7 Quick Takes #43 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

If I had a magic wand, the first thing I’d do is…

Cure our infertility issues 
Bring my lost children back to life 
Circumvent the law with magic and adopt ‘my girls’ Violetta and Gretchen from their orphanages in Eastern Europe
Make miscarriages impossible
Heal the hearts of all grieving parents
Cure all the diseases/conditions which make anyone infertile
Find a home for every orphan
Make every child a wanted and cherished one
Give everyone the means to care for their children
Cure those stricken by depression
Cure those stricken by any mental health problem
Fix every physical health problem
Make it so no-one gets sick
Make it so no disabilities happen
Make it so no-one has to be homeless
Or hungry
Or lonely
Or in pain
Or desperate

Yet even as I suggest these wonderful, life-changing, positive things, I realise that bringing about this utopia with the flick of a magic wand would be so destructive.

We live in a broken world, and are shaped (for better and for worse) by it, yet within each of us is that spark of human spirit which CAN face down troubles and survive, nay come off the better for it. We are infinitely adaptable as a race, and the hardships we face can inspire such moments of wonder, of awesomeness, that removing them would be to deprive the world of many of the good things it enjoys.

Would it be wonderful to ‘cure’ everything? On one level, SO much yes, and yet on another…the ripples of impact which spread out from these events carrying the sparkling promise brought by positivity and human application to overcome adversity, are a force to be reckoned with – a force for Good.

In our struggles we are wise to reach out to one another, to help one another, to treat one another as human beings and care for each other. Connections and communities are made, bonds strengthened and each individual enriched by the presence of another, alongside, ‘in the trenches’. 

And it’s these connections – these relationships – these people – which make life so indescribably beautiful, in spite of all the pain and horror.

So I wouldn’t fix it.

But what I would do, to further the development of such a world, where compassion, empathy and wonder are central, is wave the wand and in a cloud of billions of glittering sparks, send a resolute seed of hope into each person’s heart, along with the desire to nurture it in others.

— 2 —

I’ve actually been honoured with the opportunity to get actively involved in spreading hope. A while ago I was asked to contribute to a book on child loss, written by mothers who’ve experienced the awfulness of it, with a view to bringing some hope, some comfort, some solidarity and the knowledge that each new woman who is hurled, brokenhearted into the club, knows that they are not alone.

The book is due to come out in October, and at the moment there’s a Facebook page, collecting likes, shares and interest for people who want, need, or know someone who needs, this book. I hope that you might pop over and consider giving it a ‘like’ or a share.

— 3 —

I *finally* got round to making Mrs Always Random’s Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark.

There are some things you should know about this recipe:

  1. It uses an UNREAL amount of butter.
  2. It’s absolutely delicious
  3. Really, so SO much butter, your arteries will roll over in submission after one mouthful

It’s possibly the richest thing I’ve ever made/tasted, and because I live in English England, where we’re not a terribly sweetified nation, my friends’ tastebuds were zapped into submission (as mine were) when I offered them a taste tonight.

There’s now most of a panful in my fridge, and I can’t see Husby and I getting through it before it runs out of viability as ‘food’.

So NOW what!

(According to Mrs A.R., I need better friends)

— 4 —

Which brings me neatly to my next point – I learned from a friend this evening that my city has a ‘Jumbulance’, that is to say, a super-sized ambulance for super-sized people.

I confess I laughed hard before I began to find it kinda sad. But then I thought about it and laughed again.

I may be more sizeist than I care to admit.

Anyone for Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark? I’m not sure I should eat any more in case I find myself in need of the Jumbulance!

— 5 —

Talking of not eating any more (oh dear, I’m sure these ‘takes’ aren’t meant to run into one another *quite* so slickly, but this has been how life was this week) I was on one of my walk/runs with my Explorer Friend yesterday, and I told her about a sign I’d seen in a kitsch little filled-with-tat-and-toys-and-gnomes-and-tiny-signs garden (they were fund raising on a tourist route) which I’d seen on holiday. It read:

No food tastes as good as being slim feels

I loved this when I saw it, and joyfully recounted the experience. She baulked and immediately told me it was a terrible quote, and quite likely one of the ones which would be touted on pro-ana sites (or similar) and used as a tool to put people into a negative relationship with food and bully them into the ‘size zero’ culture.

I was quite shocked at just how vehemently she expressed her dislike of it.

And I can kindasorta see where she’s coming from with it, but I still really like the quote.

