December 31, 2008
Strange but true!
During this festive time I read of a woman who apparently has seen angels since she was a small child, as one who knows nothing and indeed as a lover of mystery, I read on as she spoke about seeing the angels bestow gifts of golden orbs, sounded good, I even texted a friend saying that i'ld really like a golden orb for xmas (I got an iPod!)which was golden in its on way.
Later sitting in my living room, I looked up at the wall at a picture I painted a couple of years ago, it is of a woman sitting beneath a tree being cradled by another figure and she is holding........ have you guessed? A bright shiny golden orb!
Strange but true.
December 24, 2008
Send for the wailing women.
So there we were at Matins with the Rector still shaky after his surplice incident at Christingle. He was preaching from Jeremiah and 'send for the wailing women' seemed to be asking for trouble, which Jeremiah certainly had in no small measure. Sure enough the following Sunday was the Carol Service. How the wailing women love a descant! 'The celestial choir in hymns of joy unknown before conspire...' well, they weren't really unknown, we sing the same ones most years and to be frank, the choir aren't that celestial this December. Shrill Mistress Tomas conducted and coaxed.
Young Weasly Sprogget usually sings the opening verse of 'Once in Royal' but his pustules were uncommonly lurid and there was that much shrinking away of folk as he lurched through the lych gate that old Eb Thrackett took matters into his own hands and saw him of with a hazel switch.
The Knights took positions in the front pews which wasn't ideal for the school children hidden behind all that plate armour.They had rehearsed a sweet carol with Miss Chalk.
Freddie Mac and Fanny May who joined the school this Michaelmas, haven't really achieved very much in the classroom but sing like little angels. The tenors were thin but Master Robin Gaybody was still sporting the goatee beard he grew for the last miracle play and the rat catcher had scrubbed up and must have learned a thing or two from his inset day on 'Pied Piper Awareness'.
Sir Vis Provider was so embarrassed to come in lustily with the sopranos part in O Come all Ye Faithful. Even drab Pam sniggered. Sir Ramic Tiles took the collection and Mr Kipling helped Mrs Minchin serve stewed bun and figgy ale before were went out still reeling with festive bells and hollied hearts into the starry night.
Gwen the one eyed widow met me at the Jolly Ditcher for a gin and it.
my brilliant Christmas wish. Eye have a dream!
The thing about Van Gogh is that in his early days, with his past too present, he could only paint suffering. He could only paint victims; hard and harsh times, in greys and browns.
And then later in life, with the sun of Arles on his back, he could only paint vibrancy. He could only paint light and swirling, burning-yellow life.
He'd walked a path; travelled a journey - and acquired different eyes. He saw the thing - and then he saw through it, to the outrageous beyond; unimaginable but for all.
I'd like those eyes - those van Gogh eyes - this Christmas...
December 22, 2008
thoughts of summer
With the shortest day now spent, I definitely feel summer in the air.
I thought so.
And that's why even now, the papers are filling their new year pages with enticing holiday porn. Just you wait!
But I say we live Christmas first - instead of rushing towards the sun, like some mad raspberry.
December 19, 2008
A hole lot better
As regular readers of this jolly interesting blog will know, I have recently been attempting some 'space travel' of the cheaper kind - that is, seeking the space behind my words, deeds and attitudes. Why? Because like a bent picture hook or a road map of Prague, you never know when it might be useful.
And one thing I've discovered - no fanfares or loud applause please - is that I was born space, but quickly forgot. I was born a bubble - all sparkling space really - with a thin outer coating.
And then boiled by life, I thickened up, toughened up, hardened up - with my thin outer veneer becoming a complex and clever wall of resistance.
I was still space obviously - space enough to contain the whole universe - but was just cut off from it, bricked out. To return there - and please don't try this at home, children - instead of toughening up, i've had to loosen up; allow for some rock fall from my wall; encourage crumbling construction and gaping rough-edged holes.
All a bit scary, obviously, but then peeping through the gaps, wey, hey, hey - there it is!
Space! Sweet appreciative thankful brilliant space.
(I always had a hunch twas so, to be honest.)
P.S. Russell's desk tale remains a national disgrace, however. Let the restless deskless arise! We need our draws - where else will we put our wine gums?
Doris will be our icon of unrest...
December 18, 2008
Goodbye to my desk
This week was my last at my desk. It was also my last working week for this year. When I return on January 5th I will be officially 'hot desking' as they call it. I will always have a place to sit however it will now never be my own and will be simply borrowed until the owner comes back from sick leave.
I have been at my work location now for nine weeks and will be there until early May. On my first day I was given a desk and it was my base. I was not always sitting at it as I spent a lot of time out and about. It was always there however when I returned from the cold and it offered me a warm place to sit at to get the feeling back in my hands and reflect on what I had just witnessed. My kind aunty gave me the gift of a small felt bird (whom I have named Doris) during my first week and it was my personal thing that I kept there until yesterday when Doris and I had to move out. My 9 weeks work of various pieces of paper is sitting in a pile at the desk of my manager now and Doris is residing with me over the Christmas period.
So on January 5th new adventures for Doris and I will start and there will be many more things to see and feel. For now however I would like to thank my desk for having me and tell it how much I valued its presence in the start of a sometimes scary but mostly exciting new adventure. X
December 15, 2008
My life as a really rubbish thriller
Is my life a thriller - in the really rubbish sense of the word?
