As part of my Blogs > Social Media experiment, I’ve noticed my inspiration levels are way up.

Here’s a scrapbook of inspiration I’ve been collecting as I go, from both blogs & books.

  • Austin Kleon’s “Spend Time On Something That Will Outlast Them” post.
    I’ve been thinking about how I want to spend my time, and I want to spend less time outraged by the world, and more time focussed on what I can create.

Dear Friends,

Be gentle with yourself.

The U.S. Inauguration this week exhausted me. It was the kind of exhaustion you feel when the marathon you’ve been running is finally over or when the weight you have been carrying is finally set down. There is that shaky feeling first, and then pure relief, tears, and laughter.

I felt the same way. All her words felt just right.

Via Austin, again. His daily blogs are an excellent scrapbook.

I’m reading “Odd Girl Out: An Autistic Woman in a Neurotypical World” by Laura James at the moment. It is splendid. Some of my favourite parts:

“Even today I enjoy reading a book much more second time around. A first read can be filled with apprehension. What if I don’t like the way the story goes? What if something awful happens to a favourite character? What if I get bored halfway through after I’ve invested something of myself in the story? A second read is a joy. I know exactly what is going to happen, so can immerse myself in the words and the subtleties in a way that would have been too stressful the first time.”

And an autist’s dream school:

“At school, you could choose what to do. If you didn’t like art or PE, you could read instead. Every day the library was stocked with new books. No one shouted or raised their voices. If you ever broke a rule a proper grown-up explained why it was a rule and why it mattered and then you were simply told – kindly – not to do it again.”

I just finished “More Than A Woman” by Caitlin Moran and it is hands down one of my favourite reads of the last five years. It’s compulsory reading for womxn aged 35+ or indeed, anyone who has seen some shit.

I had to re-read just to find this sumptuous piece on Hag Years to share with fellow hags. I think of her words every day at the moment.

“These are your Hag Years, and they are glorious. We think of ‘hag’ as a bad word – like so many words associated with women, like ‘fat’, or ‘slut’, or ‘bossy’ – but hags are cool, man. Consider the Hag archetype, through history: when life expectancy barely reached fifty, and once a woman was no longer a bride nor a mother, she entered her Hag Years until she died.

Hags lived slightly apart from the villages and towns – in a cave, or some witchy cottage in the woods. They tended their herb gardens, and mixed up their medicines, and were surrounded by their animals – dogs, cats; particularly clever and charismatic crows. They wore a cape, and had a stick, to poke things with, and they’d roam around, engaged in mysterious hag-activities like talking to trees, or doing weird rituals by streams and lakes. They’d be the only women callow young youths would be scared of – fostering a useful irascibleness that prevented all but the boldest from getting up in their grill, and wasting their time.

When trouble struck the wider community, in the end, the villagers would always end up having to bravely go and consult the hag, who would then provide them with a medicine, or provide wise counsel, or tell a story from days of yore that provided a solution to the current problem. And, every so often, they’d meet up with their coven of fellow hags and spend all night cackling in a way that terrified everyone else.

This, I note, in the twenty-first century, is exactly the life I am living now. I have Gone Hag. Observe my day, now, in my Hag Years. I’m living a Hag Life.”

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