Friday, 10 April 2009

TAG: '15 Influences'

It’s long overdue (as with forwarding on AWARDS which I must do soon) but I’m pulling my finger out to respond this TAG by a fellow blogger LINDA S at Psyche Connections whose '25 Influences' list is an interesting read. Do pop in and have a peek! Well, in making this task manageable I’ve decided to include primarily people/things/places I can think of as I write this post up who have, and/or continue, to influence my life in some significant way (consciously or subconsciously) – be it my thought patterns, life interactions and lifestyle, or have added some knowledge or understanding on how I choose to view the world. I begin with this preamble because there are countless of encounters; people (individuals, personal friends, strangers, poets, authors, etc); books; artwork; and films that add some nugget of wisdom to my life which go beyond the scope of this list. So I’m going to be very strict with this list. It has been really fun reflecting on who and what influences my life...

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 :)


Anonymous said...

A great list! I hadn't thought of some of them as my inspiration until you mentioned them. As for "The Road Less Traveled", I love that one. Thanks for reminding me of it!

rebecca said...

Oh, I've been tagged! Oh, this is going to take some serious thinking.

You've chosen my favorite poem of all time, The Road Less Traveled... =) but, also, my least favorite band, ABBA, =( LOL!!!!

This was a fantastic post, Catherine. I always enjoy coming here and learning a little more about you.

Have a happy Easter, my sweet.


judith ellis said...

I love your words here, Catherine. Thank you for sharing and thank you for wishing to know a bit more of me.

Your words in the first made me think of the man who brought his son to Jesus to be healed and when asked if he believed he said, "Lord, I believe but help my unbelief." It also reminds me of Christ himself in the Garden of Gesthsemane praying to the Father, "My God, my God why have You forsaken me?"

I adore Virginia Woolfe, Simone de Beauvoir, Plath, Joyce and Chekov too!

Selchie said...

Great choices, Damien Rice for me is synonymous with meeting my hubby, so always makes me happy!!
thanks for stopping by.) Lovely to meet you.


Khaled KEM said...

Hi Catherine,

I always enjoy your work. I will pick one of your poems to post in my Poetry of the Month. If you have a favorite one, would you please let me know.



Tracey Hope said...

Cathy what a fantastic blog. Love the list. Road less traveled and abba would be on my list. I am new at this so will try to keep up. Lovely to see your poetry on here.

Writer on Board said...

I'll read more of you and them, Catherine. Love the list. ABBA, too. Thank you.

Printemps said...

Happy Easter! and I am happy to know you read Anne Frank, my favorite and of course Bible!

JM said...

Very interesting blog, Catherine!
Thank you for your visit and nice comment too.
Happy Easter.

Christopher Raun Leth said...

That is a very interesting list. Not necessarily the list I would have made, but I do agree with you om the ones that I know.

Thanks for your interest in my blog. I've signed up for yours too so I can follow your very interesting writings. Happy Easter from Copenhagen:-)

CathM said...

@Caryn (booklady): Thank you... and I’m glad that I brought ‘The Road Less Travelled’ back to mind. It's a fab poem :)

@Rebecca: Indeed – you have been tagged (LOL)! Hee hee re ABBA... I guess they are like ‘marmite’ you either love 'em or hate 'em. Incidentally, I’m a fan of both (marmite & ABBA). Happy Easter to you too, my lovely!

@Judith: Thank you for your comments... a much needed reminder (if you know what I mean)!

@Selchie: OoooHhhh... there is something about that Damien Rice (chuckle). Thank you for visiting and following my blog!

@Khaled: A privilege and an honour. Thank you!

@Tracey H: Hello you - it’s great connecting with you via the blog forum :)

@Alex (Writer on Board): Yes please - do read more of me BUT especially much more of them (lol)!

@Printemps: You are most welcome to my blog. Happy Easter to you too!

@JM: Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’ll pop in again soon. Happy Easter!

@Christopher: OoohHhh... I’m glad that my list is different from what yours would be - that’s as it should be (smile)! Thanks for visiting and commenting. Happy Easter from Manchester (UK)!

Rogue said...

Always thought provoking Cath. You do that masterfully! I shall submit to you my 15 influences as well. Just one question,,,ABBA???? lol

Lilly Jones said...

Thanks Cath,for the challenge. I think I rambled on rather a bit on mine yet realize that there's still so much left unsaid... but it was truly healing for me. Take care...

Ponderer said...

Enjoyed your list Cath, and yesss ABBA ! :) Cheryl

CathM said...

@Andrew (Rogue): I’m looking forward to reading your ’15 Influences’ (smile)! And re Abba – I think it might be a girl thing (lol)!

@Lilly J: Rambling is good (chuckle)... I enjoyed reading your ’15 Influences’. A very interesting read :)

@Cheryl: I’m hoping Andrew takes note re your Abba comment... hee hee! I’m not the only Abba fan in town (lol). Thanks for stopping by and reading my list.

Ken Armstrong said...

A great and thoughtful list. Mighty! :)

CathM said...

@Ken: Thank you for stopping by. ‘Mighty’... I like that a lot!

Linda S. Socha said...

What an absolutely inspiring and well written post..I knew you would do a wonderful job with this one. Thanks for taking it on!. I LOVE ABBA! So many good reminders of things I want to visit or revisit.
LOVE YOUR blog and your responses!
I am looking forward to reading responses of the folks you have tagged. Great selections

CathM said...

@Linda: Thanks for stopping by and reading my TAG responses. I really enjoyed responding to the the tag :)