Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Matryoshka... by way of many...

And if you walk--walk away save yourself you've got nothing to prove
And if you give what they take you can bet they will take it from you
You're not the same as the day that you came
You can choose dignity or shame
You've got to carry your heart like a torch in the night
Little keeper of light burning deep burning bright in the dark
- Crooked Fingers.

Frederick Buechner, wrote in the Hungering Dark essay, Pontifex, which i am sure i have recalled here more than once before, "...we need each other, you and I…"

As i struggle to pull myself up from that dark well of loneliness (to steal a phrase), which i have also recalled here more than once before... as i try to give myself compassion at a time when my emotional insides try and catch up with my desire to love where i feel hurt dealt - i am drawn again to those words of Buechner's. to wonder what the G-d's eye view of our lives is... the eye that sees the need in us so much better than we do...

i do not know if it is faith that keeps me alive. but it is something like belief that there is always another way to view our lives. that if right now i am struggling to keep afloat, i should be wary of anything that feels definitive, an end point, a final solution... i must remain open to possibility - to that which is to come. to hope. as Caputo names it, "to hope in hope itself", even if, by way of Foy, "Hope deals the hardest blows"...

i have been recalling once again the words of a gospel preacher i witnessed delivering a sermon on the fourth verse of the Psalm 23 in Nashville. it was November 1998, in the weeks following my mother's death,
"Brothers and sisters!" he exclaimed with passion and dancing limbs, " 'Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death'. Through beloved! We are walking on through..."

i remember, or someone remembers in me, (perhaps it is G-d who is remembering, by which i might mean, perhaps that part of us that does not give up is what we would be best to call G-d, that something that does in us in spite of ourselves), that the only way out is through...


It is often noted by those that know me well that I have a curious or irritating ability to remember exact phrases, entire conversations. Such exactitude is both a blessing and a curse. There are many conversations and comments I would prefer not to remember. They keep we awake and wind round and round, replaying a barbed tune, like thorns on the inside of the skull. And there are many words that others would prefer I didn’t or couldn't recall... and i wish that i could marry that remembering with doubt, an ability to not believe what others say, since we humans so often seem to say things which we will later retract, deny, disprove, betray...

One of the (perhaps) mixed blessings of technology is that when we do what we call instant messaging we can save our conversations.
We get to rewind time if we choose and listen in on what we were thinking, feeling, saying, not saying on any given day. this morning i revisited a conversation of a few weeks ago, in which i had written, acknowledge pain is not a hurtful act to anyone. but to try and weave through life without being honest about our hurts is always destined to make us make bad choices or end up hurting one another...
as i read my words, i found comfort. met the stronger me. saw grace in action. little did i know how hard i would later, now, feel the cost of that attempt to live with grace, the attempt to make peace, let go of anger...
little did i understand then that even as i wrote that line above, i was swallowing my hurt and not allowing myself to be vulnerable. to admit pain. hurt. that apparently stronger me makes the repeated mistake of not taking care of the vulnerable me, the me that needs nourishment, security, caretaking...

when i do not listen to that me, it sits beneath, silenced, to be dragged by the stronger me, the one striding forth in the name of love and compassion and grace for others. the one that all to often forgets about me i was before i had words for love, compassion, grace ... the me that believes so passionately in love, in goodness, redemption, so often does too little to nurture, parent even, this more vulnerable me... it has such will, such force of belief it refuses to listen to the child who is desperately trying to speak within me, but who only has tears...the strong me silences and in doing so succumbs in the end to the wealth of grief being felt and i regress back so that all i can feel is that inner child... and such is the grief, i shut down on the outside...

of course there are no two parts, they are one... and yet there are more than two, within myself there are many... so let's scratch that, let's say that perhaps we are like russian dolls...

