Art and Photographic History Poetry West Cornwall (and local history)

Some thoughts on “resilience”

The splendid Penzance Literary Festival has chosen this topic as the inspiration for this year’s event. I have taken out my larger dictionaries and looked a little at its usage and etymology. The latter is not difficult as it derives directly from Latin and basically means something like the capacity to jump back.

The term resilience was introduced into the English language in the early 17th Century from the Latin verb resilire, meaning to rebound or recoil (Concise Oxford Dictionary, Tenth Edition).

resilience (n.) … 1620s, “act of rebounding or springing back,” often of immaterial things, from Latin resiliens, present participle of resilire “to rebound, 

From Ovid we read  “saepein gelidos resilire lacus, sed nunc quoque turpes” which Loeb gives as  meaning in Metamorphoses Book VI as Often they sit upon the sedgy bank and often leap back into the cool lake. This comes from a rather beautifully poetic passage at

We get the English expressions ‘Salient’ and ‘To sally forth’ from the Latin verb Salio -to jump. In Cassell’s Latin Dictionary we learn of the Salii who were apparently a college of priests who jumped and leapt about worshipping Mars in a procession accompanied by singers and armed dancers. Instituted bt Numa Pompilius apparently.

Returning to the concept of Resilience we can distinguish its meaning from something like Endurance or Durability; it is more springy, elastic and perhaps energetic. Principally, of course, the concern around the concept relates to the inner resources for coping with Covid and the restrictions consequent upon it. It is the psychology of resilience which makes it a concept current in the zeitgeist. Without much prompting Google asks –

What are the 5 skills of resilience?

Five Key Stress Resilience Skills

  • Self-awareness.
  • Attention – flexibility & stability of focus.
  • Letting go (1) – physical.
  • Letting go (2) – mental.
  • Accessing & sustaining positive emotion.

Additionally it further questions-

What are the 7 C’s of resilience?

Dr Ginsburg, child paediatrician and human development expert, proposes that there are 7 integral and interrelated components that make up being resilient – competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control.

Also from the Mayo Clinic-

Whilst thinking about this topic, I came across these lines from a poem entitled Women Running, based upon Picasso’s painting entitled Deux femmes courant sur la plage which seem apposite and uplifting-

That arm laid across the horizon,

the racing legs, an unstoppable quartet, pull

me from my skin and I become one of them,

believe I’m agile enough to run a mile,

believe I’m young again, believe age

has been stamped out. No wonder, I worship

at the altar of energy, not the energy

huge with hate which revels in tearing apart,

in crushing to dust but the momentum

which carries blood to the brain, these women

across the plage, lovers as they couple

and tugs at the future till it breaks into bloom.
Myra Schneider


Klein – 1928 “Early Stages of the Oedipus Conflict” response

A very clear exposition, I think. There are excellent talsa and information available at the “Melanie Klein Trust”.

Theological and Philosophical Musings

Melanie Klein is my favorite psychoanalyst after the Master.  While I consider Freud to be the pioneer and thinker par excellence, Klein made important revisions to his works and anywhere they disagreed, as far as I’m aware, I favor Klein’s interpretations. 

The common updates to Freud’s theories are well-known and could probably be decently summarized by a quick google search, but for the purposes of this blog post, I want to focus on the 1928 essay “Early Stages of the Oedipus Conflict” and detail my own thoughts on it.

She correctly dates the Oedipus tendencies to the end of the first year due to weaning. This leads to an unleashing of aggression towards the persecutory object (Mother/Breast) and also anxiety. This anxiety pushes the ego to develop, at similar times of object-permanence, where the Good Breast and Bad Breast are the same breast. Both infant boys and girls find…

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Sochi Diary 2

Lacanian Scraps

I am entering my final day in Sochi. I walked the docks, gazing into the large waves that came crashing onto the land from the Black sea. I spent hours looking for a place to piss. I became friends with the dogs, and sat with them for more time than I should have, until, finally, wandering into a hookah lounge.

I met a group of people, all of whom spoke clear English, and we shared perverted jokes for several hours. The string guitar played in the background. He was wearing a white dress shirt, unbuttoned, with his chest exposed. I think he was going for that Don Juan look. As for me, I’m no Don Juan; I simply search the world for what remains of love. I’m still convinced that it’s not possible anymore to fall in love. Generally speaking, love remains the least of possibilities.

A woman sat beside…

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still life (2022)


Hemingway’s Paris: An Entity of Its Own

I read this quite recently and agree that there is so much packed into a small space. I seem also to remember horse races and a visit to the mountains. Good that Eurostar is back in operation once again!!

Courtenay's Corner

Hemingway’s ‘A Moveable Feast’ is a novel that was published posthumously. The book was born from a journal found in a suitcase in The Ritz for almost thirty years. Hemingway had been having lunch in 1956 with the hotel’s chairman when he was asked if he was aware that he had left trunks there in 1930. Ernest did not remember leaving them there, but he vaguely remembered that Louis Vuitton had gifted him a trunk. He eventually had them brought up to his room, and when he opened them, he found a journal containing notes from his time in Paris. This memoir details Ernest Hemingway’s experiences in 1920s Paris. There has and always will be a romantic smog to the dreams we have of Paris. Hemingway captures that beautifully in this short book.

He details his daily eating and drinking routine in the pretty cafés that lined the streets. Squirrelling…

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Piano – D. H. Lawrence – Analysis

This is a really terrific poem and one which lingers in the mind. Puts me in mind of a song I heard a few times in childhood which begins;”I was seated one day at the organ, weary and I’ll at ease..” – The Lost Chord. Lawrence’s poem is less melodramatic but sweetly evocative.

my word in your ear


Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me; 
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song 
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour 
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930)

The poem consists of rhyming across each double line. And…

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Autoportrait Day 7~ Barbara Hepworth

I always enjoy looking at her drawings- lovely!

The Misty Miss Christy

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Lilian Westcott Hale: Portrait of a Woman

What a perfectly lovely drawing!!

At Sunnyside - Where Truth and Beauty Meet

Lilian Westcott Hale (1881-1963) Portrait of a Woman signed ‘Lilian Westcott Hale’ (upper right) pencil and charcoal on paper sight, 22 ¼ x 14 ¼ in. (56.5 x 35.6 cm.), Source: Christie’s.

Lilian Westcott Hale’s mentor Edmund Tarbell exclaimed after seeing her drawings in the one-woman 1908 Boston show, “Your drawings are perfectly beautiful—as fine as anything could be. They belong with our old friends Leonardo, Holbein and Ingres, and are to me the finest modern drawings I have ever seen” (Philip Hale Papers, Box 53a, Folder 1444, SSC) and William H. Downes wrote on January 22, 1908 in The Boston Transcript that her drawings were superior to the work of the most admired artists Paul Helleu and Charles Dana Gibson and that they had “a distinct elegance of style.” In fact, Lilian Westcott Hales drawings are considered more important than her oils because her drawings are poetically tender and…

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Autoportrait Day 6~ Gabriele Münter


Turquoise Pool, Serbia