Naomi McCarthy

artist, writer, animateur

Filtering by Category: Truth

Final truth courtesy of Phil beadle. Happy?

Abraham Lincoln said, " Most people are as happy as they choose to be."

I say, "Happiness is ephemeral, you can't attain happiness, you can just notice it when it happens."
Here is a day of noticing my happiness.

9:00am Eating breakfast - happy
9:30am Checking travel bookings - flat line
10:00am Walking in the cold and rain down to Hitchin town - very happy, loving the weather
10:30am Getting hair done, pleasantly distracted, then bored
11.30am Walking back from town in wind and rain - very happy
12 - 2pm Watching Tony do travel bookings - OK
2:30pm Arguing about style of accommodation - angry
3:00pm Back down the town in wind and rain for a walk with Tony (abandoning bookings) - very happy
4:00pm Tea and cake at adorable tea shop and gallery in Hitchin with Tony - very happy
5:00pm Walking up Windmill Hill, turning around to see spectacular sunset - extremely happy
6:00pm Dinner with family - happy
7:30pm Calling cousin to cancel plans to meet, plans remade - conflicted and feeling my run instinct kicking in - not happy
8:00pm Dancing at the village hall - shy, conflicted, run instinct on high alert - not happy
9:00pm Sitting with Tony at dancing - settling in and starting to relax, resisting my run instinct, happiness increasing
10:00pm Dancing the Mayfair Quick step with Tony to a tune from River Dance, wondering why everyone else was out of step and laughing ( a little like a crazy woman) for the whole dance - very, very happy
10:00pm - midnight Drinking at The Plume of Feathers pub in Ickleford village - happy
Midnight Bed - happy 

Finishing the camino in Santiago de Compostela - looking very happy ( back row of this photo) and I was in that moment indeed happy, but I was also conflicted about transitioning out of pilgrim mode back into normal life. The beauty of the camino is the simplicity of the aim, the easy and always available camaraderie, the exposure and immersion in nature, the opportunity to spend six - eight (or more) hours a day under the sky, following the contours of the land moving through the landscape at a very human pace. A calmness descends on you knowing that, it is all a privilege, a gift if you will. Knowing that it is a movable feast and that it too will finish is also important because it makes you take advantage of what is offered, it also allows you to walk away from anyone and anything that you don't like, except yourself. The one constant and inescapable truth - you take yourself with you wherever you go - my best advice about that one is to make friends with yourself, forgive your transgressions and in being generous about your own failings learn to be generous and forgiving to others. Open yourself to life, living it as a participant, be gracious in your attitude to what life offers, not distant and judgemental, which is a 'safe' and cowardly position. My take home lessons from the camino: be brave; be kind; be open to what life offers; be thankful and give praise for the bounty of the world and being given a life to live; it really is a gift. 

Share something from your childhood. Truth courtesy of Rita Golden Gelman

Rita Golden Gelman truth - share something from your childhood you've never told anyone.

There is nothing in my childhood that I have been able to keep to myself. I am a talker, and I can't help it, I love talking about myself. I am endlessly fascinated by almost every facet of my emotional life and have had to develop some discipline so as to control my natural urge to indiscriminately over-share. I understand the impetus that makes stand-up comedians ruthlessly mine their own life for comic material. Making people laugh is very seductive, and if I can make people laugh while talking about my own life then I am happy. I am also very happy laughing at myself, which I enjoy doing so much, it makes me look a little unhinged at times - I like that about me. 

One day to live. Truth courtesy of Lloyd Niccol

If you had one day to live who would you tell and what would you do?

I am finding this question difficult as I have a secret belief that I am immortal. Confronting my own death has always bothered me - as a child I remember crying profusely and when mum asked be what was wrong I told her, "I didn't want to die." She replied with don't worry, when I die I will say good bye to you from heaven and that way you'll know I'll be there waiting for you when you die." My mum had and still has a wonderful way of saying just the right thing when I am suffering from existential angst (although I wouldn't have named it that during childhood). She also has a way of always putting me in the right, bless her, even when I know I am in the wrong. Norman Mailer tells a story to illustrate his mother's absolute loyalty saying that if he went up into a tower and shot people, his mother would say, "what did they do to Norman?" Effectively putting the 'blame' on 'them', he saw this as her weakness. So if it turns out I am not immortal, I am still holding out on that one, I can't confront this question until after my mum dies and she has popped back to say goodbye to me and I know where I am going.

When you sit still and quite, what are you longing for? Truth courtesy of Kate Mitchell

I long for a place to belong, curiously I spend a great deal of my energy on long distance endurance endeavours, where I am in a constant process of leaving, either physically, physiologically or emotionally. Therein lies the tension of my life, the antagonism of which one hopes will create a pearl, like grit in an oyster shell.

which ethnicity do you find most/ least attractive physically? Truth courtesy of Phil Beadle

Phil Beadle's Truth - which ethnicity do you find most/ least attractive physically.

Well, having been on the Camino de Santiago for a month I would have to say the most attractive ethnicity on said camino is the Italian cyclists who look good arriving and indeed look good leaving. I will be forever grateful to whoever invented the all-in-one Lycra bike outfits. Muy bonito. 

If you had 24 hours what would you do and who would you notify you were dying? asks Lloyd Niccol

Obviously a confronting issue, so firstly I would try not wasting valuable time in denial. I would need to share such news with those closest to me, but first I think I would like to write personal letters that I could leave them; so I could communicate something special about each of our relationships.

I would then access as much funds as I could possibly muster and leave instructions for it to be spent on a celebration of a life lived. Someone, somewhere, sometime said that death is the price we pay for life it is sad but true, though I wouldnt have missed it for quids.

Contact:  Shirley.dandelionprojects@gmailcom