the largest is the one you see. the present self. the one that faces the world, has a mouth and eyes and ears. and inside, wrapped up inside one another are the many selves... to encounter each one is to encounter the past parts of ourselves...each one smaller and younger than the last... until down there in the centre is that part that has never been touched by the world... down in the place within us where there are no words, where G-d dwells... our true, unbattered, unwounded self... the source of our unique beauty...
each self wrapped inside another has a different story to tell, some are so young they have little language to express what they experienced, no way to tell us what it was that happened to make them hurt so much... they need great gentleness... others need to be allowed to be angry, to scream... others need to be affirmed, to be set free, to dream... others need to speak of neglect, injustice...
in every conversation, in every moment, there is always the possibility that we will awaken the memory that any one of these selves carries... and if we are not careful, those selves do our feeling for us, they believe the past is repeating itself... we need such discernment to be whole humans... we need to know the difference between the present and the past... to nurture those past selves... to love them within us...we need to remind them that what is past is past and that they are safe... we need to let them speak... but we must reconginse that they are speaking about the past, their time, not the present...
but by keeping them silent, by refusing to really listen, our present self struggles to control the commotion... who to listen to, who to let be in charge..? inside there is panic, fear... we become legion the more those inner selves are not taken care of... and for others... well, they shut down rather than face those inside... they retreat into perceived control rather than allow the perceived chaotic pain of hearing their own stories, rather than admitting there are parts of themselves that do not have a clue how to live in the grown up world... who have no control... who need taken care of... who are ashamed of what lies within them... who cannot bear to face the hurt in some of the stories needing to be told...

sometimes we stuff the mouths of those inner selves to keep them quiet - with material goods, food, sex, drugs, alcohol...hedonism. sometimes we silence those inner selves by starving them, neglecting them, denying them what they need, keeping them under strict guard. sometimes we will silence them by physically hurting others... and sometimes the noise is so intolerable we give way to what the world sees as insanity... we will, it seems, go to any extreme to pretend we are in control...

if i could carve in wood, i would build a whole series of life size dolls, one for my present self and one for all the pasts... and stand them in a row, perhaps a circle so they could be witnesses to one another... and speak to each of them... tell each of them what they need to hear... and i would keep speaking to each of them until they stopped hurting... listen to them til they had said whatever it is i need to hear...

perhaps that's what therapy is... perhaps that is what writing is... perhaps that's what these pages are all about... perhaps that is what the book i am writing needs to be about... the conversations we need to have with each of those selves... the stumbling attempt to make each one feel welcomed, heard... to let each of them speak... to not be silenced, to not be shamed... to allow them to sing and weep... to acknowledge that they all to often did not get what they needed... and so often, the G-d eye knows they were hurt by the silencing of the inner selves of others... we are all co-conspirators of our unhappiness by not listening for what is really needing to be heard... health is being in good conversation with the self...

true loving is being loving all the selves in another... of wanting them to be able to speak too... to treat them with dignity, care, nurture.. but when we're all trying to pretend we don't need, that we are whole, undamaged, invulnerable it can be hard to love one another, to find a way to have healthy conversation...

even if we understand the need, with all the self insight we can muster, we can still fail to do the work of responding to our vulnerability - of healing it, living with it, accepting it as being part of being human. instead we persist in making choices that make us seem less vulnerable. Be they when we choose not to speak in specific conversation, or when we silence ourselves and others completely by refusing to have honest conversation at all...


i recall, again, not for the first time, the words of one of a song that kept me alive with its solidarity more than once before... i don't mean to bug ya with repetition... but when one's therapist says, "i love music, it has saved my life", then i take that as tacit permission to allow music to do it's work at saving me too... whatever we need to get through... and here is stand on familiar ground, with one who does not with their art betray me... this is the authentic i need to keep me keeping on... reminding me that i am not alone. reminding me not to be ashamed of feeling, being vulnerable...
What Happens When The Heart Just Stops
so what happens when the heart just stops
stops caring for anyone
the hollow in your chest dries up
and you stop believing
so what happens when the heart gives up
but the body goes on living
the blood crawls to a slow and stops
and flows away
well we got no one to meet
no love we would beseech
we only have ourselves to blame
for everything
there was no answer in the dust
now I'm missing you so much
and now you're sleeping
and I'm leaving
empty handed waiting
and time it will subside and we'll agree
it was a given
there was no standard we could set
and the world it does regret to have to
leave you in this state of bereavement
see I'm feeling everything
nothing gets by
there is a hollow in my chest
a time I won't forget
there is no comfort in the eyes
that put us always to the test
I can't prepare myself for that
but I'll work it out in time
there is a love that flows between us
ever changing everyday
I worked myself up to a crawl
but I'm not fearing it at all
we have no reason left to stay
and that's why we're leaving
there was no answer in the dust
and no one out there to trust
there is a lie that drags us beating
and pulling into disappointment
so you're gone


is it love that causes our suffering, or silence..? i wonder if it is the latter... we silence the soul in shame... and the more we silence those voices within us the more brutally we treat one another... the more we make others pay the price of our own pain we would rather avoid...

