I was sitting here on Sunday afternoon, thinking about cycles, and stages, and phases. I was thinking about how the last couple of months of my life have been about sickness, about convalescence, and then about recuperation.

I was trying to come up with a word that would encapsulate, and embody, what I would like my next few months to be about. I feel that I need to get back to myself, as if I have in some way been absent from some fundamental aspects of what constitutes my ‘self’: from the things that make me feel whole, and nourished, and that bring joy and laughter into my life.

And then I found the word I was looking for. A resurgence.



  1. A rising again into life, activity, or prominence; a renascence; a renewal.

  2. A restoration to use, acceptance, activity, or vigour; a revival.

A rising again into life, a restoration into vigour. Thinking about the next few months in these terms, it became clearer to me the things I can do to get back to myself, to rediscover the pleasure and joy and richness of my life.

And in the way that a word, once uncovered, often leads to another, it also occurred to me that a renaissance is also an apposite metaphor for what I am trying to grasp here:



  1. A new birth or life; a rebirth.
  2. A cultural revival; a renaissance.

To revive myself, I am going to begin again doing the things that nourish my body and my soul. I restarted my yoga practice last week, and I am going to gradually increase that until I get back to the almost daily practice of my pre-illness self. I have also just booked to go on a yoga retreat next month, to which I am looking forward immensely.

A cultural revival: today I spent some time wandering around the gallery where I work. I was struck, as I am every time I do this, how incredibly fortunate I am to be surrounded by such a wealth of interesting art. I am going to nourish my creative self this autumn by spending more time visiting other galleries and seeing more art.

But most of all, I am going to re-invigorate the relationships with the most important people in my life. After all, as Tolstoy wrote, we must ‘seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved!’

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