Sunday, April 29, 2007

Poems For Adam and Eve

Following the Bukowski poem of the previous post I sat down at that Happy Place desk of mine and wrote a poem. You can read it here if you want along with a couple of others that I wrote a while ago and added today. Hoping to add some more in a bit. Happy Sunday xx

Thursday, April 26, 2007

happy place happenstance

After writing the 'Happy Place' post earlier today someone who hadn't read it showed me the following poem and it made me laugh. So true.

air and light and time and space

"–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the
but now
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light.
for the first time in my life I’m going to have
a place and the time to

no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
you’re going to create blind
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.

baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses

Charles Bukowski

Happy Place

A few days ago The Harbour of Ourselves (sometimes we deserve our full title, right CS?) posted about his 'happy place' asking people to respond. I thought about this for ages. The Father's post about Nendrum also holds resonance with me although I haven't been there for many years. There is at least one other place I could think of, but this is the one for now.

Over Easter I took my desk from the study and put it in the bedroom. In the study it was piled full and stuffed underneath with boxes and bags full of 'stuff' needing to be sorted or chucked out. Lest it was to become a dreadful metaphor for my existence I decided to make a move. The boxes are still waiting but they are in a different place and above you can see a picture of my desk as it is now. It only has stuff on it that I need or want. There is nothing underneath it so I can actually sit at it. Sometimes I let the cat sleep on it but apart from this privilege no-one else is allowed to leave 'stuff' on my desk. It is near my books. It has a beautiful view of the hills and an old Anglican church and round tower. It is a place full of peace and possibility.

If only I could get round to writing anything at it....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

ikon on the beach

Words later. 'To sleep is also to live'.....

Thursday, April 19, 2007

do you like green eggs and ham?

that sam i am, that sam i am
i do not like that sam i am....

But my two-year old is positively in love with him. I have now read Green Eggs and Ham about twelve thousand times. I used to love this book. Someday she will have a child who will need this to be read to them e.v.e.r.y.s.i.n.g.l.e.n.i.g.h.t........

In the meantime, to amuse myself, I am developing a rather interesting and rather camp Glaswegian accent as I read. I hope it doesn't disturb her too much. Help ma boab!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

the ministry of time travel continues

Doctor Who just gets better and better. The underlying theme of this series appears to be recovery, or maybe the struggle to keep up, as the Doctor begins journeying again after the loss of Rose.

At the Last Supper on Tuesday night Becky Dudley talked about Easter and the possibility (and the struggle towards the possiblility) of something called hope. She defined grace as 'God's confidence in us that we can change'.

I am watching a family TV sci-fi drama, early on saturday evening. It has cat nuns and spaceships, scary monsters (and nice ones) and magic.

And hymns.


Tonight's episode of Doctor Who contained my favourite hymn; one which I have only heard in church at funerals, but which deserves an airing at many other times in my opinion:

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Some of the last words spoken to the Doctor on tonight's episode?

'You are not alone...'

Amen, Rev. Davies...

Monday, April 09, 2007

we see things as we are

Excuse the quality of this picture, it was taken with my phone. Last night's ikon was (IMHO) a fairly beautiful gathering involving duvets, candles, some gorgeous singing, stories tough and tender, liturgy, coincidently magical visuals and, of course, chocolate.

Now off to bed to recover (again) from this wretched cold. Hope everyone's Easter was blessed. This always feels like the start of a new year to me.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

An excerpt from Giles Fraser's piece in the Guardian a few years ago:

From his house in South Molton Street, William Blake could see processions of the condemned making their way up Oxford Street to the gallows at Tyburn. In what Blake took to be the ultimate betrayal of Christ, the church justified this slaughter by appealing to Christ's sufferings on the cross. Blake was characteristically fierce in his denunciation: "Every religion that preaches vengeance for sin is the religion of the enemy and avenger and not the forgiver of sin and their God is Satan."

Like many others before and since, Blake drew upon an alternative reading of Easter. Here the defining feature of Christ's moral teaching is an opposition to the retributive ethic encapsulated in the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Rather, Christ offered an ethic based upon forgiveness - on a refusal to become a mirror image to the violent other. In doing this he threatened to put a great deal of established religion out of business. For this established religion, based as it was on the practice of cultic sacrifice, was a way for the community to launder its own proclivity for violent reciprocity. Religion provided a safe redirection of the violent impulse and its temporary catharsis in the bloody sacrifice of small animals.

Jesus, however, takes up an alternative tradition found in the psalms and the writings of the prophets: "I desire mercy and not sacrifice," Jesus repeats from the book of Hosea. He thus attacks the religious authorities and is murdered for so doing. Jesus does not oppose the brutality of his treatment by an equal and opposite show of force. And in not returning violence with violence he initiates a fragile and vulnerable community of non-retaliation known as the kingdom of God. "No future without forgiveness" is how Archbishop Desmond Tutu summed up the theology that decisively shaped the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as it sought to dismantle apartheid. The same spirit is just as necessary in taking forward the aptly named Good Friday agreement.

That's what I think too, and yet every time I think about this way of looking at atonement I also find the words of a Maya Angelou poem nipping at my heel: 'here then is my Christian lack, if I'm struck then I'll strike back'. The two exist within me for sure and I have to say I find it hard to know which I'd like to display for example to my daughter. I watch her at parent-toddler group sometimes when other kids come over and grab toys from out of her hand. She invariably lets them do it without fuss and I invariably think (loudly) take it back! .....

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Short Story for Easter

I read this a couple of weeks ago and really liked it a lot. It is the only thing I have read by Chekov but I'm hoping to put that right pretty soon. Hope you like it too.

Wholly Weak

It's Easter and I am trying to avoid chocolate. It's not going so well, frankly. And this month's Ikon should see me crumble entirely. Please come; you're all very welcome. And the less chocolate there is for me, the better!

ikon for Easter. Like (bitter) water for chocolate.

"We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anaïs Nin

You are invited to hear with your mouths.

Join the next gathering, xocolatl, for an evening of stories that explore how the bitter can taste sweet.

Where? The Black Box
When? 20:00
On? Easter Sunday - 8th April 2007

We hope you can make it. Please wear your best socks.

From - Cary, Erin, Jayne, Kellie, Sarah and Shirley.