Posted by at 11:40 am  OVER and BEYOND  Comments Off
Oct 262009

My front, her front – confronting: facing, mutual facing – close up close-up. energy pours in, more energy pours in, reserves are put on full alert, sirens wail, Calvary (even the cavalry) looms, angels are calculating the odds.

Death throws the doors wide open – and the windows – sucked in, blown out – walls demolished. A glimpse of glory and devastation is provided free of charge.
But what if a programmatic response is offered: this is the process of dying (and we can make it easier) – there are these clearly marked stages. Or for those left behind: the stages of bereavement. Evidence based rationality.
Hey, hey!! I'm trying to say something here. Can you listen? Can you negotiate between the non-rational and the rational? Have you been lost in the wilderness and found your way out (sort of)? Not quite the same but still breathing.
In what place does the negotiating take place? Perhaps religion is a (denied) sort of madness and where does the theologian speak from? Inside or outside? Do we pretend it's rational?


 Posted by at 8:55 am  Atelier  Comments Off
Oct 252009

Ssshh… And what kind of silence is that, self-imposed, or the sort that comes from outside, Shut up or else?

It has been more than six weeks since those exams, and there was an email this week from the department apologising for the delay in sending out the results, and now, he explained, with the postal strike.

The fruits of our labours, while other voices are clamouring, Have you written any poems recently, Not since the one in July, What do you think about the translation of the chapter on Nibbana, What is there to say, what can I possibly say.

And the attention of the gentle Professor, her eloquent smile, Are you upset or something, A narrative begun with the title Life Before.

In November mmj is attending two Arvon writing weeks.


Breaking Cover

 Posted by at 10:53 am  Atelier, OVER and BEYOND  Comments Off
Oct 172009

What is important and what is distraction? And how to tell the difference? And furthermore, how can something seem so right and then come to be proved wrong? The view changes; sometimes simply with the passage of time – no that can't be true: there must be an intervening event not simply the passage of time. I'm caught up, caught in the net of my present view; unless you help me, unless you tell me about your view, use words that I can make use of. But they might bounce off the taut screen of my view. I might say, oh, you would say that, wouldn't you.

Truth will out. 
NIgh on a year ago the change of view, the revolution of view, looks like an explosion. It knocked me down, left me shaken, left me with a choice: get the hell out of it or soldier on. I was persuaded to soldier on. Nonetheless, the explosion was real (a real metaphor!), the view that had taken me to Rome destroyed, but it took me to time realise it; anything like full acceptance only coming through when I began to create a new view.
View can be determined by many factors, wishful thinking amongst them. Explosions of reality, pushing aggressively into our minds are ferociously difficult to adjust to, we resist resentfully – why won't reality accord, conform to our wishes!
Truth will out
truth will break from cover
run into the open to reveal herself
she's probably laughing
– at my expense, I think
but her laughter is infectious
so I'm laughing too
Oct 092009

I wonder if there are two sorts of emptiness – empty emptiness and full emptiness. Such wonderfully crazy language. An emptiness in which God is and an emptiness in which God isn't.

I found refuge in the Mass when I needed refuge because the Mass is ritualised mourning, instituted (?) with the aim of never moving beyond memorial and mourning. As such Christianity can never fully participate in the sheer adventurousness of life and perhaps has no desire to do so with its sights set on the world beyond this one. For Christianity the journey (at times) appears to be one of plodding sorrowfully along with Christ on his way to Calvary, with Christ dying on the cross, and rising with Christ beyond this world to the next. Not rebirth into life here but rather elevated to an unimaginable realm of God.
Is it possible that secularisation is more in tune with God's plan? We have to grow up, to live and bear the weight and the lightness of our possibilities. To shift and play in the spaces that are given (and some we steal, or at least borrow), chasing the adventure, hiding, seeking succour.
I'm being taught by my children now; a new generation is coming into its power, and, I ask, have I got anything to offer in the future. Returning to study, integrating what I might have been in the past, the storm and ship wreck, working it into a shape with or against the grain of what is granted.
Oct 082009

Lying awake at 3 a.m. and kept awake by having to think my way through circuitous byways; puzzling over connections and disconnections. What would be thought and perhaps said (and to whom) in the way of self-showing, what some call sharing (thank you for sharing that with us). Show and tell time. Keeping safe and trying to follow Ariadne's thread back home having killed the monster. Labyrinth and mind constructed for my own comfort and survival with half-an-eye on the rules of conduct and conflict.

 Can Odysseus ever reach home, or has he not gone too far? Perhaps the darkness of home is the home no longer existing. Can I make the bricks and mortar that I live in a home for myself? Or only go through the motions? The nature of love and creativity and the art of the possible and who came out of the labyrinth, Theseus the hero or Theseus the monster?
Oct 022009

What was it about the classes at the Beda that made me jump back like a scalded cat. I could have screamed in rage and frustration, insult and betrayal.

And yes, it woke me up.
Woke me up, challenged me to reconnect with the project that has always burned within me, yet has been semi-dormant these last years; overshadowed by bereavement, by parenting, by wanting to move on from my work as a psychotherapist but not seeming to find a way forward . . . except the doors of the Church were open. Open all the way to Rome!
For refuge, I had entered the doors of the Church and I had left my critical faculties outside. You don't care when you need refuge. The near unchanging rhythms of the Church was what made sense. Made sense until in the seminary classes I was forced into thinking.
Help! A monarchical system? Celibacy? Infantile psychology? Very limited dialogue?
What do I value? What do I commit to? Wake up fast! And back and back until I hit a world that makes sense. Where I started from forty odd years ago. Marx and Freud amongst others. Check the maps. Start from where you are. What else can you do!