Of Eggs and Omlettes

This is a copy of an Un-Newsletter that was sent to a coaches e-mail list I was a member of.  I felt it needed sharing here too. This is from August ’04, & I’d been doing some quite deep personal development.cracked-egg.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart

Of Eggs n Omelettes 

I was in Bath this weekend, at the Rec, watching Bath get a serious pounding from Newcastle & Jonny Wilkinsons’ right boot. 10,000 people all crammed into the ground to watch 30 grown men run around on the pitch after an Egg shape ball, interspersed with choice abuse thrown in the direction of the Referee (I’m not one for that sort of behaviour but in this instance I’ll let it pass, I’m not entirely sure he has the same rulebook as the rest of the world, or perhaps he just has very creative way of interpreting his copy). At any rate, good or bad refereeing decisions wouldn’t have made a difference to the end result, only slightly adjusted the score and the indignity felt by the home supporters.

At one point in the 2nd half, the heavens opened and everyone there pulled out waterproofs and huddled up in a vain attempt to keep dry. I looked around the stands and didn’t see individual faces, just a collection of people all gathered together for the same purpose, all very different, but fundamentally also all the same. With the hoods of their anoraks or cagoules pulled up it was like looking across an egg processing factory – little oval balls, bobbing up and down as they trundled their way down the conveyor belt.

Eggs, 10,000 of them. All perfect. And then I got to thinking about the Egg sitting in seat 102, row R, of the Virgin Mobile stand with his daughter huddled up next to him – Me. I looked down at my shell, like everyone’s, still intact, but in so many ways fragile and simultaneously strong, and the recent journey it had been on inside, the once again breaking of that shell to find out what was there, not the most pleasant of experiences, its contents were runny and sticky, in some spots a bit rotten too, But inside all that ickyness there, like everything else was a gift, something that had been missed last time I went there – the beautiful golden sphere of nourishment that had always been inside it, just not noticed for all the other icky bits. I’d forgotten it was there. But just like the other 10,000 eggs there that day, it had one just the same. There’s still a crack in the shell, that makes it a bit more fragile than in the past, but it also makes it easier to find that yoke too. So here’s to lives with cracked shells and also to the special egg on this list that was there with me on that journey, thank you, without you’d I’m not sure I’d have found it.

So, just remember, sometimes we over protect ourselves to keep ourselves maybe just a little too safe, & in doing so, lock up all those wonderful & glorious parts of ourselves too. So maybe it’s a good idea to go out into the world more often with our cracked shells on show so we can all share our the beauty that’s our inner yoke… go on, be brave, I dare you…

Hollywood or Bust

Holl.jpgAnother Un-Newsletter, this time from January 2005.

Hollywood or Bust

One of my real passions in life is movies. For me there is something really magical about being transported away for an hour and a half and to have a story unfold before my eyes. One of my other passions, probably for no more than nine months when I was about eleven or twelve was fantasy role playing (Dungeons and Dragons!). Yes, I confess to being one of the weird kids for a brief time, who sat on the floor near the lockers, rolling unusual shaped dice and talking in a strange coded language about hit points or swords of slaying (+2 vs the undead). I’m sure all schools in the ’80s had a group of boys like that, it was endemic, and I was one of them. At least until a tentative and shy interest in girls started to stir in me. I very quickly learnt that trying to talk about that sort of thing with them is a sure way to get a very condescending look, closely followed by huddled whispers with their friends and conspiratorial sniggering as they walked off to the chemistry labs, the odd disembodied phrase like ‘Simon le Bon’, ‘Spandau Ballet’ or ‘A-Ha!’ filtering back down the corridor.

While I’ve all but lost that pubescent obsessive interest in convoluted and over-complicated statistics, a small part of me is still that nerdy kid who loves movies like the recent re-telling of the Lord of the Rings saga. Consequently, for Christmas I was given a book by Sean Astin, who played one of the Hobbits (Sam). It was about his experiences and memories of firstly making the movies and secondly the after effect and euphoria that impacted his life at the box office success.

And it made interesting reading. Firstly, by the sheer scale of the task that they’d all under taken and secondly the level of commitment, dedication and professionalism of everyone involved. Then, they finished filming, left New Zealand and got back to Hollywood, and the tone of the book changed. He began describing the superficial and phoney rounds of publicity and Oscar nomination lobbying. I started to feel my toes curling at the artificiality and ‘loviness’ of it all and thoughts like ‘God, its not the real world’ and disembodied words like ‘shallow’ and ‘content-free’ came to mind. But I stopped myself, reminding myself that actually, yes, it is the real world, just very remote from the one I, and most of us live in. This led to other thoughts along the lines of just how remote to us is it really? And caught myself realising actually not as remote as we’d like to pretend it is. It made me feel a little uneasy. At times, while we don’t like to admit it, we can be just as superficial, phoney and shallow as any Hollywood star. The times when we justify things to ourselves, clinging to the stories we make up about why things are the way they are, rather than the way we think they should be. Keep an eye out for yourself when you do it….