Beth Ann Fennelley evangelising (photo Gaetano Catelli )

I have to hold my hand up here. This blog post is more about connecting than reconnecting, which would not be so bad had I not been the one who suggested “Reconnecting” after Lesley proposed “Connections.”

I had in mind the way we are tentatively reconnecting as covid restrictions are eased. But, quite soon into my search for interesting literature on the theme, I came across something so interesting that I wanted to share it.

It is different to our usual posts because it is a Ted Talk (a free educational video). I am not going to say much about it but, instead, urge you to watch the video. However, I will say that it presents hard scientific evidence that Jane Austen is good for you. Which is enough reason to promote it in itself.

Beth Ann Fennelley is the poet laureate of Mississippi and a self-proclaimed “evangelist for literature.” In her talk she presents evidence that literature fosters empathy and can counter racism.

If you prefer to read than watch the video, the gist of Fennelley’s argument is here:

2 thoughts on “Reconnecting

  1. Reconnecting

    We met for the first time after over a year
    About ten of us

    We had had several sessions with a couple of artists
    Who brought out our memories and skills
    Who helped us fabricate the wooden boxes
    Then work out what to place in them
    Pebbles, shells, pictures, photographs
    Poems and some writing

    Then they were ready to exhibit but
    The Covid pandemic happened and
    Suspended all activities at the arts centre

    After over a year we finally met face to face
    At the launch of our memory box exhibition
    The boxes were placed on shelving in the cafe area
    With their lids closed ready for inspection

    We carefully opened the lids and looked inside
    We had seen and talked about the contents
    When assembling them all those months ago
    Now we reconnected with them and our fellow artists

    Later we shared a meal at the local eatery
    Chatting over this and that
    Truly grateful for this experience
    Grateful to the young artists who had travelled to be us
    On this journey of discovery and
    Who had helped us physically and emotionally
    To make our wooden memory boxes



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