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Chicester (UK) Cathedral and Walking in Memphis
For a couple of decades, starting in 1987 or so, I had the good fortune to have to go to the UK two, and sometimes three, times a year. Each trip was for a week, and I would make sure to add on the final Saturday to do something on my own.
In 1991 I had to go over to Chicester, which is SW of London about 80 miles, almost to The Channel. It is a beautiful large town or small city, whose population was 26,000 in the UK 2010 Census. In any case, I had to go over to work with a fabulous chap named Clive Horwood, whose publishing company we had just purchased; I was handling the integration.
At the end of the week, I set up in an old English inn on Chicester Cathedral square. I am not sure what the name of the inn was—now almost 30 years later—but it was literally across the rather narrow street from the Cathedral.
That night, a Friday, I set up at the bar of the inn for some dinner and an alcoholic refreshment or two. As I sat down, I noticed on the wall a display of something like 40 bottles of brown liquor—all with labels I had never seen before. They appeared to be Scotches. I asked the bartender, and he confirmed they were Scotches. But these weren’t just any Scotches—these were all single malt Scotches from small town breweries in Scotland.
He explained that they were arranged on the shelf from the “thinnest” on the top left hand shelf down to the “peat-iest” on the bottom right hand shelf, and then expounded on the properties of single malt, why it is the best Scotch, what the differences inherent in brewing in different parts of Scotland, and sundry other bits of useful info. I was so enthralled, I decided to start my way from the top left down to the bottom right.
I went to bed that night at 3 AM or so. Suffice it to say, much sampling had occurred!!! I had planned to get up at 6 AM, because I wanted to do my morning hour or so run, and Clive had plans for he and I to go to the Castle and grounds of a woman named Lady Anne, the last living ancestor of Mary, Queen of Scots, that day.
Well, up I got, and put on my running clothes (god, I can’t image doing that now after such an evening), put on my Walkman (yup, 29 years ago), and tuned it to whatever radio station I could find.
And out I stepped onto a glorious morning just as the opening piano notes of a new song I had not heard before (it had been released that week) from a new artist called Marc Cohn—and one of the finest songs of the last 30 years blared in my ears with all the energy that the gospel-joy of that song evinces, and I had one of the most memorable runs of my life. It was, of course, Walking in Memphis.
Oh, yeah, and the cathedral. It was built in 1075. Read that again. 11 years after the Norman Invasion. About 150 years BEFORE Magna Carta.
As my old friend, Father Ollie Nickerson used to say: It’s a great world.
Here is the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFEB9xLeLmY
Finally, to all of you out there in podcastland who live in the US (yes, we have readers and listeners outside the good ol USA!), we wish you a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving.
And here’s Rick’s Wisdom gained. . . .
This week in Austin was outstanding. Everyday started with reading, exercise and then doing podcasts followed by emails. This new prioritization feels right.
Books I’m snarfing up: Big Magic– Creative Living Beyond Fear is by Elizabeth Gilbert. Liz has been a favorite since reading Eat, Pray, Love which may be one of the great travel adventure books of all time. Read it sometime as a tourist and not to “find yourself.” Big Magic challenged me with a central question- Do you, Rick Tocquigny, have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? The Big Magic quest is creative living. Per Liz, she’s talking about living a life that driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.
To get you started in your own pursuit of Big Magic, I plucked six specific fears from the book that you need to dismiss to live a more creative life. The follow up challenge is from Big Magic.
1. You are afraid you will be rejected, criticized, or ignored. Get over it.
2. You are afraid of unleashing your inner demons. Really?
3. You are afraid you are too old to start. See a therapist.
4. You are afraid of being a one hit wonder. Hey, it only takes one good, focused idea.
5. You are afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that you can never get it back. Wrong! Find it and tap it.
6. You are afraid of expressing the truth aloud to your peers and co-workers. Why are you waiting?
New Practice I’m Testing- Interstitial Journaling. Instead of journaling first thing in the morning, I’m writing after projects or initiatives are completed throughout my day. The positive effect is creating more mindfulness throughout the day stretching optimal creative time from the normal 7:00-11:00 right into my afternoon. I’m now applying this interim journaling into writing this newsletter through out the week, not waiting until Sunday. Try stretching out your peak periods of creativity by journaling at 10-2-and 4.
Favorite Podcast of the Week: We taped an interview with Billy Gilman. Remember him from The Voice? His video on You Tube featuring One Voice garnered 45 million views! Listen to this interview debuting on Thanksgiving Day that covers the topic of gratitude and get through these dark times together.
Film Documentary of the Year: we watched Ghosts of the Republique on iTunes. This story of real people desiring to start a family is gripping. Watch this one to capture a glimpse of global social issues. I’m interviewing the producer/director Jon Narducci this week and look forward to sharing this with you.
Sponsor Deal of the Week: Gracefully-Yours.com features our favorite encouragement and thank you cards. Through this network, they are offering 25% off on any purchase of greeting cards. Just plug in Book3 as a the promotion code and get 25% off courtesy of Success Made to Last.