The older I get, the faster things seem to be moving. And the more I try to drop things, the more things seem to be added at the front end. I’m on an accelerating escalator.
StAnza’s going well, with the printed programme now available, and advance bookings are very satisfactory so far. Yesterday’s Board meeting was long but mostly agreeable, and I’ve managed to get my designation changed from Chair to Convenor. Chair may satisfy the PC brigade, but I’m getting increasingly reluctant to go down that route. Am I becoming a Grumpy Old Man? Certainly tetchier, I’ll grant that. The big thing yesterday was the Business Plan, which took a fair bit of writing, but I was very happy with the Board’s reaction. I used to write the Botanic’s Corporate Plans, so I’ve got form in that area. I suppose my objectives here, as with the other organisations I’ve been involved with, are to increase the level of professionalism, and to improve mechanisms of governance and financial management. Maybe that sounds mundane and boring, but I think it’s essential.
Anyway, on to the creative side of things, in the afternoon I went on to meet a prospective Calder Wood Press author. We had a lovely chat over a cup of tea about her new book (for later in the year). We also talked about Buddhism. We’ve both got long backgrounds, but very different approaches. The austere, aesthetic and intellectual aspects of the Rinzai Zen school, and the more rustic Soto school, have appealed to me since I was a teenager, and I practise ‘meditation in action’ more than zazen (sitting meditation). My friend has studied a wide variety of Buddhist ways, and is deeply involved with Tibet and its history and current problems. As a result she was extremely interested in my recent trip to Tibet, and the temples and practices I saw. She was able to tell me the Tibetan Buddhist background to some of the things I witnessed. I felt acutely aware of my lack of Tibetan and Chinese languages while I was there, with a resultant inability to ask the right questions. A lovely afternoon.