The month of January 2019 has been one of joy and sadness, with challenges and unpleasant surprises that have left me shaken and at times deeply distressed. The month started well as I had enjoyed a very memorable time over the Yuletide and I had begun to write up my experiences ready for this blog.
I am eagerly awaiting publication in the next work from Anathema Publishing Limited and at the start of January the pre-order facility went live on the website. To say that I am honoured to be a contributor to PILLARS IV (Vol.2, Issue.1) ‘Circling the Compass’ which should see publication proper in February, barely encapsulates my feelings. I am ridiculously excited as I recognise the remarkable prestige that publication by Anathema represents. This announcement is a moment of pride and naturally a cause of celebration. Please view the Anathema Publishing links below for details of this publication.
The joy has however, been short and tainted. During the course of the month four persons that I know in real life, have all suffered bereavements. One such loss being close enough that I have myself, been touched by the deep sorrow such events entail. The cold winds of January have swept us in a way both undesirable and unexpected. They have left those of us affected by such losses, chilled to the bone, frozen in thought and in our emotions. Many of us have been left numb.
Towards the latter half of the month I faced a double disappointment, a personal catastrophe. The failure of the hard-drive on my laptop has resulted in a shocking loss of work. My thoughts on this are explored elsewhere (see the link to ‘Our Electronic Dependence’ below) and I will not go into details here. I will merely recapitulate that the loss of work is great. Although I have spent a considerable amount of time tracing work and recopying, much still remains lost. Many deadlines are no longer achievable.
Then as I was slowly losing my mind as I attempted to assimilate the loss of my written work, a charity event I was involved in organising was cancelled. An announcement by the venue on the 23rd of January took us all by surprise. There was an element of disbelief as we heard the news that the ceiling was unsafe and that the theatre would be closed until September. The Northern Witan 2019 is one of over one hundred events cancelled; the closure of the Guildhall is a major blow to the arts and entertainment scene in Derby.
Despite our wishes to find an alternative venue, it is clear that doing so with only eight weeks’ notice is impossible. The decision to cancel was a hard one to take and the loss of twelve months work has been a great blow to all involved. Although we hope to be able to reschedule the event for later this year or early next, we are at this time unable to state clearly whether the Northern Witan will take place or not.
As the month came to an end I felt that I could not cope with anything more going wrong. January has been the darkest of months, stained by death, equipment failures and personal disappointments. What more could possibly go wrong? Truly, I felt broken.
The winter is a testing time, an endurance of hardship and challenges. I sincerely hope that February will be a month of greater happiness and joy than January. The coming of Candlemas heralds an eventual return of light, despite the foreboding harshness of winter that is still yet to come. We can all look forward in hope towards those warmer days that are expected, once the cold and bitter winter has ended. We would all do well to remember that where there is the promise of light, then there is also the promise of hope.
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