we all have fault lines... or perhaps we might say, all of us have inner selves that are broken... that is nothing to be ashamed of... but knowing that and not doing something about it, allowing those selves to hurt others, that is when we have to dig in and do the work, bend into the ground and climb... and we make a fundamental mistake time and again by living as if it was our vulnerability that is the cause of the pain and hurts in our lives... when in actual fact we hurt more when we refuse to admit we need one another. we hurt by persisting in pretending that we are not vulnerable. like we don't need help. that we can get by on our own. this is the human error. by avoiding our own pain we make other's pay.

i did it. i repressed so much of my past that i hurt over and over. gave another my anger. and they too repressed. withheld anger and controlled by passivity. both desperately not wanting to admit just how much we needed care for our inner selves, by silencing who we had been, for being ashamed of being what is erroneously seen as weakness. we lost one another in the process.
i thought i had learnt my lesson, but i let anger give way to fear... instead of screaming i chose silence... tried to have intimacy while not speaking up... instead of saying, "i am terrified, there are parts of me that do not have a clue how to do this but i want to learn how", i kept quiet... the barbed tune in my head is often made of the conversations i never voiced, the things i should have expressed and didn't...

and the painful proof of this always comes too late... when we see what we have lost, the cost we have paid... everyday we humans like to play make believe we are not wounded... and when make believe won't work anymore, we hurt others so we don't have to face our woundedness...

but i believe where there is love, there is no shame...

where there is love there is no shame
where there is love there is no shame
where there is love there is no shame
where there is love there is no shame

i'm terrified of being vulnerable, and i have no idea how to do this...

i'm a loser, baby... just like you...


Sunday, May 25, 2008

all that can't be left behind...

she's packing. in a week she'll no longer live here. boxes and belongings strewn all about in chaotic disarray.

she doesn't know what all this keeping's for. possessions held over in dusty attics all over town for some unknown future.
keeping things for the possibility she'll be needing them somewhere down the line. she'd rather give it all away. give it to people who know where they'll be. people who feel settled. rooted. have expectations beyond six months from now.

she feels the volatility of frustration racing through muscle and vein so that the body never feels still. conflict does not lie without but within. outside there is loving, hoping, smiling, striving, forgiveness, redemption. but inside, where the soul lies broken there is a whole other world... built with broken pieces that cut with their edges of unrest.

someone writes and says he wishes he could have her life... but he only sees what he wants, or perhaps needs, to see. only sees her frame. sees the keyboard. seeing the words. but not seeing her heart.
the fragments...

not seeing her waking in the same state she fell asleep in, silently crying for something that she cannot have.
not the longing so strong it is physically nauseating. not the feeling of absence like a body spooning her as she fails to find rest. not the paralyzing homelessness. the searing loneliness. not the hours spent on her knees praying to find home. not the feeling of adriftness. to want to be anywhere but here. to want nothing but what she cannot have. not the emptiness felt when surrounded by people and experiencing nothing but being utterly alone. not the burden of feeling love, desire, want, need and having nowhere to put it. not the feeling apart.

she is writing. for every message of defiant, valiant hope sends there are many more that never get sent. that speak, cry, of hurt, loss, giving up. and if he does not see beyond her frame, the outside, it is because she edits. out of some kind of broken want and need to spare she writes only the good. the hope. the love. like a gift. every single word meant. but as if it cost nothing to believe.

and hidden, behind the lines, in truth, she lies amidst piles of unwanted belongings and, unedited, weeps...
for the arms she misses.
for mother she cannot ressurect.
for the child she may never birth.
for the intimacy she craves.
for the loss she bears like a wound that never gets to heal.
for the lie she wishes she could have back:
that she was safe in the arms of patience.
that she was found.

she is writing. pretending by all this giving she is anything but bereft.
she is packing. pretending by all this keeping that she believes in some kind of future. that she is anything but lost...


Friday, May 23, 2008

two shades of hope

Shirley referenced this track by Foy Vance the other day. here's the full lyrics. beautiful song.

Foy Vance's album ::Hope:: is available on iTunes. kind of stuff that raises the bar and calls us into living by way of the authentic...


