How to live: take what you please (an introduction)

IMG_1614As anyone can see, my blog, andyville, has been taken over by dozens of reviews of restaurants and bars. I enjoy my food blogging, and I don’t see it stopping in the near future. But I’m going to aim to do a bit more general writing. I suppose one could call it advice.

A few weeks ago, I had a strange few days where I took umbrage at two different acquaintances who were offering their own advice to the world. Who did they think they were to tell others how to live?

It is a fundamental narrative in the lives of most of the people that I know: to have the freedom to live how we choose, and to not be told what to do or what to believe by others. I think there is also the child’s reaction, where, gaining independence, they want to assert an ability to make decisions on their own, free from parental control.

But I think actually that my mind was working something out at the time, perhaps this, perhaps the idea that I often have advice for others, and reinterpreting my blog or my writing, I really always have had a didactic streak. My books had underlying messages that I wanted to offer to the world; even my restaurant reviews are about whether people should eat there or not!

However, I do think there is a difference between telling people what to do, and offering advice; as there is a difference between believing oneself is right and simply trying to make sense of the world. In relation to reiki treatments, my reiki teacher advises us that we are not ‘reiki masters’ and we are not ‘giving’ the treatment. Healing or relaxation does not come from us. Instead, we offer a treatment, facilitating a client’s body to do its own healing or relaxation, and the client is free to take from the treatment whatever they need at the time.

I was trying to think of a metaphor. A field of flowers where someone can pick which is most appealing (but then what is appealing)? A menu of food (but I’m not crazy about that fundamental concept of consumption). Being a writer and author, I’d say that my best metaphor is going to be bookish: a library. In this way, someone can browse for what might interest them and be useful to them; they can take from it what they will. Some things will be more interesting and others less so.

So, yes: the library is open. I will be writing advice on a range of topics, from serious to lighthearted. Take from it what you will.

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