Thursday 1 March 2018

To post or not to post, that is the question

Reasons not to blog/post/share:

  • There are 100 things circling in my head, how do I narrow thoughts down into something coherent to share?
  • I haven't blogged for ages
  • I don't know if my blog feels like "home" or "me" anymore
  • Who cares?
  • Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Flickr (nah!), Website --- which one? Ones? None?? Argh.
  • I'm not convinced I can commit to any kind of regular sharing anywhere
  • There's already too many words and ideas out there
  • Other people do it better than me
  • Who needs another soppy post from me about my husband or niece?
  • To hashtag or not to hashtag
  • I am trying to be more PRESENT
  • I don't want to be judged as annoying/not-funny/over-sharing/self-obsessed/simplistic (in the way that I perhaps can judge others...)
  • From a brand/marketing perspective I am not doing any of this very well. Like my blog has not had a facelift in years. 
  • I am scattered all over the place
  • The moment has passed
  • I should call someone/have a bath/read a book/washup/sleep/watch netflix instead
  • I don't want to care about 'likes' etc (but I do and I will keep checking for them even though I've intentionally turned notifications off on my phone)
  • I am not certain enough about anything to put it down in writing in a public space
  • I'll spend too much time and energy judging and reviewing what I've shared, after I've already over-thought whether to share something in the first place
  • Is it all just self-serving/chasing success?
  • What's the point?
Reasons to do it (anyways)
  • I like seeing something beautiful/interesting/honest on social media, it makes a change from Period Pants adverts. Maybe I can similarly enrich someone's scrolling time
  • Something in me wants to
  • Why not?!
  • Lots of the reasons not to are ridiculous, or just quite unkind
  • To express gratitude
  • To share some beauty or wisdom, which is usually a gift in the first place
  • I like reading my friends' blog posts, friends have said in the past that they've appreciated mine
  • There are many people I love that I do not see or speak to, this is a small way of saying 'I'm still here'
  • For connection, for community
  • It's my blog I can do what I want to (I sung this line)
  • This year I decided my word would be VOICE, and that I would use it... [regardless of the negative thoughts that creep in and interrupt and distort and attempt to shut me up... they are already judging this list, so I will take a stance and post it anyways]

Monday 25 December 2017

Christmas Poem: The Soul Felt Its Worth

O holy night the stars are brightly shining, It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

The soul felt its worth
The soul felt its worth
The soul felt its worth


When this story whispered | SHOUTED | sungggggg

That salvation for the world can be nurtured in the belly of an unmarried teenager
That towns-often-mocked might inspire choruses that endure for centuries (like Basingstoke?)
That angels will put on a show for the smelliest and most socially awkward (Glorrrriaaaaa - imagine friend dressed in sequins and fairy lights singing this)
That Zoroastrian mystics were invited to the party by a message . from . space …. ?

...Because the planets were communicating, galaxy choirs singing, stars spinning sparking sparkling in delight, and LIGHT, all that bright and beamy light, bursting burning spitting firing light - all in honour of the Lord of Light - descending like morning dew after a long long long night

Wednesday 15 November 2017

A Godde who is not afraid of the dark

This is inspired by a mixture of recent mealtime conversations in our new home, a podcast about "God Our Mother", a church service during people who were feeling pretty desperate for things in their live to change knelt while one of the leaders read a prayer for them, Remembrance Day... Just life from the past week really.

I read that some people are using the word Godde instead of God to emphasize the feminine side of the Divine, so that's how you should read the poem. The title is inspired by a line from the podcast during which Christena Cleveland, a social psychologist and theologian, talks about the Black Madonna.

Our Godde who is not afraid of the dark

Her arm is a pattern of overlapping crescent moons
Even though her nails look too short to make a mark
Please stop
Please stop

I’ll kneel in the grit for you
Take marks in my knees for you
Kneel in the grit
Would I though?
I didn’t even look for a white poppy
I wore no poppy at all
Frozen by shoulds and overwhelm
I know I hate war
So would I fight for you?

Tuesday 24 October 2017

31, and Ten Things I'm Thankful For

Usually on friends’ birthdays I ask them what was good about the previous year and what they’re hoping for in the year to come. I had a really fun time celebrating my birthday recently (rare September sunshine, sisters, Aperol+prosecco…) but didn’t really have many ‘proper’ conversations or chances to reflect. And then, as it tends to be, everything happened at once (ie new flat, new jobs, etc... more on that in a moment!) and suddenly a month has gone by. But I think they are important questions, and as I started a list of ‘stuff I’m thankful for’ I was struck by just how much has happened in the past year.