If there’s one thing that I know
It is the two shades of hope
One the enlightening soul
And the other is more like a hang man’s rope
It’s true you may reap what you sow
But not that despair is the all time low

Baby hope deals the hardest blows

There was once someone I loved
Whose heart overflowed his cup
And his shows got covered in blood
Oh but he never knew ‘cause he only looked up
Now he was a troubled soul
Who’d seen pain more than most I know

Yet it was hope that dealt the hardest blows

And the girl that holds the hand
Of her somewhat distant man
Though she do everything that she can
Still his heart sets sail for distant lands
And she wonders sometimes if he knows
How she feels like a trampled rose

Baby hope deals the hardest blows

And some people think that their sin
Caused the cancer that’s eating into them
And the only way they can win
Is by the healing of somebody’s hands on their skin
And praying… but when the cancer does not go

Surely hope dealt the hardest blow

Now all these truths are so
With foundations below them
That were dug out in the winters cold
When the world stole our young and preyed on the old

Now hope deals in the hardest blows
Yet I cannot help myself but hope

I guess that’s why love hurts
And heartache stings
And despair's never worse than despair that death brings
But hope deals the hardest blows dear
The hardest
Hope deals the hardest blows


some days, like loving, the beauty of honesty feels like it is hurting us into existence...


Thursday, May 22, 2008

new horizons

first up. i may have posted something on this documentary on its release last year. today i got to see it. vital viewing if you have an opinion on any one or more of the following:

  • Christianity
  • How we read the Bible
  • LGBT rights
  • Homophobia
  • Family

i didn't think there was much more i could learn about the intersection of these issues. i was wrong. i was left moved and challenged. powerful stuff.


at the beginning of this year i set out to consider a cause to commit to.
in these days i am beginning to wonder if it is not me that is finding cause but that cause is finding me.

i have spent much of this week in the delightful company of one
Peterson Toscano. at a time when i am reflecting deeply on my 6 years in the ikon community, trying to work out how to proactively step toward i know not what on my own personal journey, to understand why it has brought me to here on the outer fringes of the church yet now more deeply passionate than ever about the what it means to identify as Christian, to feel a sense of vocation to serve fragile and experimenting communities on the edge but no clear sense of what that could or should look like, to be wondering where i should plant myself if i respond to that sense of vocation, Peterson has brought challenge and insight to bear. the kind of conversation that one senses will be an important part of my story as i look back in years to come. i am deeply grateful, not only for his activism but for his commitment to ever weaving conversations that are going on in so many places. conversations that feels like a calling. it is a strange sensation. that something of deep significance for my life is afoot. requiring courage to follow desire, to have patience and stepping on in faith, and to believe like i never have before. that my longing and frustration are telling me about the unlived parts of me. that what feels like loss now will turn out to be anything but. that absence is giving way to deep presence. that what feels like vulnerability is in fact deep strength.

and as i try to find the words, try to find my place, i am to hold steady and to listen, speak, create, act from my heart. from my deepest self.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Noun. figure of speech in which a part represents the whole, as in the expression “hired hands” for workmen or, less commonly, the whole represents a part, as in the use of the word “society” to mean high society. Closely related to metonymy—the replacement of a word by one closely related to the original—synecdoche is an important poetic device for creating vivid imagery.


my dear friend david dark sent the following link under the heading, "looks promising"
Synecdoche, New York

this was my reply. he requested i blog it. so, here it is. check out the video at that link first otherwise this will make no sense.


yes it does. please excuse me for a moment, i have some business to
attend to:


dear god
i will make the following trade on my contract for heaven. i'll
forgo my heretofore promised eternity, "reclining on 600 count
egyptian cotton and chenille, accompanied by a companion to read me
the complete canon of flannery o'connor's works, with a Michelin 3
star private chef on hand, in a home straight out of architectural
digest, while the semi-clad Misters k reeves, b pitt and c bale do
press ups, crunches and tinker with an array of classic 4 and 2
wheeled vehicles", for instead, "a perpetually available seat at a
simple table at which is seated a fully clothed philip seymour
hoffman rehearsing his lines".
as a gesture of "good faith" i am open to negotiation of the nature
of said 'lines' - Mr Hoffman eternally reading aloud from the phone
book or indeed the back of a cereal packets will be considered as
potentially acceptable to my terms, with the attached proviso that
i then get to bring a friend who can cook to meet our culinary
requirements. as i am servant-like in nature i will happily wash
the dishes. perhaps in return for this good faith you might
consider ceding that Mr Hoffman could read, 'a good man is hard to
find' on my or indeed Jesus' birthday.
as per our original agreement, i will of course in return, until
the as yet unknown date of commencement into the heavenly realm,
continue to be kind to children and animals and and live out your
Word of inclusive love and peace to the best of my somewhat
wretched abilities.
if your people could contact my people in this regard and at your
convenience, i would be most grateful.
yours, eternally,
c. ]

