Tag Archives: writing

new words

My lovely friend Bec has launched 2011 with the 100 Theme Challenge.

I like it.

Particularly at the moment when my ability to string two words together is fairly limited, let alone trying to pin down an interesting ‘theme’.  So I am thinking I might give it a go.  Here is my amended list of themes.  I think it’s worth attempting.

1. Introduction

2.Love

3. Light

4. Dark
5. Solace
6. Break Away
7. Heaven
8. Innocence
9. Drive
10. Breathe
11. Memory
12. Insanity
13. Misfortune
14. Smile
15. Silence
16. Questioning
17. Blood
18. Rainbow
19. Grey
20. Fortitude
21. Vacation
22. Mother Nature
23. Cat
24. No Time
25. Trouble
26. Tears
27. Foreign
28. Sorrow
29. Happiness
30. Rain
31. Flowers
32. Night
33. Expectation
34. Stars
35. Hand
36. Treasure
37. Eyes
38. Abandoned
39. Dreams
40. Rated
41. Teamwork
42. Standing Still
43. Dying
44. Two Roads
45. Illusion
46. Family
47. Creation
48. Childhood
49. What my mother told me
50. Breaking the Rules
51. Sport
52. Thought
53. Secret
54. Tower
55. Waiting
56. Danger
57. Sacrifice
58. Purity
59. No Way Out
60. Rejection
61. Fairy Tale
62. Magic
63. Disturbed
64. Multitasking
65. Horror
66. Traps
67. Melody
68. Hero
69. Annoyance
70. 67%
71. Obsession
72. Mischief Managed
73. Inability
74. Challenge
75. Mirror
76. Broken
77. Test
78. Drink
79. Starvation
80. Words
81. Pen and Paper
82. Heard
83. Heal
84. Cold
85. Spiral
86. Seeing Red
87. Food
88. Pain
89. Through the Fire
90. Children
91. Drowning
92. Possessions
93. Surrender
94. Hope
95. Advertisement
96. Storms
97. Safety
98. Puzzle
99. Solitude
100. Relaxation

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12 days

I have decided to re-write the ’12 days of Christmas’ carol.  It is harder than you think!  Particularly as I am trying to make it relevant to us.  I am planning to make it as a part of my Christmas decorations this year.  So far ‘bottles of bubbly’, ‘gorgeous girls’, and a ‘twinkling tree’ have been mentioned.  If you have any ideas, let me know, I’d be really appreciative!

Here are the original words as a bit of a reminder:

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!


measured words goes global…(not quite, just down the road and up a hill)

The lovely gang at Soul Survivor recently asked me to do a workshop at their annual festival, focusing on creative writing.  While I feel completely under qualified and overwhelmed, I love that they asked and I love that they see value in writing (creatively or otherwise).

I always find that when I am asked to speak anywhere – not that it happens often – it feels like an exercise in self-indulgence.  I seem to always find a way to introduce those things that are occupying my thoughts at that given time.

So with this in mind, the SS gang are likely to get a little glimpse into my struggle to find where beauty ‘fits’ in life and the importance of making time and space to find that which is beautiful.  And of course, how writing plays quite a significant role in that process for me.

Let’s plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will – it’s only action that can make a man [woman].

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

(and I forgot to mention – image from The Folio Society – amazing, amazing, amazing)



paroles mesurées de lundi

On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions.  Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke?  Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it?  The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning.  It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets.  Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews.  For the sleeping God may wake someday and take offense, or the waking God may draw us out to where we can never return.

Annie Dillard.    

 

This has been tumbling around my heads for days.  An obstacle that keeps tripping me up: and I stumble over and around it.  It has disorientated me and kept me up at night.  The remedy to an undiagnosed illness; the solution to an unsolvable problem. 

I am not sure I want either option. A sleeping God or a waking God.

A sleeping God can’t hear me or see me.

A waking God is expectant and wary.

But the truth remains – I do not, and cannot, understand the power I so effortlessly summon.  I do not and cannot understand this God I presume to love and worship.  I try, of course, but my options are limited. 

I expect this God to be merciful and just and gracious.

I find that he is distant and faceless and too big – which is not as frustrating or as hopeless as it sounds.  It just is. 

I would be lying if I said that I longed for the day that the waking God unleashed his power.  What would that look like?  Would I survive it?   

I ask, cover my eyes and count to 10…do I dare peek? 

I don’t see anything.  I don’t hear anything.

And then there is a warm, gentle, breathe on the back of my neck.

I close my eyes. 

For now, this is enough.


paroles mesurees de lundi

There was nothing graceful or fluid about his movements.  He was barely able to shuffle one foot in front of the other.  He moved awkwardly and slowly. 

But he moved.  Everyday… he moved. 

Around and around the block where we live.   His back so bent his nose was parallel to his torso and his eyes never glanced upward.   His shoes were tied on with pieces of string and he always wore his winter coat despite the summer heat.

Cars tooted him, people crossed the road to avoid him, dogs chased him barking their agitation.

