Monday, July 23, 2007

Communication and Beauty

I used to make a living from writing words and broadcasting both mine and others words across radio, tv and the internet. I know how to impart complex stories to an audience of millions ....... And yet,when it comes to real life its amazing how we all struggle to communicate what we really think or to hear what friends are really saying. How friendships can be full of misapprehensions and even fear of what someone may mean or not mean. Sometimes we judge each other directly on what we say , sometimes we listen to asides and decide that has more truth than asking the person directly what they think about something. Sometimes we are afraid to challenge others ....sometimes we are right and sometimes we are wrong. And we all find it so hard to admit when we are wrong. (mea culpa)

But surely there has to be a better way. The Moot Community in London lives by a rhythm of live through presence, acceptance,creativity,balance,accountability and hospitality. I'm working at integrating those rhythms into my life and its acceptance I think I need to work on the most ...... we defined it as
"We desire to accept both ourselves,and other people as the are,and to allow people to say what they believe without fear of judgement. We want to create a safe space where people feel at home and welcomed.We hope to learn from all those in and outside the community.'

I'm trying to do that but its very much a work in progress and I hope people can bear with me as I practice.

And finally beauty - the summer here in our little island has been terrible but when we get a glimpse of beauty its is sometimes worth the wait. Last night I was heading out to see a friend who was farm sitting in the midst of the County Down. Driving over the Craigantlet hills , the sunset was a glorious fiery clouded Turner painting - I could see for miles right down to where the mountains of Mournes were shrouded in mist. CS Lewis used to walk in these hills and its thought that a lot of the geography of Narnia is based on what he could see from here . And why not - Last night it certainly felt magical . Equally today - the sun shone and after so many days of rain the sky seemed somehow bluer , the few clouds whiter and the air freah and clean. Cycling through the forest at the back of Sanctus Boscus today all I could feel was joy ....perhaps a glimpse of what Chesterton said was that "sunrise of wonder" - the joy and wonder at our own existence .

Today I believe.

blessings ...

"The end of all seeking is purity of heart - a clear unobstructed vision of the true state of affairs,an intuitive grasp of ones own inner reality as anchored or rather lost in God. " Thomas Merton . The Wisdom of the Desert.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Any Hints gratefully recieved

Am planning a little sojourn through South east Asia later in the year ...... I'll have about 7 weeks to play with from start of November till about 18th December.....

Countries I'm thinking of passing through are Vietnam, Cambodia , Laos and Thailand. I could pretend that I'm a traveller and not a tourist. But the reality is any westerner there is a tourist and while I hope to spend a lot of time sitting on beaches reading and writing - yes I want to see some sights as well .

I've never been to that part of the world so any suggestions on things I shouldnt miss will be gratefully received.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Sweet Sweet Endorphins

After spending so long looking after cyclists in the last month I decided it was time to find out what all the hype was about. So I borrowed a friends bike and had a glorious cycle along the coast from Sanctus Boscus. Only ten miles in total but it was a splendid windswept seascape that made me smile just looking at. There was rain, there was wind in my face , there were breaks in the cloud and patches of sunlight racing over the water changing the colour from blue to green…..and very few people around. Just me and the dogwalkers, god bless them. But its one of those things – you know exercise is good , you know its good to get out into the sacrament of creation and yet when you finally get round to it – you are still surprised. CS Lewis said people do not need to be taught so much as reminded. And as usual he’s right.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Free at Last

A good news story for once. Alan Johnston the BBC's Gaza reporter has been freed after 16 weeks in captivity. Very happy for him and for all my former colleagues who have been campaigning for his release.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ah Belfast

There is something beautiful about northern hemisphere summer nights. Driving back into Belfast late evening and the rain of earlier has given way to a clear blue sky though some mist still caresses the city. Out of it buildings and church spires emerge filling my soul with an unaccustomed and unexpected joy. This place is and always will be home. Many people have looked on Belfast with love but few have written about it better than Robert Mcliam wilson in Eureka Street.

"It is only as the dawn begins to break, if you stand up high, you can see the city as one thing, as a single phenomenon. Ringed by it's circles of Black Mountain, cliff and plateau. The sea and dark bay lapping right up to the foot of the metropolis. Belfast is Rome with more hills, Atlantis raised from the sea. From everywhere you look the streets glitter like jewels, like small streams of stars.
But in the buildings and streets a dark hundred, thousand, million, ten million stories, as vivid and complex as your own, reside. I think of my city's conglomerate of bodies, of spines, kidneys, hearts, livers and lungs.
Only a jumble of streets. Only a few big bumps in the ground.
Only a whisper of God."

And sometimes a whisper is enough. On nights like this I believe.