Thriving?

We’re going through a difficult time at the moment – I won’t go into it but suffice is to say one outcome could be pretty crap.

A deep fault of mine is that I allow worry to wrap itself round my heart and squeeze ever so painfully. So much so I find it hard to pray. If you know me you probably wouldn’t realise – as I just ‘carry on’. I think it’s something I inherited from my mum – just ‘get on with it’. Crying about it isn’t going to make it any better…

I had to leave for work super early this morning. There’s something about silly’o’clock – like no one’s touched the day yet. It’s clean.

I’d grabbed some AVON brochures on my way out the door to post along a nearby road. I crossed paths with a man doing a paper round from his Ford Escort…remember when it used to be a young teenager on a bike?

I found myself dwelling on what’s hurting me most – and asked God where he was in all of it. Over the last few days I’ve felt a numbness that I’ve wondered is the vacuous absence of God.

So much so this morning that I asked:

“Do you love me Lord? Do you really Love me?”

After posting the last AVON brochure, unusually, I’d put on my headphones as I walked to the train station. I wanted to listen to a Christian music playlist – if I can’t pray, this is the next best way to talk to God, right?

A band came on and then as I turned into I side street my playlist jumped to the next song.

“How he Loves us..” – Cory Asbury.

‘Odd’, I thought.

I got to the station platform and phrase from the bible came to mind; Paul in Corinthians saying:

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh..” – 2 Corinthians 12:7

I realise that there are so many others a lot worse off than me: financially, health wise…but I wonder why it feels like I’m herding kittens? Am I thriving? Am I doing what God’s really planned for me?

Paul talks about overcoming the ‘thorn in his side’ – and uses the analogy to stay grounded in Christ. If I struggle to pray in the worst times, how will I ever feel ‘connected’?

I actually feel like i’ve only just got my head above the water, and I can see the next wave coming. It will engulf me…

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Untitled…

Royal CourtsThey walked slowly out of the building; through its long shadows, down the stark white steps and into the sunshine. It was only then he realised how chilled the stone had been, and how muffled the sound as it’d bounced around the cavernous architecture.

He glanced up at the arch as they came out under it. The building seemed to glow in the sunshine. The sky a blue back-drop. In any other circumstance, he may have paused to appreciate it more.

He was suddenly aware of a group of people clustering around the family who had come out just ahead of them. Men with cameras, a woman holding a microphone. Press.

He guided Geena in the opposite direction, and closer to him, thankful that the family had come out before him..and that they were not interested in them. In the grand scheme of things – they were small fry.

He glanced at Genna as they crossed over the Strand and made their way down Arundel Street, towards Temple Tube Station. Her shoulders shook under his hand every so often as she took another gulp of breath. They hadn’t said a word to each other for hours.

But, what do you say?

His attention was caught by a young black man standing outside a coffee shop. He wore a long black robe that fell to just above his ankles. He was holding a white wig under one arm; his other hand held a thin cigar, which he drew on every so often before it collaborated in making another point to his companion. 

He realised that it was the smell of the cigar that had caught his attention. It took him back to the last time he’d smoked one, thirty odd years ago, when his son had just been born.

With two girls already, he’d really wanted a son. He’d have been happy with either, of course. But, he’d secretly wanted a son. So when he’d arrived at the delivery room, and the nurse presented him with a wriggling bundle in a pink blanket, he was slightly dismayed.

Geena laughed at him. She’d looked blotchy and knakered. Her gown was in disarray, and the top of her breasts were streaked with blood. She was beautiful. 

And then he realised, as the nurse, half smiling too, opened up the blanket.

“We ran out of blue ones today,” She’d said, apologetically. 

The Kit Kat

Kit KatShe tipped the rest of her tea into his lap and stamped out of the busy café. His eyes were as big as saucers.

Jen had bought the Kit Kat and a cuppa with her last pennies. She’d fancied chocolate to go with her peaceful read.

He hadn’t asked if he could sit in front of her, but when he’d opened the wrapper and taken a finger of chocolate, she’d seen red. She’d carefully put her bookmark back in her book and placed it in her bag. She’d then taken the three remaining chocolate fingers and stuffed them in her mouth. Her tea was still hot; she’d scalded the roof of her mouth.

The only problem was, when she got home, she found her Kit Kat at the bottom of her bag.

The Royal Wedding (or, It’s exactly a year ago…)

And so, The Year is approaching. And as the Royal couple get ready for their Big Day, amongst the media buzz and furore, I try to forget my Big Day.

Forget the excitement of the last few days of singledom; the brilliant Hen night, the last minute preparations, the finishing touches and eleventh-hour-decisions. Although, I must say, I’m happiest forgetting the smoke spewing from my credit cards.

There were ever widening ripples of excitement amongst family and friends. Proud faces, happy congratulations – but above all, there was the two of us. There was my blind trust in him; that we were a ‘team’. We’d see each other through the minor stresses to enjoy the biggest and best day of our lives. Because after it, we knew we had the rest of our lives ahead of us.

What a difference A Year makes?

I’ve moved to a new place, on my own. I say ‘new’ – but this town is where I’ve had my happiest memories. I lived here when I was around 5 to about 10 years old. ‘Here’ was the first house mum and dad owned. Here is where I went to school, had a best friend..’played out’ ‘til late with my next door neighbour; oh, and fell while swinging on bollards putting my teeth through my bottom lip.

I like it here – but I don’t like the worry that comes with planning to meet bills, and make ends meet, having no one to lean on; no more ‘team’.

It’s the wine – I’m being a tad negative.

Yes on the other hand, there’s the positive challenge of being on my own. Doing my own thing, and at my own pace. The positive making of me as a strong and motivated woman, who’s not reliant on a man.

This is what I was before I met him actually – although never single, I was quite independent. But once you start leaning on someone, you easily get used to the support, and become lazy.

Anyway, wine aside. Today, I’m sad.

Poem: The ask

My knees are raw with bending,
Sun and moon are my witness
It seems like you do not see?
They bless me with light,
And you with darkness.
Keening ears ache in the silence,
You do not speak to me.

And then, you glance my way;
Saw love trapped behind watery eyes.
Maybe you heard my whisper,
Through the world’s cacophony?
And, you bestow more than the ask.
My only hope, you are here.
Once blinded, you wipe away my tears…

Psalm 139:16
Habakkuk 2:3

Poem: Crackle and burn

See, the crackle and burn of your grace?
Sound sears through icy dark,
Lays a hand on my face

Like solar flares, your love purges,
Frees the mercy you promise.
Faith and trust born, merges.

Nothing could be more simple;
You. Love. Me…
And all you bestow is ample

Nothing’s more harder to understand,
Forgiveness, mercy. Grace.
Only, to take your firery hand.

2 Peter 1:5-9

Poem: Not

I’m just reviewing my recent poetry. And considering how, when I’ve only just started to write again, after a good year or so of being frozen… It’s pretty dark.

My moods fluctuate alarmingly, as you know, or can imagine, if you ‘know me’ – but, I didn’t realise how ‘dark’ I was.

I worry that I’ll be alone forever, tormented by men forever. Never to be … normal (I did struggle to use a different word just then) and I actually wonder what that would be… ‘normal?’ Everything is so far removed from what ‘normal’ was.

Anyway:

Poem: Not

Warm hands held on a cold night
The stinging hotness of a slap
This is not a picture of love.

Midnight whispers cheek to cheek
Voices raised, mouths wide
This is not the sound of love.

Funny how a smile can miss the eyes
But shards of malice can chip the heart
A blindfold made of water, a soul torn apart