life

“Weather the Storm” Short Musical Animation

“Weather the Storm” by Trunk & Radish Pictures is just exquisite animation short set to  a song, examining a difficult time – in this case, bereavement, in under 5 minutes.  Unsurprisingly, it won an award in the 2016 British Animation Awards.

I heard the most wonderful quote recently from a TV presenter, Sandi Toksvig, almost a throwaway line as she chatted with a contestant on the Great British Bake Off: “Marriage is everything and nothing” meaning it’s made up of the seemingly insignificant daily stuff and yet it’s an important relationship which colours our life.  This video contemplates loss through a tiny part of daily life (toothpaste and toothbrushes) – gently observed and ultimately positive.

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Director Peter Baynton received 2016 British Award Animation for Public Choice Best Music Video

The song on the soundtrack is “Weather the Storm” by Benjamin Scheuer, from the album “The Lion”.  More about his work on his website here.

Director: Peter Baynton for Radish Pictures.

Producer: Daniel Negret

Exec producer: Richard Barnett

both at Trunk.

I love the gentle watercolour like textures and way it conveys the central figure as struggling to go forward despite a strong headwind against him, while other characters nonchalently and speedily bounce by, often in the opposite direction, through simple landscapes.  In this one still, shown below, you can see the contrast: the main character holding onto a bench arm for grim life, just to stay still in the storm of emotions, while another person sits nonchalently on the bench, reading a newspaper, chomping on a sandwich and drinking a cuppa.

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still from the film “Weather the Storm”

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Calming words

Writer Anne Lamott before her 61st birthday sat down and wrote all the truths she absolutely knew.  They include the importance of radical self-care

“Being full of affection for one’s goofy, self-centred, cranky, annoying self is home; it’s where world peace begins.”

“Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts – but they keep their butt in the chair… they do it by prearrangement with themselves, they do it as a debt of honour.”

“if people want you to write more warmly about them – they should have behaved better” (round of applause from the audience)

“Grace is spiritual WD40 or waterwings”

These are words specifically written for people feeling overwhelmed by complicated politics in their country, by rapidly changing world events.  Above all, they are humane and hopeful, positive and spiritual.

Float to stay alive

This RNLI brief video makes a point of what to do if you unexpectedly fall into cold water.  It makes me consider that some of this may also apply to sudden, shocking psychological events and swift changes in life – first float, steady, catch your breath before planning what next.

28,000 days

Enda O’Doherty (the gent fundraising for mental health help by carrying a fridge up Kilimanjaro) – lives life in challenging ways, as he is an alcoholic:

 

“I’m far more afraid of not living. I don’t want to spend my time just sitting eating take away pizza and looking at Netflix thinking that I’m living life. Given my hardships in the past, I’m so grateful for happy days, for adventures, and my good health. I really appreciate it.

 

“I told someone once that I live life like I’m terminally ill. And they reacted with shock that they didn’t know I was ill. But that’s not it. Of course I’m not. No more than anyone else. We all have 28,000 days on average. So, what are you going to do with them?

Fascinating.  There’s an old bit in the bible (somewhere around Psalm 90)  “Teach us Lord to number our days that we may apply our hearts onto wisdom”  – now, putting this with Enda’s quote is thought-provoking: what if each day we asked ourselves at the end of the day: what have I done today?  Anything positive counts: even trying something new, giving someone else a smile, stretching that talent I don’t use enough, finding something amazing and sharing it on social media, becoming a little more loving, helping someone, getting over that disappointment quicker, making a good health choice……. and then continuing this daily, living with the expectation that at the end of the day I will ask myself “So what did you do with today?”.

It may be wise.

A A Gill Quote: Pregnant is….

“Pregnant is the opposite of being a suicide bomber, it’s like being a life bomber, you waddle into an enclosed space and shout: “Don’t move, do exactly what I say, or I’ll produce more bodies.” ” – A A Gill

This outstanding and memorable quote comes from a Sunday Times food review by the food critic A A Gill.  It was so well written that I kept the pages, while ditching the newspaper.  And have now come upon it in the pile of papers I am currently attempting to reduce.

Getting Mentors – don’t ask!

Here’s a great piece of lifetime advice (among many) by Pentagram partner, Michael Beirut:

“People always want to look for mentors – then they say “Will you be my mentor?” Do NOT do that.  You don’t need their permission you don’t need to tell them they’re your mentor.”

“Anyone you know could be your mentor – you just need to start listening, be curious and paying attention.  You don’t even need to meet the person – a TED talks person could be your mentor – you can have as many as you want – I’ve had hundreds of mentors – it’s free for the taking – just don’t tell them, that’s all!

Wait – Galway Kinnell (2 mins)

The poet wrote this poem for a student contemplating suicide after a failed love affair.

For some unknown reason, the runup to the poetry reading has a distracting phistly white noise sound – but persevere, the poet and his reading are crystal clear, thankfully.

One of the strengths of poetry is its compactness for conveying deep vision, truth and – well, life.  There is an astonishment of ideas in these brief 2 minutes.