1. The Bible: As a Christian (albeit one that struggles terribly with her faith) I cannot deny the fact that the Christian faith (God, Jesus and the Bible) – indeed Christianity and all its precepts (strands espoused by the Anglican, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Methodist and even the Baptist) have influenced my life (both positively and negatively) in the sense of the person that I am today. I think I do try to adhere to the moral code of the bible e.g. its ideas on love and forgiveness... so in that sense it influences my life and worldview significantly.
2. Corrie ten Boom: Her childlike faith – inspires me to seek that deeper ‘trust’ relationship with God in my faith journey.
3. Anne Frank: Her courageous spirit – reminds me that even when life boxes us in, it is still worth fighting for. And she always reminds me of that haunting Martin Niemoller poem ‘First they came for me...’ and it encourages me to always be observant of what’s going on in the world around me --- and to act on the behalf of others when appropriate.
4. Simone de Beauvoir: Her courage in her faith journey – where she moved away from a religious (Catholic) background to a place where she could say: ‘God has ceased to exist for me’ – gives me the impetus to ‘find my way’ through my faith journey (as a Christian). There’s something very courageous about finding one’s spiritual self – coming to that point of realisation and revelation and be able to say, this ‘spirituality or non-spirituality' (however one chooses to define it) is what works for me.
5. Nelson Mandela: His sacrificial courage – reminds me each day that ‘sacrifice’ for the sake of change is a choice available to me. I can choose to be the difference in someone else’s life!
6. Edwin Cameron: His courage and exceptional work (as a judge) in the work of hiv/aids – fuels my ambition to engage with, and contribute to the work of hiv/aids nationally and globally.
7. Robert Frost’s ‘Road less travelled’: This poem daily encourages me not to opt the ‘easy option’ i.e. the route of less hassle, or less pain...
8. Kate Winslet: A fab actress... she inspires me to be the best that I can be in my writing craft. Funny that!
9. Yvonne A: A very good friend of mine from Ghana, we grew up in Israel together and remained close when we were both studying in the US. She was in Maryland and I in Virginia – but we’d meet up regularly and hit the nightclubs together. She died almost two years ago during childbirth (aged 34). She was such a vivacious person and her life and death inspires me to ‘live life to the full’.
10. Abba: They gave me music. Whenever I hear Abba playing my whole spirit begins to dance (lol).
11. Damien Rice: His music makes love to my soul every time I listen to him. And, in turn he inspires me to create/make love around me.
12. Enid Blyton: She gave me the possibility to imagine and dream up fictional worlds.
13. Jerusalem: It gave me a ‘point of reference’. Everything that I am today emerges out of my upbringing in Israel. It opened up my world and gave me an interest in interfaith dialogue.
14. Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Anthon Chekhov, James Joyce (among countless other authors and poets, published and unpublished): They all inspire my short story and poetry writing.
15. The Blogging Community: Gives me purpose and inspires daily to engage with the conversation and dance that is LIFE.
I hate rules and tend to break them (tsk!)... so in passing this TAG on... anyone who reads or follows this blog is welcome to participate in this TAG. To those that I TAG specifically (and others who choose to join in)... I have no rules... even though it’s meant to be '25 Influences’ it doesn’t have to be (as per me)... feel free to play or not... and feel free to pass the TAG on or not. So the people I’ll tag are:-
John at Smoke Rings & Matterings
Lillian J at A Voice on Fleming Road
Andrew (Rogue) at Rogues Retreat
Annie (Strawberry Girl) at Creatively Written
Rebecca at Just a Thought
Matthew at Wasteland of Words
Judith at The Being Brand
Thanks all for reading, commenting and playing along (if you do)! It's a lovely way of getting to know a bit more about me and hopefully others too :)