It seemed, perhaps, just home-spun common sense; maybe even a tad facile and simplistic. Not me at all. Then I spotted something and had a closer examination.

My beautiful daughter gives me books. Birthdays, Fathers Day, Christmas she gives me books. She loves books, as do I. I love her for it. Sometimes, just occasionally, with them I don’t see it, but by now I should know better. She sees something of me in each and every one but just once in a blue moon she gifts me a tome that I would normally just pass on by without a second glance. Ninety-nine per-cent from her are recognisably spot on, but with ‘Heart Talk’, well, it took me a while to get it.


As for its author, Cleo Wade, I’d never heard of her. It seems, though, that in the US she’s huge. She’s an influencer, an Oprah for the next generation. As the blurb goes, ‘With ‘Heart Talk’ she’s poured her spirituality and poetically infused wisdom into an accessible book you don’t want to be without.’ She’s mates with Katy Perry, Reese Witherspoon and numerous other notables; features too in all the best magazines. She promotes herself and her message around the country and is also an artist. She had her start on Instagram.

A few nights ago, waiting for my lovely lady to get ready to go out for the evening, I started to flip through her book again. For a time nothing I landed on changed my impression that it was rather naive psycho-babble. That sort of advice that may be helpful to some. Good luck to Ms Wade for hitting on something that obviously resonated for many; a sort of, I thought, manual on female self-empowerment. But could it change the world for someone struggling with issues of their place in society and self worth? As an old fellow, who is quite contently ambivalent about himself – neither self-loving nor self-loathing – at first nothing connected. And then I read –



don’t tomorrow your life away

It stopped me in my tracks. I read other bits and pieces in the book more carefully then, but I kept coming back to those words. I thought about them all the way to our destination that twilight. Maybe don’t tomorrow your life away. I’m still thinking about it.


do you think

Mother Nature


that any of her

beautiful flowers

grow in an array

of shades and sizes?

or that one grows

in this direction

and one grows

in that direction?


she puts all of them in her

magnificent garden

so they may

be together






Of course in this country we’d substitute root for another word, but isn’t this a lovely way of putting it so it sticks?


and then I realized

that to be more alive

I had to be

less afraid


I did it

I lost my


and gained

my whole life

I realised (s not z) that, yep, I did that way back in my first year of teaching when I was drowning – drew that line and stepped over it and I was away to a vocation that gave me forty years of pleasure and reward. I also did it again one Saturday morning when I set out to meet a woman who was to become my life’s companion and love. By losing my fear I gained so much. Good advice Cleo.



Hmmmmm. I thought about that one for a while too. For me that’d be better rephased – Surround yourself with people who are magic. That’d be it for me. That’s what I’ve done – and I’m so blessed because of it.

There’s probably more in the words of Cleo Wade than I’ve sussed out so far – more diamonds in the dust to be had. But that’ll do for the time being. So, after all, it was more than a worthwhile gift. I found stuff that applied, stuff to cogitate on where perhaps I expected paucity. As always, thank you Katie.

Cleo Wade’s website =

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