Showing posts from April, 2014

Immerse yourself in the Gospel of Matthew

From my friend Craig Mitchell's Facebook page today:

Rosefield's Teaching Weekend on the Gospel of Matthew is coming up in a couple of weeks on 16-18 May! Come and join us for an excellent time with Prof Sean Winter! Details here: . Plus contributions to the weekend by Sarah Agnew,Susan Burt and Tim Hein.

Hope to see you there!

the pain of regrowing

I wrote this reflection on night last week. I share it here as a continuing sharing of the story of shaving my head ...

I went out tonight, wearing a scarf on my head that made me look more like a cancer patient than even the shaved head of six weeks ago. I feel self conscious. I felt unable to wear a dress for a masquerade ball with my hair so lifeless, so nothing.

I went out tonight wearing a dress that is pretty and semi formal, but it is no ball gown. I feel self conscious all over, from my hair down to my curvy body. I feel uncomfortable in my skin again.

I went out tonight wearing blue, not the red I began to put on. Sometimes blue is a confident colour, but tonight it was just blue. Like the blue grey cloud that began to descend throughout the day, though I had the day off, spent time with my best friend, have spent time with three of them so far this week, and family.

I went out tonight, though it took great effort, though there was little energy left, and none by the time I l…

in which I continue to hold my hand, and others sit beside me

Yesterday I was immersed in the depth of depression's darkness. 
In the evening, I watched a favourite movie. 
I slept. 
This morning I somehow managed to convince myself to do my tai chi stretches and breathing. Breathing Spirit. Reaching. Searching. 
Checking my phone a comment on my blog 'you are loved'; an email expressing concern from family. 
Setting up for gathered worship at Belair, a friend heard my story, gave me a hug, and prayed with me. 
Worship was rich, deep, engaging, as we entered the stories of Jesus in Jerusalem, beginning with enacting the Palm Sunday parade on entry, then stations for five Holy Week stories before enacting the supper Jesus shared with his friends with Holy Communion.
Home, netball on tv. I love netball. 
A phone call from a friend. Do you need company or solitude? I am here. 
After lunch, round to mum and dad's. Mum had invited me, though it wasn't an invitation. It was an order: we want to see you. I didn't really feel lik…

a sitting beside myself on the fence, hand in hand

It's been a low, tough day today.
A friend of mine commented once that if you have a cold, there's no doubt that staying in bed is a valid response.
I, however, end a day when my body has felt so heavy I couldn't lift it out of bed for most of the day, wracked with guilt and self-derision.
I didn't go for a walk, which I know would have helped, and I know helpful voices would have told me to do.
I didn't talk to anyone, which may have helped, and helpful voices will tell me I should have done.
I forgot to pick up my mortar board for graduation monday. Here's hoping I can do that first thing on the day.
I've only just got the last few things for tomorrow's worship gathering organised, emails sent that might have been sent earlier in the day.

Nothing earth shatteringly bad. Nothing unforgivable.

Yet I feel as though staying in bed was not a valid choice to make today.

I feel as though depressed is not a valid state to be in. Not a valid response to life.…

Lenten reset: the unavoidable fuzziness

I now have enough hair on my head to be all bent out of shape after sleeping (and yes, I'm sitting, in bed, not quite awake: it takes me a while to wake up).

It is short enough that you can still see the shape, the skin, of my head.

And short enough to be irresistible to hands wanting to feel its apparently eminently strokeable texture. So that an unexpected empathy with my sister's cats has emerged through this experience: I feel their pain at our insistence on picking them up, chasing them around the house for a pat.

It's not, actually, that I mind (though three at once just after a funeral may not have been my preference). I'm a tactile person myself, and love stroking cats, twirling my hair when it's long enough, touching other people's interestingly textured coats. Touch, too, between humans is something I welcome - it affirms our connectedness, communicates love. And I understand the desire to reach out and touch a head of newly growing hair - I did it my…

of whimsy, wonder, and a restorative walk by the beach

A little on the whimsical side, I had a thought Sunday as I went to bed: I could go for a walk on the beach tomorrow - what better to do on your day off?

First things first this morning, however: I rang the plumber. 'We can come today, someone will be there after 12.' Ah, so it might be an afternoon of waiting around, rather than by the beach.

But they arrived just after 11am, and, having farewelled the plumbers by 1pm and run a couple of errands, come 2:00 I was free.

So I took myself to the beach.

The notebook I put in my small shoulder bag with keys, drivers' licence and phone remained in the bag. Rare for me when going for a walk, no words bubbled to the surface, no poem flew in my direction sensing I would be ready to catch it ... my mind was blissfully, silently, still.

I saw the sunlight stream through the clouds beyond a lone fisherman.

I breathed in the sea air.

I walked. I sat. I listened to the water lapping on the shore. Even still and flat as it was this after…

Dry Bones to Beautiful Things

This is provoking my thinking in preparation for the stories we'll hear in gathered worship on Sunday.

as are meditations from Wild Goose Worship Group (Present on Earth), Bruce Sanguin's poem 'Plan Be' (from If Darwin Prayed), and this reflection from Bill Loader.

I also have this one of mine in the back of my mind:

Lenten reset - entering a liminal space

My hair continues to grow. Naturally.

But it's so nothing at the moment - it isn't a shaved head anymore, and it hasn't yet become my hair again, something I would choose.

I find myself in a liminal space with this experience.

Liminal, according to the Oxford dictionary, is 1 of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process, or 2 occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
So, I am in a transitional phase, on the threshold of what will be, but not there yet.

It is uncomfortable here. I am not in control.

I was in control of making the decision to shave my head, to enter a season of doing without my hair, without spending any money on it. That was, in part, a decision to relinquish control.

Because I can't do anything to speed up the growing. I can't stick my hair back on, turn back time, or even get hair extensions. I can do nothing but wait.

Wait, and watch.

As I watch, I notice that now it is long enough that it doesn't…

the humble the great