One year ago I turned 30 (no, duh). I left my job with Small Axe and on the same day moved out of London  —having decided to make some big life changes, move back to the South Coast and ‘focus on creative stuff’. I didn’t know what that would all look like at the time, only that I was listening to my gut and hoping for a season of more space, time and growing in my writing and other personal creative ventures.

The plan —as sketchy as it was— has not panned out quite how we thought. Surprise surprise! I keep trying ways to tell the story of the last year in a not-book-length-blog-post and I'm not sure I can. So often recently I've had several writing ideas but then gotten overwhelmed at not knowing where/when to begin and ended up writing nothing. I don't want that to keep happening, so I think I'll go back to my THANKFUL list and let that speak for itself...

Monday 18 September 2017

The Feast of Trumpets, Brighton style

Of course the day after the rare occurrence of me drinking too much wine, my church celebrated the Feast of TRUMPETS. My head said why, why, why? Gwyn had asked me to write a poem for the service, I'd not heard of said Feast. I ran out of time to write, anyways. But the morning was a poem itself...

It seems trumpets are only the icing on top
Of a day that runs deep and rich and sweet
Meanings layered like the apple slices on the table in the centre
Shana Tov! Happy (Jewish) New Year!
God said "set aside a day to remember that time I told you you were my own special treasure"
Five boys run to the front, volunteering to light four candles
The fourth is blown out to allow the smallest one a turn
This is a day to rest, reflect
Sing of the beauty of creation, the Creator
Becky tells a story with firewood and knife
of a sacrifice, atonement
A story  - foreshadowing a world-changing tale
Look back, look forward
We remove shoes and walk silent through the waters, conscience cleansing
Ruben makes a dive for the gap in the blue sheets draped over tables
We don white paper robes in varying sizes, cut out by Jean
This is not a people who do things by halves
Love is our judge, we are covered
Hannah mutters that she's way out of her comfort zone
Cackle and crackle as we take our seats again
Then, at last, a call to gather around the table
From which homemade treats have filled our nostrils and tempted our tongues all morning
Honey drizzled over warm cinnamon roll
Pomegranate sprinkled over golden cakes
Trumpet shaped biscuits - a "labour of love by Leanne and Carmella last night"
Taste and see that HE is good
The paper robes catch our crumbs
The kids' handmade "trumpets" screech wild
Finn parades his trombone
Robbie pounds his familiar rhythm on the djembe next to me
Wake up and remember
Look back and look forward
We shout-sing hymns out of tune
Tears of laughter rolling down cheeks
At the madness and mayhem of our family
I'm aware of the people visiting for the first time
It's not always like this...
We murmur prayers for the dear-ones we carry in aching chests
Tears of longing rolling down cheeks
Look back and look forward
The Feast of Trumpets
Waiting for final reconciliation call
Waiting for that day
When the waiting will end

Wednesday 7 June 2017

I Was Raised (An attempt to sum up my spiritual journey in a less-than-5-minute poem)

As the blog title says... this is an attempt - to put some of the last 30 years into words --

I wrote this for a performance at a Poets & MCs Battle event for Brighton Fringe, at Komedia, so needed it to make some sense to people who weren't familiar with a Christian upbringing. And I was on the 'Spirit' team (battling the 'Sceptics') so it forced me to dig deep to find the hope often buried under cynicism. I definitely didn't find it easy to write!

5 minutes and words alone in general will never be enough, this is only a slice and simplification of the story. But it's a start. An offering. It's cliche but I think faith is most certainly a journey and things change day to day. For most of us. I don't think it's healthy to stick in exactly the same place, even if that makes it all a lot more uncertain. Performers on both the Spirit and Sceptic teams agreed that an open mind was really important and there were elements of doubt and hope and questionning in all perspectives.

Anyways, here goes!

I was raised 

I was raised in the holy city of Basingstoke
On a diet of memory verses -
I could recite a Psalm, or three, or four for you
List the books of the Bible
Sing you a hundred modern day hymns
I was raised on communion and creationism
On revivals, prayer meetings and baptisms
Notebooks filled with prayers and prophecies
My childhood heroes were missionaries