Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


by Stephen Fry

"I shan't tell you," said Mr Kett. "It's a secret. See? That's how good I am at keeping them."
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This is the first chunk of Stephen Fry's autobiography, leaving him at age 20. It's very funny, and very candid, too. 

I absolutely LOVE Stephen Fry. It's OK to say that without upsetting Luvbug for obvious reasons- first, Fry's glorious gayness, and second, Luvbug enjoys QI almost more than I do. He also knows how much Fry's documentary about Bi-Polar helped me, airing as it did for the first time just 2 weeks after my diagnosis. I'd thought I was BP for a long time, found patterns that weren't explained by 'straightforward' uni-polar depression. To have a psych-doc agree, and the art therapist, and to see it on my notes, well for some reason that hit me. For a long time afterwards, I thought -though it sounds corny- "If Stephen Fry can have this and manage, cope, LIVE, then so can I."

The title of the book confused me for a while. It's from the Psalms and is repeated in Psalms 60 and 108:
Moab is My washbowl; Over Edom I shall throw My shoe; Shout loud, O Philistia, because of Me!”(Ps.60:8)

The psalm isn't quoted in the book so why the title?
Here's one interpretation, which I found on Yahoo! Answers, of all places!-

Old Testament Jews were extremely concerned with cleanliness. Wearing sandals in the hot and dusty environment, their feet would become filthy and upon entering a home, would be washed. In their cleansing and purification rituals they used poured water. They would not put their feet into the bowl, but instead hold their feet over the bowl and pour clean water over them, and the bowl would be used to catch the filthy water. The washpot was therefore a symbol of disgusting filthiness.

The phrase "Moab is my washpot" alludes to God's contempt for the enemies of Israel. The nation of Moab found displeasure with God because of "her overweening pride and conceit, her pride and arrogance and the haughtiness of her heart." God brought Moab low because of her futile insolence, yet He promised to "restore the fortunes of Moab in the days to come." So young Stephen Fry considered that he was a disgustingly filthy, proud, conceited and arrogant young man who, rather like God's promise to Moab, eventually amended his behaviour and excelled.

Wow. I wonder how many writers put that much thought into the title?!!

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Equilibrium- The Bipolar Foundation  Stephen Fry is their Special Ambassador. There is a letter from him on the website about their work: here.


Feronia said...

Stephen Fry *is* great. My one is from Skein of the Crime by Maggie Sefton:

"Okay, now slip the tip of the right needle underneath that last stitch on the left needle," Kelly instructed the young girl beside her.

Blue said...

First - Helena I'm so so sorry, I honestly thought I'd commented on Dilly's blog to say thanks for the cute Dragon card and how much I loved it - guess I didn't. I've been feeling increasing low these last few weeks, but your lovely card did brighten my day when rec'd - it was nice to know someone was thinking of me and that you had created it for me. Thank-you, love & hugs xxx
I too like Stephen Fry. For a short time he had an alternative book shop/cafe' called QI in Oxford. I use to look in but sadly never court him on one of his regular visits there.

My book entry for this week is here:- http://blue-startingover.blogspot.com/2012/03/524-book-meme-week-12-1.html

Eileen said...

The four of us in our little Eckles family are absolutely Stephen Fry fans. What a wonderful depth and breadth of mind he has. QI is spectacular.

My 52/4 this week is from a book written by the actor James Mason and his wife, Pamela, titled 'The Cats in Our Lives', published in London in 1949. I was delighted to find the book in an antique store here in Arkansas. We Eckles are also cat lovers. Our four cats have all crossed the Rainbow Bridge, as they say, along with their Miniature Schnauzer brother.

From 'The Cats in Our Lives':

"This habit of ready response saved the reputation of catdom one day when an anti-cat Greek was paying a visit. After criticizing cats on a score of counts he finished up by stating categorically that cats did not answer to their names."

To Blue and Helena, and anyone else who needs it (including me), I wish you a better week ahead. x

Angel and Kirby said...

Marine Biology by Gail Carriger

"where's your girlfriend? " ask the waitress, twinkling down at them all. She was a pretty dark-haired girl with big brown eyes who'd always had more than just a smile for Alec. Alec, had, of course, never noticed.