.”
One teacher went on to explain the nuances between subalterns, refugees and medical refugees. “A medical refugee is not a subaltern, but his condition may at times be worse than a subaltern.” Being from the medical world, we see misery in many forms every day and the English faculty helped us see the links between the different chains.
MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT SOCIETIES
We ended the year with a revision analysis of one of the most quoted speeches of literature- Mark Antony’s speech on the death of Cesar. What Mark Antony said on that day is not known, but Shakespeare has set the speech with one of the most electrifying opening- -Friends, Romans, countrymen-Lend me your ears
Those interested can see this version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bi1PvXCbr8
The joint journal based on different instruments like Interviews (Exit Interviews), discussions, journal clubs have been some of the forms the –Tripoli Reading Group – has taken over the years. So, our –Mutual Improvement society-(Medical Chapter) asked the following three questions to our –”Corporate-Friends”
1 . What do you like about your organization?
2. What do you not like about your organization?
3.If you could change something in your organization-what would it be?
Those interested in more nuanced versions may go through the following blog
Mutual Improvement Societies
Exploring Public Domains-From Kabir to Safir
Adana 1994-The sins of the fathers are visited on the children
FIVE HUNDRED WORDS A DAY CHALLENGE
The blogger writer Jeff Goins has made an interesting offer to write 500 words a day for the next 31 days. http://goinswriter.com/my500words/
For diarists, one remembers the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu on the separation between Nelson Mandela and his second wife Winnie. “There are things which men usually do not tell men, and he told these in strictest confidence..”(Paraphrased from the program-http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/mandela/
Even then, some of the things can be told. I have been a regular diarist since 1983 and would want to see if I can write 500 words a day for public view every day.
When the weather was better we used to go to Riverwood and Port Credit for our walking Book Club discussions. This helped us better understand the settings of Sowesto-the area in which one of the greatest living writers Alice Munro has set her works. Last October we attended a meeting of the Port Credit History society. A natural historian talked about now extinct species which once inhabited the Ontario Lake Front 150 million years ago. He then traced the natural history of this area, and after one and a half hours he was coming into the 19th century. I had encouraged my wife to be part of this “reading” and she was growing impatient as we sat in Clarke Hall –Port Credit. “Respect the speaker and do not walk out,” I goaded her to stay back. The historian has published several books but lamented that it is not easy for writers and most of his books are a labour of love in which he has to invest both time and money.
“Change your name to Alice” one person in the hall mused. That reference to the Nobel Laureate of Literature 2013, Alice Munro, made one remember the following words
“This seemed to be the fate of an artist— of necessity, a minor artist— in the small Sowesto towns of yore: silence enforced by the need for respectability, or else an eccentricity verging on madness.”
The patient depths worked upon by Munro in exploring the inner lives and situations of her characters set in Sowesto in the second half of the 20th century inspires one to look into the lives of immigrants in the 21st century. This has been one of the efforts of the –Tripoli Reading Group- which seeks to enrich one’s life with a “Read a Day.”
In coming days we will go further into the 500 word day theme
Part of the 500 words a day challenge by writer blogger-Jeff Goins.
For a regular diarist the interesting thing will be being selective