Letters of Note

After seeing this book on numerous coffee tables, I finally have it in my possession thanks to a thoughtful birthday present from a thoughtful family member.

. Letters of Note by Shaun Usher

I’m three pages in and have already re-read one particular letter a few times. From 1973, the author E. B. White responds to a gentleman after receiving a letter about the ‘bleakness of the human race’.

His words are comforting even today, in the sometimes frantic world we live in. I will be sure to keep this collection close to me and peruse in those moments of doubt.

Here’s to those people who feel themselves struggling for whatever reason, perhaps troubled… ‘hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.’

Dear Mr. Nadeau,

As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society- things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbour seeds of goodness that have lain for a long to waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.

Sincerely,

E.B.White

Thanks for the beautiful reminder Mr. White.

N.

Sunday Reading: A Fire & The Power

After winning the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction Award last year, The Power has been on my ‘to read’ list for a while now. Fellow readers were split in their opinion of the novel so I wanted to see for myself what it was all about.

It seemed quite apt that I started reading this around the time when the ‘Me Too’ movement ramped up a gear and dominated headlines. Most reviews call it speculative fiction, which seems correct considering the supernatural elements, but I was more interested in the world within the story where females have the absolute power over men and rule all aspects of society. Trying to imagine this was real life and ‘the way of things’ is a tricky thing to do given the history of all societies  and cultures across the globe. It just doesn’t seem fathomable.

The more I read the more I focussed on the act of abusing power and not being able to come back from that point. All the main characters abuse their power at some stage of the novel; sometimes their intentions appear to be for the greater good, but mostly because their circumstances dictate them and for personal gain.

Thinking of all these accounts from female celebrities that have come out as part of the Me Too/Times Up campaigns whereby males have supposedly abused their power, how would things change if females in our world had the physical power to stop negative behaviours, as is such in the novel’s storyline.

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The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Power definitively provides food for thought through the dystopian style. Deep down I know I’d be slightly worried if I had the power that the character’s possess. God knows where I’d start with it all…

I think I’ll stick with developing my internal power and do my own little bit to change the world. Who needs an ‘electrical skein’ anyway when the females in my world simply have brilliantly powerful minds!

N.