sorry about that, i'm back,

i spy with my little eye:
the eye doctor was (i think) the guy who "only dated models" in
SATC S1ep2, "Models and Mortals".
the tall balding man we saw at the start was looks very like the
guy who played John Lee Roche, the vacuum cleaner come pedophile
serial killer in TXF S4ep08, "Paper Hearts".

i could probably be a leading surgeon or NASA scientist if it
wasn't for this useless crap filling up my brain space.

geek that.



i then got this reply,

thank you for this C (and please put it on thy blog if'n it ain't
there already).
i wondered if that first man we see might've been the troubled
murdering man in michael mann's _Manhunter_ (to which _Silence of the
Lambs_ was the sequel).
consider yourself a lyrical mind...the "useless crap" might, in some
sense, be equivalent to the folks who had the Odyssey, the Qur'an, or
Beowulf in their heads long before before pen was often put to

word up,

so, i have blogged as requested and an imdb search later and it turns out we're both right. Tom Noonan is his name, formerly of Manhunter and X-Files is indeed that freakily tall man in the clip.

reminder: the geeks *will* inherit the earth.
consider yourselves on notice,


Friday, May 16, 2008


there are some who doubt there is a god. who'd make it up if there wasn't.
some days that's been me.

some days i wish there was no god. that i could unmake it.

unmake god.
unmake love.
unmake peace.
unmake kindness.
unmake care.
unmake compassion.
unmake patience.
unmake desire.
unmake beauty.
unmake magic.
unmake light.
unmake hope.
unmake giving.

i am so tired.
i feel the weight pressing down.
feel my frame buckling under.
and i damn the god who will not let me give up.
but i cannot unmake it. cannot kill what is both beyond and inside me.
to kill that god would be to cut out my own heart.
and it refuses to let me do it.

i am exhausted by the heartache.
just as i am exhausted by the hope that makes me drag myself forward into another day.
i wish god would pass by on the other side of the road. leave me behind...

i wish god would unmake god.
because i cannot do it.
but somedays i don't know how i can keep going...
somedays i can barely hold up my own weight...
and i am tired of being dragged on...


Monday, May 12, 2008

Things will end before they start *

The dots join and they always comes back to the same thing…


By way of a wonderful documentary on the BBC’s iplayer last night:
The World of Nat King Cole. I recommend it if you’re in the UK- it’s available for most of this week. Wrapped around the story of Cole’s career, this feature length documentary, using fantastic archive footage and insightful, often uncomfortably honest interviews, explores Cole’s world – the unfolding musical and cultural history of America through the 30s, 40s and 50s. From the jazz mecca that was Chicago to Los Angeles, from pre-Castro Cuba to polite 1950s London, it tells of the bitter racial oppression that marked those decades. Shocking and wonderfully insighful in turn. Artistry and bigotry side by side.

A key moment in Cole’s career was the explosive success of Nature Boy...

:: The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return ::

Baz Luhrmann was interviewed. He said all the songs in his film, Moulin Rouge, save one, advance a scene. But this song tells the entire story. Luhrmann was emphatic that this line for him is a human truth that cannot be denied. It is fundamental. The undeconstructable perhaps? In one perfectly phrased lyric,
Eden Ahbez captured what I guess we might call the human gospel.

By way of the iPod shuffle. Ask by The Smiths...

Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to

Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to

So, if there's something you'd like to try
If there's something you'd like to try

Coyness is nice, and
Coyness can stop you
From saying all the things in
Life you'd like to

So, if there's something you'd like to try
If there's something you'd like to try

Spending warm Summer days indoors
Writing frightening verse
To a buck-toothed girl in Luxembourg


Because if it's not Love
Then it's the Bomb
That will bring us together

Nature is a language - can't you read ?
Nature is a language - can't you read ?


