Marian @ Krysan 


Planting Golden Seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham


A blessing from an angel.

W  I  L  L  -   P  O  W  E  R

Rediscovering our greatest strength

Written by 

Marian Moore, 2012

7 April 2012 

Hi Folks,


I learned the art of storytelling at my mother's knee.  It was through such acts of will that precious family stories were (and are) nurtured and passed on from one generation to the next as ancestral wisdom.  

My maternal grandmother Mary-Ann was a storyteller - like me. It's in the blood, as they say. I didn't just inherit her name, but also came under her strong genetic influence. I have it on good authority (my mother's) that Mary-Ann was a spiritual being for whom the pain of living was too much.  

Truth be told, I know little more than this.  But, even this sparse amount of information about a woman (on a hero's journey at the same time as Charlie Chaplin) is enough to precipitate a whole new adventure. 'Mary-Ann' is a new genre created this Easter to honour the beautiful spirit of the grandmother I never met - an enchantment from the past.

Marian @ Krysan


An angel

†  The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world ...

Storytelling was something to be practised (usually on me) whenever my mother had time to be herself. This was on a Sunday when the menfolk went to the pub and she stayed home to make the dinner.  Two o'clock on the dot was the appointed time for the return of the merrymakers who found a roast dinner fit for a king ready to be served. This was the way of a fully functional family of men, women and children, a rich community of brave, united souls from the moment the first shaft was sunk in England's Great Northern Coalfield.

The strong mining families that congregated for Sunday dinner disappeared into the mists of time in the 1980s. They went the journey along with the pits, pubs, colliery rows, reading rooms and chapels that had sustained them for a century or more. Whilst preferring to keep my own counsel on the downside of growing up in a macho culture, what was done to North East families in the name of progress should be spoken of and never forgotten. None was untouched. Decisions made in London by people who ought to have known better resulted in the destruction of whole communities.  Yet another cherished way of being involving connectedness melted away forever. The much-debated values of fairness and justice on which we once thrived left little - if any -trace.  Where now egalitarianism?

But all is not lost.  We still have each other.  

I have space only to hint at the willpower of women of my mother's generation. Though they rarely feature in textbooks, novels, or films, these women had true grit; they were true survivors. Through their investment in children, they left an indelible mark on the future. For them, the pain of living spanned two world wars.  It included, pestilence, disease, famine, poverty, and charity from the Parish Guardians. This was their lot in the first half of the twentieth century, a time when basic survival was problematic and children died from starvation and cold.  A line of popular poetry which has survived these grim times is 'the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world'.  Presumably, the intention was to light up the darkness that lay behind women's eyes - my mother's included. 

†  Another angel.A price above rubies ...

A discussion about the power of willpower suggests a quotation from Norman Cousins.  He said, "Free will and determinism are like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism. The way you play your hand is free will." There is much truth in this, and for me it begs answer to the question, Why are we so reluctant to talk about willpower today?  

I've mentioned already the willpower of those who survived two world wars.  These were the same people who helped birth The Welfare State: state education, social security, family allowances, council housing, and the National Health Service.  We post-war children - the major beneficiaries of wholesale social change - quickly learned that leaders like Gandhi (for India) and Churchill (for Britain) possessed the character strength of willpower and this in great abundance.  They were people to be emulated.  I wonder: Did long-departed people such as these possess more willpower than those of us alive today? 

I think not.

Why then are we so reluctant to talk about willpower? It saved our bacon more than once in the war years and even brought home the bacon after the war when it took us to a new level and out of poverty of mind, body and spirit. I'm not exaggerating. I was there watching. I had a ringside seat. I'm now remembering people, places and events of times past and am convinced that bringing willpower out of the closet might well be the solution to reclaiming of the future of this country and the planet. I am not the only one who has misgivings, who is experiencing disquiet at the direction of flow. A supporter of 'idealistic aspiration', Albert Schweitzer said: 

"I am convinced that far more idealistic aspiration exists than is ever evident. Just as the rivers we see are much less numerous than the underground streams, so the idealism that is visible is minor compared to what men and women carry in their hearts, unreleased or scarcely released." - Albert Schweitzer

†  Yet another angel.High quality connections ... 

The Schweitzer quotation leads to a consideration of what 'men and women carry in their hearts, unreleased or scarcely released'. Sounds promising.  People haven't changed.  Perhaps, they simply need a nudge. I've come full circle in my thinking and have again arrived at the conclusion that connectedness has numerous benefits in that it, 

  • contributes to greater wellbeing,
  • reduces stress,
  • increases engagement, and
  • promotes the ability to learn.  

It follows that promoting strategies for high-quality connections in a hospital ward, in a school room, on the factory floor, or round the dinner table is to the good of all concerned. It has implications for respectful engagement, effective task enabling, and trust. In short, in a high-quality connection, people will feel more engaged, more open, more competent.

They come alive!  

Significantly, the wise Albert Schweitzer brought us more encouragement when he said, "Mankind is waiting and longing for those who can accomplish the task of untying what is knotted and bringing the underground waters to the surface." Spurred on by such oratory from the past, I often venture outside the house of cards that is my comfort zone and go looking for smart people with smart strengths, alive and in the present.  And this, to my entire delight, but that's for another day.    

An angel. †  Through the looking glass ...

"Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of the moon." RUMI

Again, I am reminded of my mother's generation.  They were active, not passive and saw it as their life's work to build character, resilience and relationships into their children. At one level, this was their duty of care as parents, guides, and teachers. At another level, we - the children - were their gift to the furtherance of human kind.

This is my inheritance from the gentle women and brave men who populated my life from the time I was born.  They did good.  And, really that's all any of us can do. Here's some good advice from a friend in Hawaii. 

All good things come by synchronicity and grace. You cannot, and need not, plan your route to heaven. Any planning for heaven denies that it is already within you.

- Alan Cohen

God's messengers.

  • Marian Moore
  • April 2012



Hand that writes.Family historians of the pen and ink variety are of very recent origin, a product of a twentieth century educational curriculum which emphasised the written word.  At least, that's my explanation for an urge (even compulsion) to write things down.

I know from activity on Facebook, Twitter (and the like) that I am not alone in this desire to reveal all, and this to an audience of tens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions.  With the growth of the storytelling genre, the telling of stories related to family history has come into its own.

In recognition of yet another great power - the power of the pen - I invite you to join me.  Welcome on board the star ship, 'Mary-Ann'.


If you are capable of perceiving it, you are capable of living it.  'Bashar'.


4,945 reads @ 2015-12-20

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