This year began with great excitement at TCC. We held a long conversation early January about how it was time to leave 2021 far behind and get back to the work we were doing with enthusiasm and rigour. You see 2021 for us, like for most people, turned out a bit tough. All three of us who hold TCC together had to battle out a kaleidoscopic range of health and wellness issues not just for ourselves but for our families too. Work, especially creative work, took a backseat for a bit even though the conversations we were trying to build at TCC became more urgent and required by the context. Yet in that first January meeting we were gung-ho about picking ourselves up and buzzing with ideas and thoughts – till – the second wave crashed on us, scattering once again the fragile structure of plans, ideas and actions we had listed out for ourselves.
So it comes as no surprise that we’ve been thinking a lot about being fragile and vulnerable in times of great uncertainty. As it so happened we had wisely picked The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams to read in TCC’s Reading Circle for December. Written as a conversation between the two, even as it gleans wisdom from Jane’s tremendous life, the book inhabits these troubled times (they began writing in 2018 and finished by 2020) and the writers find their plans upended multiple times by the pandemic, other illnesses and death. Midst that they discuss hope. “Hope does not deny all the difficulty and all the danger that exists, but it is not stopped by them. There is a lot of darkness, but our actions create the light.”, says Jane. They discuss the need to understand, assimilate and embody it all the more urgently in times such as these. Doug recollects this quote from his conversations with Desmond Tutu, the famous anti-apartheid and human rights activist: “Discovering more joy does not, save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreaks without being broken.”
These conversations and words have held us and helped pull ourselves up again and take courage. What are the words, actions, conversations that are inspiring you to dust yourself and stand up again for another beginning? We would love to hear from you. You can share your thoughts by replying to this newsletter or mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh and yes – we wanted to share our new format for the newsletter with you! We are changing its frequency to once a month but hope to pack in much more. Do let us know what you think of it.
We hope you and yours have been safe or have recovered well from this pandemic wave.