Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
A frantically busy week at work meant that I didn't get the time to make my 'egg' post for Theme Thursday. So, here I am on Good Friday, wondering what to blog about.
I went to church today. That's not unusual for me, but today was different. I took the train up to London and went to Southwark Cathedral. The altar had been stripped bare. Statues and pictures were veiled. Candles stood unlit and the lights had been extinguished. (The heating was off, too.) The normally bright, colourful space was dull and grey. Even the stained glass seemed muted. People gathered in silence.
There was no robed procession, no choir. There were hymns, a sermon, a simple prayer, Bach on the organ and silence. The Canon Pastor spoke about death.
And as he spoke, grief both old and new welled up in me.
And it was painful. And the tears came.
And then he read this poem
I built my house by the sea
Not on the sands, mind you,
Not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted,
The sea and I.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences,
Respectful, keeping our distance
But looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always the fence of sand our barrier,
Always the sand between.
And then one day
(And I still don’t know how it happened)
the sea came.
Without welcome, even.
Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine.
Less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight, and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
But while I thought the sea crept higher until it reached my door.
And I knew there was neither flight, nor death nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop being good neighbours
Well acquainted, friendly from a distance neighbours.
And you give your house for a coral castle
And you learn to breathe underwater.
Carol Bialock, Chile, 1975.
And I smiled. Because I think I am learning to breathe underwater too.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I can't actually believe I just typed that, as last week was the week from hell and I'm still feeling drained and exhausted. But happiness is so much more than just a quick buzz of elation, isn't it? I get a tremendous amount of job satisfaction and, on a good day, I'm happy to know that I make a difference. (So, here's hoping for some more good days just around the next corner.)
the effras, greenbelt festival 2008
Food of love, food for the soul: Walking with my ipod; propping up the bar in my local with a glass of wine in my hand and tapping my foot to my friend's band The Effras; one small voice in the crowd at the stadium, while Bono struts his stuff onstage; tears in my eyes as Runrig's lilting melodies take me to the mountains. I cannot imagine a world without music.
Salt spray on my face, bladderwrack tickling my ankles, the slap of a wave against the jetty; river running deep, the pounding of a waterfall, the play of sunlight on rapids; a pebble in a pool, fish jumping; reflection in a puddle. Water of life. Living water.
taking photos in alphabet city, nyc
Where would we be without friends?
nyc from the brooklyn bridge
New places. New people. Weird food. Strange languages. Going back - when you wish you hadn't because it's never the same. Going back - when old memories are revived and new ones made. The familiar and the exotic. The security of the old and the thrill of the new.
the alps, italy
Something wonderful happens when I am in the mountains. They are so huge and I am very small. They make me feel peaceful. Sometimes they make me cry.
Past, present and future. Being part of a family is, for me, being part of a continuum. And it's where I find security.
st paul's cathedral & the millennium bridge
Home. Cosmopolitan city where the old and new live side by side. Steeped in history. It's where I go to walk along the Thames, ride the escalators in Selfridges, wander round the Tate Modern or the V & A, explore the backstreets. Home.
the alps, italy
cold soft hard fluffy white yellow blue-shadowed sparkle crisp crunch clean dirty silent muffled frozen melting wet dry powder blanket shroud dazzling
isle of mull
Mountains, water, friends, music, snow, whisky, haggis .... heaven.
That's my perfect 10.