I rather feel I should do something interesting to mark the end of the year. But I really don’t have the motivation to write a thorough report – even a reflection (probably why I’m only a minor blogger in the current canon!)
So, here’s to something different – snatches of some posts that I’ve written throughout 2012. There’ll be great big gaps. Irrelevance. Random thoughts. But here we are, pieces of me, in 2012.
I fractured a rib for Christmas. Please, no cracker jokes. I had flu, which led to a violent cough, which led to a cracked rib. I didn’t know that was possible – well, you learn something new every Christmas, right?
What do we mean when we say ‘inspiration’? Is it just a bolt from the blue? A something where there was nothing? Isn’t everything made of triggers and links and trains of thought colliding, building on something we already know and infusing it with something new?
However, variety does come with challenges. Yesterday I sat down and got out the draft of my book on memory on faith, working through the chapter outline and preparing my proposal. But it took me a long time simply to catch up – to remember where I was, to re-familiarise myself, to tune in. I needed to immerse myself in that one thing in order to be able to re-establish my working rhythm.
A celebrity culture is not an encouraging culture. It plants people too high and then strips them down. It gloats over their falls or dismisses everything they’ve done previously when something goes wrong. It leaves people high or low – and alone. Let’s stop celebrity-ising. Let’s start loving – carefully, wisely, gently.
The last month or so much of my time has been taken up with editing the summer/harvest issue of Magnet (it comes out in June). In fact, I am writing this post quickly before heading to a design meeting – sitting peacefully at a little desk in my overnight accommodation.
I’m recognising that I need to make windows. Windows where I say - I will not work on this then. That afternoon is a time free from that particular task. This may be allowing myself some much needed ‘downtime’, or it may make room for other things – things that are important to me, that energise me in different ways. Things that I feel called to do.
I love having conversations with people where the potency of language carries the discussion deeper and deeper – churning up all kinds of thoughts, triggering more and more ideas. Language can be a beautiful way of sharing ourselves.
Together with a group of other members of our church, I had the privilege of visiting a mosque yesterday evening. They were welcoming and informative and we were allowed to sit at the back and watch the men at their evening prayers.
Before we can even begin to claim one another’s beliefs are ‘false’ we need to get rid of our own ‘false beliefs’ about each other. So often those from different faiths or sects have a certain viewpoint about what each other believe. If a person of that faith was told what we think they believed, they might be most indignant! It is impossible to have a genuine and helpful debate about something when both parties are consistently misunderstanding each other.
I have to say I pity those with a weakness for hoarding – especially when it comes to souvenirs. I wonder how many will choose to save the Jubilee themed packaging which has appeared on so many British products recently?
I came back [from holiday] to find my own copy of Magnet issue 98 on my doorstop – significant because it’s the first one I’ve been heavily involved in editing! Strange yet satisfying to see it in the flesh – or paper, should I say! I’m now knuckling down preparing worship material for issue 99…
I’m beginning to wonder if living with CFS/ME, or any kind of extreme tiredness, isn’t rather like being a printer with a duplexer. After a while, you have a tendency towards paper jams whenever you try and do anything double sided.
I’VE REALISED I CAN’T live out my faith half-heartedly. In my frequent efforts towards ‘diplomatic’ faith – steadfastly allowing others to believe their interpretation of this or that – I’ve forgotten to allow myself to believe what Ibelieve, sometimes. This doesn’t mean I want to ditch my desire to be a peacemaker and bridgebuilder, or that I’m going to stop accepting others. It just means that sometimes I need to accept myself a little better than I do now.
Busy morning today experiencing new things. Went with my lovely friend B to Aquacise, where we sploshed and jumped and pumped. Planning to go next week – about time I did something to tackle my taut muscles. After this I went to a kid’s lunch club at a church on a nearby estate – it’s for kids who rely on school dinners in term time but don’t really get enough food once the holidays arrive.
Went back to the kids’ lunch club at the parish church on the estate today. (We have good links with this particular church, and often do joint Easter, Harvest and Christmas services/events.) This time I saw five of the kids that came to our church holiday club, all of whom recognised me and ran up to say hello (bless!).
September was not a good blogging month for me! What with going away for my birthday, a church weekend, various deadlines, a meeting in London, two days spent clearing out our pond as well as general lack of motivation - my posts were rather sporadic.
I’m back from a two week break catching up with family – good to see loved ones and get a bit of space for soul-stretching! Nothing like beautiful countryside, rugged coastlines and wild moors to make me feel like myself again – as if my spirit just needed that extra bit of space.
Fragile World has been released on Kindle! Proceeds from the Kindle edition will go towards the production of my next anthology, Beautiful, through which I hope to raise money for Tearfund’s work with the women of the Congo.
For those of us of a writerly persuasion, November comes with one main feature: NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world sign up to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve managed the last two years and am attempting this year as well.
Those of you keeping up with the many strands of my life (I have trouble with that, myself) will know that I am now Competitions Manager of the committee of the UK’s Association of Christian Writers – also known as ACW.
Advent is a time of waiting and preparing. And this preparation feels to me like a way of welcome – readying ourselves to welcome the Christ child. Are we ready for him to take his place in the ‘manger throne’ that is our hearts?
There you are – a bit of a whistle stop tour around my habitually patchy blog in the year 2012.