Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Hedgerow full of wild roses near to where I work. Seem very prolific this year.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Unresolved Conflicts

It is almost the longest day and yet summer doesn’t feel s if it has arrived yet. Today was pleasantly warm and I decided to spend the evening doing some drawing up on the allotments. However, after about half an hour the rain began and I have had to retreat to the garden summerhouse and now I am typing this but I am not sure what I want to say.

This afternoon we visited a local ‘Open Farm’ which was interesting though, as usual with these things, it made me question what am I doing in life. Changes at work are still in the process of being adopted and I am unsure how my future will look. I am not worried about it, but it has given me the impetus to perhaps start re-evaluating what I am doing. There is a tension between the ‘Outdoor Me’ and the current necessities of the financial security of work and the ‘Indoor Me. This may be a conflict between male archetypal identity - but that is a personal journey and not for exploring here at the moment. I wonder how much this psychological tension could potentially cause ill-health? It is a tricky one to solve as you can’t easily just give up one job and try another life path just to see what happens - unless something extraordinary happens in external influences or personal abandonment of the status quo.

We have to deal with where we are at. The grass may look greener on the other side but we can often have misguided perspectives. We can only ever be in the present though we can try and influence what may happen when we reach future present moments. Life is full of unresolved conflicts - the things we want but can’t have; the things that happen to us that we can’t change etc.

Friday, 8 June 2012


Prayer: the bridge between longing and belonging

This is my favourite quote from John Odonohue and I have hardly ever really meditated on it is such but it has been on my mind several times this week.

In the summerhouse I am sheltered from the strong wind that is sweeping over the garden.  It is 10.45 pm and the sky has just got dark though it hardly feels like summer. I’m wearing a padded shirt and a warm coat. I love the sound of the wind, possibly because it is a natural sound and it masks most of the man-made noises that seem to dominate living in a town.

A bridge spans two places and is a form of connection between them. Things may or may not traverse the bridge in either direction. Longing is looking at our desires - our wants wishes, needs, expectations etc. It is about the future. It is about us wishing to change or to understand that which we cannot control or know nothing about. Longing takes us from the present and our memories of the past and seeks to bring the future closer to us. We seek knowledge, answers and more enhanced awareness of what might happen to us. It is about relief from the present - the place we are in, the thoughts we are having, the pain we are in, the problems we face etc.

Belonging is the place where we find our home. It is where we expect to be in a better place of health, security, knowledge and understanding. A sacrifice might be involved in getting to that place. 

In prayer, we build a spiritual bridge through the use of words, thoughts, images or music etc that takes hold of what we long for and tries to form a connection with our desire to be in a place of belonging. We feel we are unable to do this work alone because what we desire is often not a matter of a simple physical task but it involves connections between unknown, psychological and temporal things. It is greater than our ability to do. We have to transform ourselves or be transformed into pray-ers that can begin to do something other-worldly.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Watching the Rain

I'm sitting at the dining room table on a cold and wet June evening looking out at the grey sky and the rain pouring onto the garden. I love watching the rain and often feel so detached from the elements now that I am working indoors so much of the time.

It has been several weeks now since I looked out one warm evening at the tall lombardy poplar tree just beyond the back of the garden and set myself on a new course for self improvement. It reminded me of the trees my father planted and I have since been back to the farm where I lived as a child and looked back on my childhood to see how it might have affected me as I grew up. With the help of an excellent book on anxiety management I thought I was getting somewhere and saw a significant improvement in some areas, but after a rather traumatic week at work all the good work seems to have been undone. The changes there have been deeply unsettling and I feel I have lost me way, but I know I have to be patient and see what path will open before me.

Building and maintaining strong foundations to life can be easier said than done. I have found psychology and self-awareness incredibly painful at times because everyone views things differently and other people are usually completely unaware or oblivious to the paths that others take. Fundamentalism in belief can alienate. Business pressures in the work place can enhance a feeling of transcience, impersonality and the need to succeed regardless of human costs. Relationships with others can throw up interesting conundrums.

For me, I have been thinking about a model or framework of male archetypes that identifies my strengths and weakness and formulates an understanding that can be healing, progressive, inclusive and natural. I'm exploring that in my own personal writings.

Why bother? Is this all just self-centered navel gazing? Possibly. But there are issues in my life that I know I have to deal with - mainly anxiety (I think). I have a deep need to work through something which I believe is holding me back and it is taking a while to work out exactly what it is. It may be just that I was born to be the way I am, but could there be something else to it...?

I could go and see a psychologist but that is expensive!