Because if it's not Love
Then it's the Bomb
That will bring us together

By way of Adam Phillips, for the umpteenth time,
We are most creative in the ways in which we frustrate ourselves.

By way of Fox Mulder, albeit flagrantly out of context,
You think you are getting rid of a headache. Well you’ll come to see you’ve only done it by cutting off your own head.

By way of prayer,

give me patience…
I think we must drive you to distraction.
tell me that at some point we are we gonna wise the fuck up.


* by way of Holland by sufjan stevens, from Greetings from Michigan. best of American.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

there is no i, only we

'Why is it that when we're thirsting, we'll choose to refuse that which is here to help quench our thirst?
And if asked why we'll not drink, we'll reply, "Because I'm too thirsty".'

- a wise contemplative friend, today, as we reflected on the soul in depression.

today ends as it began. as it closes in quiet, i feel sadness creeping up from my ribs to my eyes...

today was a better day. a good day. there was laughter in today.
there were flowers. and friendship. and long overdue food.
messages from far flung places
and with a call to wonder,
"If life were a person, how would it be approaching me? What gift is it bearing?",

i find life is approaching with care and offering a gift of strength in loving solidarity.

i am glad to be a part of a community of friends who do not shy from realness... who each come bearing gifts... cups of their own unique strength, their best selves... of gentleness, bossiness, listening, insight, chocolate, a choked word of encouragement, mirth, courage, hope... and in it i do not have to pretend there is no sadness, but together we live through this... i remember that i do not have to be strong in this place. none of us do... perhaps this is its greatest gift...

blessed is the one who finds in isolation there is a chain of love linking itself together... drawing itself in like a tightening circle... one by one knuckles rap gently at the door and draw me out into the nurturing light of together we live through this...

the day ends as it began, with tears. but as it closes in quiet, it is not only in sadness that they fall...

colour me blessed. so very blessed. and gratitudinal once again.
love finds me here. just as i am.

If you want to travel fast, travel alone.
If you want to travel far, travel together.

- African Proverb.

Friday, May 09, 2008

depression is the flaw in love...

i've been listening to the gentle radio programmes at Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet each night to help me find soul rest and ultimately sleep.

i found these programmes helpful...

(the Program Particulars are a useful annotated guide but in truth each page is worth exploring, there is much more that just the audio programmes themselves)

The Inner Landscape of Beauty: John O'Donohue

Brother Thay: A Radio Pilgrimage with Tich Nhat Hanh

L'Arche: A Community of Brokenness and Beauty

Speaking of Faith: The Soul in Depression

Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair. When it comes, it degrades one's self and ultimately eclipses the capacity to give or receive affection. It is the aloneness within us made manifest, and it destroys not only connection to others but also the ability to be peacefully alone with oneself. Love, though it is no prophylactic against depression, is what cushions the mind and protects it from itself. Medications and psychotherapy can renew that protection, making it easier to love and be loved, and that is why they work. In good spirits, some love themselves and some love others and some love work and some love God: any of these passions can furnish that vital sense of purpose that is the opposite of depression. Love forsakes us from time to time, and we forsake love. In depression, the meaninglessness of every enterprise and every emotion, the meaninglessness of life itself, becomes self-evident. The only feeling left in this loveless state is insignificance.
Andrew Solomon; The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression


heart. breaking.

i find myself back at these pages after many weeks away.

this is a familiar place...

i don't know why i am here. other than it was here that i learned before how to write my way through grief. and so it feels like a kind of harbour. a strange harbour.
i am retreating. again. buckling under.
so much stronger now than i once was... but these present days are marked by loss and distance with an aching that sucks the air from my lungs with its strength. how easily we can forget what raw grief feels like...

this is a hurting place...

things have changed... i am sitting at a different table. back in northern ireland. i have found the stumbling fragments of belief... something that is something like something like faith... said goodbye... and goodbye... and goodbye...

this is a lonely place...

and as i trawl slowly through these pages pretending i am more than existing, i find myself pausing to pin this scrap of paper to the door post. one more attempt at writing my way through...

this is a surviving place...

we do it letter by letter. scrap by scrap. learning what love is by the measure of its cost.

this is a bereft place...

but somehow we will be transformed in it.

somehow amidst tears something will be birthed.