Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Dont worry not all my posts will be this long - Just a little something i wrote on the ferry last week going from Vancouver to Vancouver Island.

Vancouver was amazing - a city of contrasts - sea and mountains and my favourite season. Crisp autumn mornings with a nip in the clear mountain air. Sitting drinking coffee and watching the seaplanes taking off from the harbour warmed my soul. Its a big city but didn't feel overwhelming and closed in like London - there was always a sense of space and from almost everywhere you can see the mountains or the sea. Clean and healthy feel , travelling on the electric buses - all human life is here ... it feels good and of course good banter with femininefeminist.

Meantime I’m feeling alive - there is a still a hint of the new world here,its spirit is still felt.The spirit of carving a new life out of the harsh but beautiful wilderness around. We are passing sailboats and forested islands ....there are seaplanes landing, fishing trawlers heading out to the Pacific - it feels real. It feels like life is meant to feel. There is a little clearing at the waters edge with a mini lighthouse , a square white 2 storey house and a fluttering flagpole on a lawn. As we get closer now other houses start to poke out from amongst the tree lined shore. A blast on the ships whistle scares those on the outer deck - a man in a green shirt uses his fingers as earplugs- and somehow looks pained and amused at the same time. We are in a narrow channel between 2 islands - swiss style chalets on one side and more modest abodes on the other.

Its a breathtakingly beautiful ferry ride ....this is the way we are meant to live - not in concrete choked cities which suck the life out of those within them. Am listening to the new Duke Special album - it feels like the best work he has ever done. Songs from the deep forest feels appropriate here as I look out on forested islands all around. It also feels alive and young like the country around me. Stunning - I dont love you - half as much as I should . I dont get those pop and idol shows - everybody knows that the good things take a little longer. Its true - I need to write a lot more - give it the time it deserves .

There is a pretty girl in a red and yellow checked coat sitting across the way reading Harry Potter. She wears her beauty like it was a burden and doesnt smile at those who catch her eye but looks away instead. I wish she could hear the Duke singing ...” the sun will rise once more , yes it better / the sun will rise once more if you let her.”

I do feel most at home near the water . I love Nashville and am posting this from there but I'm not sure I could ever live here. I love the restless everchanging sea. If i feel God anywhere its there - feeling my soul resonate with the creation and the creator.
"come on come on come on my soul - i dont wanna stand still - i just want to freewheel."

The river of life has many tributaries .....there are many turns along the way and many different possibilities. Many different scenarios one could fit into. Many different places one could have ended up - sometimes its enough to drive you mad ....... all those possibilities and the self doubt that you have made the wrong choice ... lived the wrong way ..... how to find peace within that ..well look at the sea and realise we end up in the right place in the end - some of us just have longer journeys.

till next time Blessings upon you .


Jude said...



The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Father McCleary

i echo what jude says....wonderful piece of writing, made me tired reading it...beautiful!

Salutations back at ya


The Father said...

Thanks Paul ...means a lot - I was also blown away by something you wrote on your blog a few weeks ago ... not only the fact that you quoted Buechner which is always a good sign but this bit gave me chills

'I keep walking because I believe in the pilgrimage, in the things that come apart, that a God who is wise, strong and loving enough to create a world with such beauty and grace will be faithful in restoring it to what it was meant to be.'

keep going pilgrim

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

We walk together yet miles apart....i look forward to your musings


ps, i actually surprised myself with that paragraph!

Trevor said...

Thought of you as I read this from John Muir (Whom I suggest you read sometime)on his love of the sea:

"I kept my lofty perch for hours, frequently closing my eyes to enjoy the music by itself, or to feast quietly on the delicious fragrance that was streaming past. The fragrance of the woods was less marked than that produced during warm rain, when so many balsamic buds and leaves are steeped like tea; but, from the chafing of resiny branches against each other, and the incessant attrition of myriads of needles, the gale was spiced to a very tonic degree. And besides the fragrance from these local sources there were traces of scents brought from afar. For this wind came first from the sea, rubbing against its fresh, briny waves, then distilled through the redwoods, threading rich ferny gulches, and spreading itself in broad undulating currents over many a flower-enameled ridge of the coast mountains, then across the golden plains, up the purple foot-hills, and into these piny woods with the varied incense gathered by the way.

Winds are advertisements of all they touch, however much or little we may be able to read them; telling their wanderings even by their scents alone. Mariners detect the flowery perfume of land-winds far at sea, and sea-winds carry the fragrance of dulse and tangle far inland, where it is quickly recognized, though mingled with the scents of a thousand land-flowers. As an illustration of this, I may tell here that I breathed sea-air on the Firth of Forth, in Scotland, while a boy; then was taken to Wisconsin, where I remained nineteen years; then, without in all this time having breathed one breath of the sea, I walked quietly, alone, from the middle of the Mississippi Valley to the Gulf of Mexico, on a botanical excursion, and while in Florida, far from the coast, my attention wholly bent on the splendid tropical vegetation about me, I suddenly recognized a sea-breeze, as it came sifting through the palmettos and blooming vine-tangles, which at once awakened and set free a thousand dormant associations, and made me a boy again in Scotland, as if all the intervening years had been annihilated."

From 'A Wind-storm in the forest' (Muir climbs a huge tree to watch a storm in the forest)

The Father said...

I certainly will check it out ... have arrived back safely and am spreading your love around to the good people of Belfast. Do come and visit soon