Myths, Minds & Midnight Libraries

6 December 2020 Laura Hannah

Myths, Minds & Midnight Libraries

Here are 5 things that have inspired me over the last few weeks – I hope they have a similar effect on you.

1. THE DARK SIDE OF STORYTELLING

In her TED talk Suzanne Duncan takes 11 minutes to explain the power storytelling has in our day to day life. She conveys the importance of recognising our own stories, their patterns and the effect they have on ourselves and others. I found myself questioning my habits; do I claim success for myself and attribute failure to others? How might I distribute responsibility more evenly? Is this a bad habit to have? It also made me question ego, something that has so many books, podcasts, and articles written about it.

Just click the image below to play the video.

2. CAN THE EGO BECOME STRONGER?

Suzanne Duncan leads me on to this article by Ekhart Tolle, just because we recognise these things in ourselves doesn’t mean we are bad or getting worse. The very action of noticing behaviour, spotting our habits, recognising our story shows that we are growing. It is here that we truly begin to gain control over ourselves, and our thinking. Once you realise you’re designing a story, you can question the choices linked to that myth, and move forward with a new narrator.

3. THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY

by Matt Haig

I always feel December is the perfect month for curling up with a blanket and delving into a good book, so if you feel the same way here’s a recommendation for you. Matt Haig writes about human nature in brilliant stories with vibrant characters. I was introduced to another of his books The Humans by a friend and am now a big fan. The Midnight Library deals in dark subject matter, depression and regret, but its over arching theme is hope and resilience. A powerful story that I’ve been recommending to everyone over the past few weeks.

4. NT AT HOME

How could I ignore the National Theatre’s new subscription service? I expect many theatres will follow in their footsteps as a digital portfolio is going to be an essential aspect of their business plan from now on. I should mention that there have been other companies doing this for sometime now. Digital Theatre have had incredible productions to rent or buy for a number of years, as have Shakespeare’s Globe. It’s an exciting new aspect of the theatre industry and I believe it will have a powerful presence for years to come.

5. NEIL GAIMAN

Finally I wanted something wintry and hopeful, something that felt like an open fire and a good story. Gingerbread and big mugs of tea came to mind, scarves and hats while walking in the cold, and then I remembered Neil Gaiman. This may sound like a strange turn of thought, but Neil is the author of some of my favourite books. I don’t re-read fiction much but I’ve read some of his books so often I’ve needed to replace them. His stories are usually about familiar yet distorted worlds, with characters you don’t always agree with. For some reason the book that came to mind while I was thinking my wintry thoughts was his book of Norse Mythology. A nostalgic book that warms you, that’s best read on dark, cold nights.

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