I've just read a thriller - 'The Ghost' by Robert Harris, and I enjoyed it. I don't read a great deal these days - and the last thriller I read was 'The Da Vinci Code' about five years ago.
I say I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure it did me much good. I'd forgotten how insistent thrillers are that you crack on with them. This is why they are called 'page-turners'. They don't want you to pause or reflect. Hell, no! Instead, they pressure you into a mad and future need; the need for all to be explained and become clear.
For this reason, thrillers make me inhuman, particularly when I get to the last hundred pages. I don't want to be disturbed. 'Go away!!' I say - or maybe worse. I'm trapped and entirely stupid now.
When I get to the end, and crawl from my entrapment, the outcome of the story is immediately forgotten, and the book is put on the 'charity shop' pile.
Similar to my 'thriller' life, in fact, as dehumanised, I race ahead to some crucial future outcome, imagining it will somehow be defining, and important, and really significant. More fiction. Life has no beginnings or endings; just constant present and precarious adjustment.
I am not racing towards a final line. The final line - which reveals all in a startling denouement - is now.
December 12, 2008
Unfaithful - and enjoying it very much
I am currently being unfaithful to my radiator; and linking up shamelessly with my hot water bottle. And i don't care who knows!
The radiator, given a century or three, does perhaps raise the temperature a few degrees - but is not personally warming. Whereas my hot water bottle - cosy and focused on my lap - is.
The room around me may be see-your-breath chill, but why should this concern me? For I am as toast! As in, hot bread popping steaming from the toaster. Hot, hot, hot!
This is good news for heating bills, and further confirmation - as if we needed it! - that if we look after our selves, our surroundings become less oppressive.
December 11, 2008
When life overcomes me
I find myself looking over a wall,
On my side
Are all the complicated relationships
And demands of this world,
The pleasure and the pain,
And on the other side
Is a deep silence, perfect peace,
A blissful emptiness.
I then have an overwhelming urge to climb up
And allow myself to fall into this never-ending space.
But when I give myself some time
And I begin to wake up,
Then all things become clear
And I realise that
I have been living life
It is so simple
The wall vanishes
All things then have free passage through this space
Nothing and noone stays forever
(although I do enjoy reunions!)
But the space is constant
I think maybe, it is what gives me life.
December 09, 2008
Through the thin veneer
There is a question in a poem by Thomas Merton:
'Whose space are you?'
It is haunting me, like an intriguing and persistent ghost.
So this advent, I have become a space traveller, stepping through the thin veneer of my words and deeds. Peering through the wall paper of my attitudes even - peering beyond, walking through, to the big space behind.
I'll tell you how it goes. Presently, it is just this enormous hollow, and resonant, like a great night sky. I presume it is me, though I have to say, i didn't realise I was this big.
You could fit a good number of double-decker buses in here.
December 08, 2008
crimson sky thinking
It was orange, certainly - and part blue, pink and grey. But looking down from the Alexandra Palace, it was primarily crimson.
So a title for my new book:
'Today I see London beneath a rich crimson sky.'
Actually, that's not just the title; that's also the book - in its entirity.
So no need for lots of chapters, and nonsense like that.
A short, but inspiring read, I hope you'll agree.
December 06, 2008
Everything I do
Everything I do teaches the children I work with something!
That's why I need to be so careful,
Not to use my size,
Position or more developed physical & verbal skills,
To overpower them and make them feel small and stupid.
It is why
I need to listen, value and respect their decisions,
It is why, I need to work with them
To come up with solutions to problems,
And whenever possible allow them time and space
To do things their own way,
And on the occasions
When 'their own way' is not possible,
I need to be gentle and acknowledge,
How difficult and frustrating it is
To be 'done to' and have no control over what happens.
If I want the children I work with,
To grow up to be free thinkers,
Who are kind and generous to others,
Then I need to lead by my example.
Everything I do teaches the children I work with something!
December 04, 2008
It is very important
That when I get up in the morning
I put in the right contact lenses,
For one set allows me to see
All the good in the world
And the other set,
Well, they just make life miserable.
December 01, 2008
Learning to Love
Learning to Love
Is to live each moment fully
With the people or person you are with
About making connections spoken or unspoken
Allowing your body to feel the way
Listening to the music of your soul
About being honest with yourself
Even if you do not like what you find
Willingness to change and break down protective walls
Enabling yourself to move freely in the flow of life
To see all things and all situations anew
Through the eyes of the child within
I want to learn to love.
This needs addressing
Look, I know I'm good. But I'm not that good.
If you've contacted me via the website asking for retreat details, without leaving me your address - you're over-estimating my powers. I could guess - but it's all together quicker you sending them to me.
And while we're on vain hopes and lost causes, I'm trying to get in contact with my old friend Martin Hoile - a musician who I have wriiten lyrics for, culminating in the excellent 'Hidden agendas' album. Is this connecting with anybody? Is Martin still in Newcastle?
Could anyone address my problem?
(I'm sorry, Tess - you did say the puns were getting worse. But believe me, there are whole new depths I haven't yet plumbed.)
Oh - and welcome to Advent. Twenty four windows of opportunity.