Reading Matters: February

Moonlight – Best February Movie.

Its Sunday today and the Oscars tonight and I can only hope for recognition for this exhilarating, life affirming movie. The film tells the story of Chiron, a young black man grappling with his sexuality while growing up poor in Miami, at three pivotal points in his life.

There’s a great review in the [New Yorker magazine here.](http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/24/moonlight-undoes-our-expectations)

Breaking news – it won!

Why does the movie resonate so deeply with me? Simple. The use of Chiron in the story. Both beautifully clever and intriguing.

Chiron = “the wounded healer”

Moonlight’s protagonist, Chiron or Shyrone (as it is pronounced in the film), is also the name of an immortal centaur from Greek mythology, the son of the titan Cronus and a half-brother to Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, among others.

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Chiron was born different: half God, half horse – he was an outsider to the Gods and abandoned by his mother but because he was the son of a God, he was different from the other centaurs: gentler and less wild. His character is unique in mythology.

Chiron also carries a starring role in astrology (and appears heavily in my own birth chart) where he is known as the “wounded healer”.

A Mortal Wound?

This idea is from Greek mythology. Chiron is fatally wounded by a poisoned arrow, but because he is the son of Cronus, he doesn’t die. Instead, his injury never heals, and becomes a perpetual source of pain. In some stories, Chiron learns to hone his skills as a healer by treating his wound.

While he can heal others, he can’t heal himself.

Chiron represents your “mortal wound” — a pain that you suffered, often in childhood, that doesn’t seem to go away. Understanding your own Chiron, the thinking goes, can become a source of learning and growth, with the potential for closure.”

moonlight

A very beautiful thing

In the movie, Chiron’s tormentors are his crack addict mother, his bullying classmates, the state, no-one even seems to care and especially not to care about a young gay black man growing up in poverty in Miami. Watching Chiron connect to the power within himself to rise above his beginning and reaching out to connect with another is a very beautiful thing.

Highly recommended. Plus the music is outstanding. From Mozart to Jidenna, faultless.

Searching for Sugarman – A Close Second

Searching-for-sugar-man

This has been on my to-watch list since it came out (in 2013 – and won the Oscar that year for best documentary) and I finally got round to watching it the other weekend. The music is just as glorious as I hoped it would be, the content just as uplifting. Then I read this devastating obituary on Malik Bendjelloul the show’s writer, director, editor, producer and realised again how life so often has unhappy endings.

Hey what can I say, I’m a sucker for the french horn and this song haunts me.

Enlightenment is a Secret by Andrew Cohen

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A psychic told me to read this book during a card reading. In fact, so insistent was the psychic that I read this book, she ran out of her kitchen to fetch a copy from her shelf and give it to me. So I read it. And parts of it were like receiving transmission of knowledge so strong the sense of unspoken recognition within it. Like this on letting go of the past.

throw-it-all-away

Sometimes I do feel a profound sense of ignorance in my inability to let go and so this passage has deep resonance for me. It was also the reason the psychic passed me the book. I am, she says, the Queen of Cups. Look closely and you can see a genuine psychic’s thumb in the top corner of the page.

Pair the book with this profile of the author and join in the discussion below.

Extra

When the world feels dark and lonely and we have questions to ask and no-one to ask them of, turn to this deck .

Here, we will always find an answer.

You Don’t Look Adopted by Anne Heffron

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This was my best book by far this month, this year.

Anne Heffron, the author has the best blog on adoption I have read….ever. It has inspired my own creative writing and has opened to soul to understanding of the commonality of the adoption experience and that somehow we all meet together in the silence.

adoption

I have tiptoed through this book this month – it is so raw. Painful but in a deeply cathartic and healthy way – in that I feel stronger in reading it as in the act of reading it, I recognise my experience deeply in another’s soul. I don’t feel alone in my experience and it is not unique and in this way I can practice more fully the art of letting it go.

Saturday afternoon during a coffee break at Starbucks, I read my new edition of Happinez and found this timely article and picture and it made my smile:

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The True Secret of Writing – Natalie Goldberg

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More than anyone else previously, Ms Goldberg has encouraged me to write and draw. And I have never once met the woman except in my dreams. Writing is taught as a practice here alongside meditation, contemplative walking, a process, you see, without judgment or candour, a beautiful happening and release. The art of putting pen to paper and living in the moment, in the flow. I write every day now on arrival early doors at work and before the routine starts to bite. I feel free in those moments.

And for everything else there are Sandcastles- always sandcastles – by Tim Neve

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A big, beautiful, glossy picture book of dreams and dream interiors and places by the sea which is perfect for looking at on a wet and wild Sunday afternoon in Yorkshire. glorious escapism – can’t wait for my trip to North Norfolk in 15 days!!

seaside-home

As my biggest dream is to live out my days by the sea with my beloved, happy with his hawk and his home; me, cooking, reading and writing, this book is a perfect present for dreamers just like me.

And speaking of dreaming, I downloaded a beautiful book of bedtime stories by Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes who narrates the stories as I fall asleep in bed. These are the last words I heard as I fell into a deep sleep last night.

narnia-narnia

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