He was part of my landscape.  Whether I saw him in the mornings driving to kinder or in the afternoons walking to the supermarket, I always saw him.  I liked his consistency and his determination.  I liked seeing him.  When I first ran into him I would say hello and try and talk to him about the weather; but he didn’t want to talk, he just wanted to walk. 

I have come to realise that what is innate in him was different to what is innate in me.  Despite our shared humanity, we are so inherently different that there is little common ground between us.  Even, perhaps, that what makes me human is not the same as what makes him as equally human. 

I miss him when I don’t see him. 

I don’t even know his name.


paroles mesurées de lundi

I have recently realised that I read to escape and I write in an attempt to discover solidity and clarity. 

And so ends any secret desire I had to ever write fiction (which I didn’t have, so I’m not too bothered!). 

It is an interesting juxtaposition.  I pick up a book and am instantly transported somewhere else and into someone else’s context.  I have succeeded in removing myself from my little world. 

But I write in hope of discovering truth and grace in my little world.  Perhaps I have needed to do more escaping lately, but I seem to be reading a lot more than I am writing.  However it is also the time of year for taking it easy and relaxing with a good book so I am not too concerned about my avoidance of putting pen to paper. 

A lovely friend of mine, on her blog (http://allsaidanddone.com/), has introduced ‘Illustration Friday’s’ where she shares illustrations from children’s books.  It is a lovely idea and I am going to unashamedly copy her (thanks Bec!)!

So let me introduce ‘paroles mesurées de lundi’ (which is French for ‘Monday’s measured words’).  I will attempt to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) and start writing.

This is not a New Year’s resolution!

It is because I need to get serious about it.  

I need to get disciplined.

I need to challenge myself.

And I need to pursue this thing that I have secretly loved and held tightly to my chest for a long time. 

Let’s see what happens…bring on Monday!


reflect

We just got back from spending the weekend away with the guys from our church.  We are all exhausted – but for all the right reasons.  It was a lovely time away, very relaxed with little to do but chat, drink coffee and get to know each other a bit better.  There are lots to think about and process as a result of camp, which I am sure will end up here at some stage, but for now I thought I would put up what I did for the mediation/reflection time when we arrived on Friday night.  It was simply a time to focus us on why we were there as a community and help us put aside some of the busy-ness of the rest of our lives to hear from God over the weekend.   

 

My to do list is long

It is itemized and categorised

It is necessary and it is overwhelming

It is growing in length and urgency

People, places, jobs, and commitments are allocated times and designated importance

People, places, jobs and commitments are ticked off the list

It sounds callous

It often feels callous

 

A steady rain

A dripping tap

The pesky voice that compels me to turn on the computer, to pick up the phone, to get in the car

 

I am not fond of the idea of my life being defined and dictated by ‘to do lists’. 

Surely it is more than that.

And it is…

 

Life is about tea parties with 2 little girls, 3 stuffed bears and a toy dog called Princess Coriander.

It is about book clubs that spend more time choosing books than reading books

It is about coffee being the first thing you smell in the morning.

It is Betel gardening services

It’s about smiling at the checkout chick and asking her how her day is.

It is Ricky Gervais on the iPod

Josh Rouse in the stereo

Mickey Mouse in the DVD player

 

It is admitting to liking old school British TV dramas, to seeing Andy Warhol’s point, eating chocolate covered pretzels, wandering aimlessly through large shopping centres on hot days, needing study plans and watching foreign movies without the subtitles.       

 

It is dance concerts, cupcakes, books, photos, movies, freshly picked rosemary, the first mangoes of the season, new friends, old friends, wine, food, and family.

 

It is spending the weekend away with friends who believe what you believe, who speak the same language, whose values parallel yours, who for spending the night eating and drinking constitutes a night well spent, and it is choosing to know them and to let them know you.

 

It is choosing to come away for the weekend with new friends and old friends and to focus on the things that are important and life-giving. 

It is choosing for an allegiance to be more than a word.  For it to become a way of breathing and living.

 

C. S. Lewis about community says, ‘He works on us in all sorts of ways. But above all, he works on us through each other. Men are mirrors, or “carriers” of Christ to other men. Usually it is those who know Him that bring Him to others. That is why the church, the whole body of Christians showing Him to one another, is so important. It is so easy to think that the church has a lot of different objects – education, buildings, missions, holding services…the Church exists for no other purpose but to draw men to Christ. To make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose’.

 

So Jesus, I, we, pray:

There are things in life that are necessary.  But let us major on the things that are optional.  The things that make us more human, more divine, more like you.  The weddings, the babies, the dinners, the friends, the lost. 

Let this weekend together be about being a student of your ways and your heart.  May we get it right, and choose to be students; hanging onto every word you speak.  To sit with you, to sit with each other. To laugh and to giggle. To teach and more importantly, be taught.

Jesus, let us learn what it means to be a community, to be friends, to be family.

Jesus let us learn of the Spirit, its gentleness, its determination, its necessity in our lives.

Jesus let us learn to be carriers of Christ, to old friends and new friends.

Let this weekend be about life, not ‘to do lists’. 

Amen