Taking the leap, blood red poppies and lessons in love

In two separate conversations this week, the following sentence came up: ‘The grass isn’t always greener…’  Is it merely a sentence, or a sentiment?  Do people sitting on the fence get to compare both sides?  And can they view the grass objectively?  Isn’t the point that the grass looks greener from the other side of the fence but once you’ve catapulted yourself over the thin wooden slats you discover it’s a dull greyish, mossy hue.

Sometimes you just have to take the leap and hope the landing is at least soft, even if not completely weed-free.  And my philosophy is simple: If the grass isn’t greener, lay some shingle and grow flowers in tubs.  It’s not all about the grass.

10592935_10152654426561255_1668391128739144403_nTalking of grass, I stopped by the Tower of London on Tuesday to see the fantastic display of ceramic poppies creeping across the grassed moat.  They spill out from a small arched window in stark contrast to the fields of blood where the crimson flowers spread upwards and outwards a century ago.  More than 200,000 of the ceramics stand proudly in the shadow of England’s most historic castle, each representing a life lost, boldly honouring the sacrifices those young men made.

So red featured as the colour of my week.  Blood red poppies and the colour of love.  Spending Thursday at the Southbank Centre where I gave a 121 training session to a new social media client,  the Festival of Love grabbed my attention and wooed my camera from my bag.  It was brash, funky and fun.

Celebrating seven kinds of love, a collection of artists and communities have created this lovely programme of free events, performances, poetry and pop-ups.   I learned something new that day: I didn’t realise that the ancient Greeks had 30 words to describe different types of love!  These are the seven definitions chosen by the Southbank Centre:

  • Pragma – love which endures
    Bonding love that develops over a long period of time, enduring ‘in sickness and in health’ or through years of friendship.
  • Ludus – flirting
    Testing out what it might be like to be in love with someone; that slightly dangerous sensation.
  • Agape – the love of humanity
    Making us upset when we hear of a world crisis, encouraging us to give to charity, and connecting us to people on the basis of our shared experiences.
  • Storge – family love
    The love shared within a family, whether related by blood, or not.
  • Philautia – self-respect
    The love we give to ourselves, being true to our own values and taking care of ourselves.
  • Philia – shared experience
    The love we feel based on achieving shared goals, such as co-workers, team players.
  • Eros – romantic and erotic love
    Based on sex and attraction, falling in love is the one which can get us into the most trouble…

Imaginative Training | social media blog | social media training | Plain English training | Plain English editing | copywritingI’ve known them all, but agape is the one that will make me buy a ceramic poppy!  Being at South Bank always reminds of the Flash Mob I took part in a couple of years ago with Sue and Karen.  We had such fun singing on the steps, demonstrating a good example of Philia love… The chorus of this Lennon/McCartney classic was part of the medley that day, and I was humming it on Thursday too:

“There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known, nothing you can see that isn’t shown.  There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be… It’s easy.”  And it is.  I can teach you or show you.  And if you’re not happy where you are right now, follow me: @WeekendWitch.

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