The world outside myself
One of the books I devoured during my recent reading frenzy was American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It was outstanding! And though I don’t use Twitter much to contribute to the global conversation, it is a useful listening tool. In the deluge of voices, there are a few I actively look out for. Neil Gaiman is one of them. And after being so recently impressed again by his writing, what he wrote about his trip to Jordan the past week, completely blew me away again (moving me in a different way but a similar intensity as when I first wrote about him in Cerebral love).
Read the article here:
Listen to an interview:
I have been spending so much time of late focussing on my own being that I feel like I’ve lost touch a little bit with the world out there, the world outside myself.
And it feels even more disturbing because I work with foreigners every day, refugees and immigrants, but they so easily become a process of law and administration, a complication of paperwork, a file, an array of communications, a cause for the staff and consultants to complain about when their personal lives cause an inconvenience to us or when clients become frustrated as we pursue the course of the service we provide. And it becomes so easy to forget, under the professionalism and courtesy we deploy like weapons, that they are people, with lives, dreams, hopes, stories and histories.
And I realised that, if for no other reason, one day I want to be like him for what he can achieve in the hearts and minds of people – one person here in South Africa or a family tens of thousands of kms away whose story would otherwise never be heard, or the hearts and minds of the collective multitudes of thinkers and doers who are moved by injustice and the upside-downness of our world and want to do something about it and who are a made more aware because of what Neil has to say about it.
So, I want to thank you, Neil, for your immense courage and willingness to step out of your comfort zone, for your amazing and inspiring spirit and heart. Sometimes the only way to deal with outer conflict is to look within. But equally, sometimes the only way to deal with inner conflict is to look without for the inspiration and impetus to help you roll away your stone and move onward and upwards. Thank you for your meaningful contributions to my inner world and my outlook and for the many millions you don’t know, who you draw in to know you through what you write and share on Twitter, your blog, interviews and your fiction. From the depths of my moved heart, thank you.
PS – If there is a way in the world to buy or get 2 signed copies of The Art of Neil Gaiman – one for me and one for my deep-thinking, consciously living and wonderful friend Jamie of Shrinkrap, I would be eternally grateful :-)