Maybe she’s right, and I need to take a good hard look at my values here…where do you stand?

— 6 —

I don’t know if you *do* TED talks or not – I do, but not as often as I should – there’s SO MUCH wonder and awesomeness there.

Anyways, today I came across this talk, by one Eleanor Longden, who speaks eloquently, engagingly and utterly wonderfully about schizophrenia.

It’s not a topic I’m closely acquainted with, but I’m aware of the negative stereotypes around the condition. I thought I’d give it a try and I was floored. She speaks SO beautifully and with such common sense and compassion.

If you don’t have time now, please save it somewhere to watch later. It’s hugely enlightening, and hey – the more we understand about a thing, the more enabled we are to engage with the people who have the thing.

— 7 —
I was really impressed with the dedication of my American friends in last week’s Ten Things of Thankful hop – it was Labor Day in the US, and they STILL came out in great numbers to join up their lists of thankfulness and participate fully in the shiny, gloriousness that is the community developing around this hop.

If you like comment box conversations, getting to know new and utterly awesomerockin’ people, and combatting the challenges of life with a kick-ass Attitude of Gratitude, come on back on Saturday and link in your list of Ten.

Ten Things of Thankful

For more, and likely better, Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

68 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #43 x FTSF

  1. Thanks Catherine. I am, after all, The Considerer. But I promise I didn't take weeks thinking – in fact, it was only as I was writing the piece that the realisation crystallised – there's no WAY I could use my magic wand on any of those things, because the ramifications would be too colossal!

    I got to the end of my crossed-out list and thought “Well, now what?!”

    And then I remembered the thing I'm struggling with – the thing so many people I know are struggling with. The thing we strive for and struggle without – hope. This world needs more of it.


  2. i've read what others have blogged about the magic wand, but you always think so very consultatively as if you spent days and weeks thinking it through, as if it were the the last and final question on earth. i just love your writing and your thought process behind your posts, lizzi. it's a beautiful way to think about it.


  3. Thank you Sandra – I truly wish so, too. I know many people who need hope, and it would be SUCH an amazing thing to be able to fix for them. Possibly more important than all the other problems.


  4. Ha! That sounds like a good exercise to have talked through.

    We are made with spirits which recognise Good and Evil, and I think to an extent we need a level of exposure to both in order to function.

    I just wish that, sometimes, there could be a little less of the slog and the badness and the hurt, and a little more hope. I think that's where the magic wand comes in – if only!


  5. Yes, it is the pain that makes us strong… and really, if we fixed it all, we'd find something to complain about. In my Philosophy of Religion class in college, when discussing the problem of evil in a god-created world, our professor pointed out that even if we eliminated the true evils of our world, we'd still have things we considered evil. What if we lived in a world where the worst possible scenario was “the world's worst hangnail”? we'd all curse god for giving us a world where we suffered terrible hangnails. It's all perspective, and I love yours!


  6. Thanks for the thought – most margarine here is about two molecular structures away from plastic. Dogs and birds won't eat it. I've heard its dyed that yellowy colour because it starts out grey…

    I'll stick with butter 😉 Just maybe half quantities next time

    (But I do need more friends with a sweet tooth – the pain remains in the fridge, barely touched!)


  7. Thanks Betty – I really hope it does! Its been put together by a fellow loss mom, so she knew exactly the kind of thing she was looking for to provide comfort and support and togetherness to other women. I'm just so glad to be a part of it.

    As to whether adversity makes us stronger – I think it does, in many different ways…though it tends to make us more adept at handling adversity, which, if THAT wasn't there, we wouldn't need to be…


  8. I agree with the magic wand. I think adversity makes you a stronger person. I sometimes wish maybe I didn't have to be so strong, but I think I really like it. I liked your book page. I think the book is a great idea and can help lots of people.


  9. I like that…I like it a lot. I can't say whether I'd trade it or not. I'll get back to you in a few hang-ups' time. 🙂

    But yes – using something innocuous to justify Bad Stuff is not great. Better to use it for Good, which is what I intended in the beginning of the convo with Emma.


  10. RE: the quote. People use awesome quotes to do justify bad things all the time. Doesn't mean we can't keep using them to for good. Maybe to get the point across without encouraging skinny we could change it to “No food tastes as good as being healthy feels”. 🙂


  11. I knew you'd get it, Heather. It would be too big of a snowball effect and once one thing was changed, another six would need changing to accommodate, and we'd end up strangers to ourselves.

    But hope. That's universal, and very needed. By all of us.



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