Saturday, 19 November 2011

How to eat an avocado - Susan Jane Sims

There are days when you wake up with a bit of trepidation and this is one of them. Today something is ending that has been a big part of my life for the past two years. I have been chair and regional co-ordinator for the South West branch of Lapidus and thoroughly enjoyed it. No that's not strong enough, I have been inspired by it and loved inspiring others would more accurately describe the experience. I set a time limit on it though, two years because I believe every group needs new blood.

These past few weeks have been a bit strange. I was determined not to persuade anyone else to take over although ironically I was persuaded myself and it worked out well for me. Having put a lot of myself into the group over the past two years including inviting, selecting, collating and editing an anthology known as Elements of Healing from writers in the South West of England to raise funds for the group and provide continuous professional development for Lapidus members (writers who work within the community encouraging others to write to promote well-being) I felt it was time to step aside and invite others to come forward.

It took a while and though I didn't want to persuade individuals to take over any of the roles that I and my stalwart committee team have assumed over the past couple of years I did try all my ploys on the group as a whole through my mailings. Apologies came in from some who were sadly too committed to other things or with young children and I can understand them not wanting to take it on. There was silence from others and tiny tentative bites from a few.

The story has a happy ending. Just when I had given up and sent out invitations to a reflective celebration for Lapidus SW to mark it's going into dormancy for a while three lovely Lapidus members stepped forward. At the eleventh hour you might say. New blood at the eleventh hour and we are not far away from Armistice Day so it feels symbolic and something I thought might be lost for a while is being restored in a new way and that feels right.

Today too I opened up my computer to write the very last part of my very last SW report and found I have a poem featured on the Southbank collection  of poetry magazines online.  I gave permission ages ago and now its there. Poetry, the slow burn.
Saisson Library Poetry Magazine collection online


Coming very shortly guest blog from writer and artist, Judith Kazantzis. Sunday 21st November 2011. This will make a lovely Sunday read.

Visit Lapidus
Visit Lapidus online journal


  1. Always difficult to leave a position - especially when it concerns something that has been inspirational. Means leaving it to the 'unknown' and with the worry that things may take a different direction from one's ideal. I think you were right to put a time limit in place. I've been in a church leadership position for over 30 years and feel I should have put the time limit in place too ! Bet you soon fill the time with something else.
    Poetry IS a slow burn but there you go that too is the way of things.

  2. Thanks Keith. It was a really good ending for me and with new leadership the group - a branch of Lapidus in the South West of England will continue to flourish.