Saturday 31 August 2013

Greenbelt 2013

Last weekend hubby and I went to a festival.  Not Shambala, Creamfields, Leeds or anything quite so huge or crazy.  We went to Greenbelt, which wasn't tiny (about 20,000 people I heard) and was slightly crazy, but not for the reasons you'd think.  I didn't see any drugs, only a handful or drunk people and the main age groups seemed to be under 10's and over 50's!  I went last year and I enjoyed the combination of music, colour, poetry, art and talks about all sorts of things.  It's sortof a Christian based festival and another great thing is the wide range of expressions of faith, from Goth Eucharist to Taize to 'messy church' to meditation to drumming and dancing and more!  So when I somehow ended up being asked if I'd like to help arrange the 'Photo Swap' (which encourages festival goers to bring photos that are displayed over the weekend and then swapped), I thought why not?

I persuaded hubby to come too, my Great Aunt gave us a tent, so we were all set.

I think with things like festivals you go with big expectations, hoping for non-stop fun and entertainment.  I should know by now not to have such expectations about things and just to take them as they come.  Because it wasn't AMAZING.  We kind of wished we had gone with more people, just to have a 'crew' or 'community' to hang out with.  There wasn't a lot of music that excited us and to be honest we're a bit tired of God-talks and stuff like that.  [Not that I'm bored of God or claim to know it all or anything, just that at the moment my thinking is that we just need to get on with loving God and loving people, rather than debate over things that people will never agree on]

However.  On reflection, there were actually a whole bunch of good things from the 4 days away.  So I am glad we went.  And I am very thankful.

Top Moments

  • Seeing my old friend Abbie and her husband and new baby.  Ahhh... something about those people who know you, and remind you of the good things, and get excited for you when you don't feel able to.

  • The Boxettes.  We kind of stumbled upon them and for me it was the best performance of the weekend. They only use their voices to make all of the sounds.  When they dropped in Destiny's Child's 'Jumpin jumpin' into this Rudimental cover (video below) I got so excited!  But I think that my friend and I were the only people in the Performance cafe who appreciated it quite so much...
  • Silent disco in the Big Top.... although again most people there seemed too young to appreciate the Drum and Bass (picture me and hubby jumping around mentally at the back while everyone else looks a bit awkward)

  • The Randomness...
(like Penguins....)

  • The great range of photos that people submitted for the Flash swap exhibition.
  • The handful of people that we did know there (some expected, some a total surprise) and the conversations and dances and takeaway food we shared with them. That means you -Louise, Lorianne, Adam, Abbie, Tom, Barney, if you're reading this!

  • Dancing and singing along to Lemar (who woulda thought it could be so good! haha!) with Lorianne, a girl i met on a writing project earlier in the year.  Also seeing performances by Amadou & Mariam, Harry Baker and Inua Ellams.

  • And finally, some time to hang out and chill with Mr Q.  It's been quite a hectic month and feels like we haven't seen each other much properly. So getting away together was rather nice :-) 

Sunday 18 August 2013

Happy Cornwall Times: Porthtowan

 On Friday evening we drove to Porthtowan to hang out with dear dear friends from Brighton.  I'd not been there before and the sand and the sea looked lovely in the August sun.

Some of us kayak-ed in the big waves.  It was AMAZING!  Very exhilarating as the waves got bigger and bigger until they chucked us out of the boat...

We had a BBQ, and drank home brewed elderflower wine (among other things!)

And watched the sunset, and then sat under the moon and stars until we got cold... and got ourselves hot chocolates from Blue Bar.

A jolly nice evening.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Sweet... (Jam)

but, not fake
- not just 'nice'
sweetness of earth and growth and life and sun and rain and fruit and careful hands and fire and movement and waiting and seasons and sharing
you are far from ordinary
yet so often ignored; left on the shelf
We do not take a moment to pause and consider
the strength and flavour of your sweet love

When the sun shines through the glass
rubies glow
treasure contained in a jar
like your son
somehow, like us, now

Tucked into the fridge door
spread across a piece of wholemeal
we utter a silent thank you
hope in the morning -
you make the bitterness bearable

And you
hover on finger tips and lips
I want to be covered in you!
such a small jar
is there enough to cover all my sour parts?
the widow's oil did not run out
you are always enough

A sigh of relief
a gift
a welcome
an every day
and a special occasion
you are for all times and all seasons

And the pot of goodness
reminds me
of a story of trust
of the way you capture our hearts
and spark dreams
and invite us to join you on adventures

I am amazed again
at the way you enter into our lives
and make them a story to be told and shared
the way you direct our paths
and whisper mysteries
like ancient recipes

how to make jam

At a creative worship workshop the other day we chose different objects and wrote about how they could reflect God!  

Friday 2 August 2013

'Still and still moving', or longing for change

Everybody has to change, or they expire.  Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.
I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it is time for things to die.  I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently.

Donald Miller, from the Author's note in 'Through Painted Deserts' (p. x)

This is one of my favourite books. I'm reading it again, because... because I suppose I'm feeling restless again.  I'm longing for a journey.  I'm gazing into the distance.  I'm hungry for something that I can't put into words.  I'm yearning for more from life, more depth, more of knowing God and knowing how to love better.

Some days these feelings make me want something new, something else, want more change.  [Other days they make me want to hide away for forever until my bones feel less uneasy]

But there's a difference between leaving and running away.  I have just left somewhere.  We've been in Cornwall for 4 months.  That's not very long, is it?  It feels like we've been here a while.  And I'm on a journey even as I am stationary. Even as I am living in a house and working at a restaurant and shopping for food and driving in and out of Penzance most days.  Even then, I can still change, I can still grow, I can still write a good story with my life.  I just think it's more of a challenge than when you are on the move or going through big life changes.  Leaving now would be taking the easy way out.

So God, help me learn, once again, like I had to in Brighton, how to STAY. [For a while, at least].  Help me learn to embrace stillness and silence.  Help me find peace when it's all to easy to worry about the things that fill our day to day lives.  Help me live my ordinary life in an extraordinary way.  Help me re-direct my restlessness to mine your depths of love and mystery rather than letting it unsettle my mind and spill over, splashing ugly grey onto the people and places around me.

Don't let me go, though.
Don't let me go unchanged, unmoved.
Don't let me become numb to protect my heart.
Don't let me go.