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Showing posts from September, 2017

Tangle Heart

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Last one, I promise (for a while at least). My favourite, and the shortest, from somewhere around '95-98.

Tangle Heart A pot of love Cleft downstream in a motion of clutter Attention, a breath Stroke in, Stroke out, stuck but to what porpoise. How hard to see when the world floats merrily like so much broken flotsam.

"Socialism isn't something you believe in, it's something you do. That's the ideal of course, those who want to need to work out a practise that works and hopefully communicate a theory of the practise."

Words, fucking words

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Another poem from around 98. This one written to try and express my frustration at not being able to express myself.

Words, fucking words
a passion unknown
a fruit untasted.

Everywhere I go
my ears fill with the thoughts
of others that
echo my deepest longings,
deeper than me, than mine

and yet still a haunting sound
that calls out to an unknown future
and broken platitudes flow out
to fill the gap inside
that burns with every touch of beauty
from another's lips.

And as for me my dear,
foolish knowing that weeps dry hard pebbles into sand

I cradle the ache in my belly
like a mother nurses the child
that grows inside.
A twisting panic reaches out
to express more than these feeble scratches
even in subtle nuance can convey.

So here I am,
fucking words.

"Mocking and denying the pain of white, middle class men is unlikely to win them over. You might not care that this is true, because you have other priorities which is fine, but it's still true."

Muddy Waters

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While history charge on
Mad plunge of doomed humanity
Pouring over crags of grey & blasted stones
Onto the shores of lost hope
& Frustrated opportunity

I spy a glimmer
Faint light midst swirl of chaos
but down I drive.
Faint heart swept on strange current
Saved from fates of death that twist & clamour all around.

Drawn on weakly as if toward some goal
at last I see, but dimly up ahead
The well of Christ
And now my own will must I use
So nearer do I come & sure enough

Amongst this senseless life & endless calling;
All to death though it had seemed;
Is Paradise - or promise of -
Through passage small and narrow
The plughole of salvation.
-- by Michael Foord, November 1998
Written at a dark time of my life, but not the very darkest and there was some light.

"Imagine the best in a situation, the very best. Visualise, feel for it, look for it. And sometimes, just sometimes, you'll see a glint. Almost a spark. And it's not just your imagination. Or at least …

Mother Nina

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It was recently my mother's 70th birthday. For her birthday celebration my brother conned me into singing for my Mum, accompanied by my sister. It was the first time I've sung in front of more than two people, and thankfully no video evidence of the event exists. This video is the song I sang for her, words arranged by David Foord.

This is what I said to her before singing.

There is a cliche that says you never really understand your parents until you have your own children. The trouble is, like many cliches, it's true. Mum has been a steadfast support to me and my family, and we're very grateful to her and love her a great deal. I really enjoy being friends with my Mum.

When I think about my mum the strongest thought is that she's so obviously a good and true friend, not just to me but she loves so many people steadily and is in turn loved by us. The evidence of this is all around us right here. Now I'm aware that when you say of someone "they're a g…

Evangelical Christianity: The Good and the Bad

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During our Sunday night service, at a fairly normal (in some ways...) Evangelical Charismatic church, a lady gave a testimony of soul healing. It was a personal breakthrough for her at a difficult time, finding greater emotional wholeness through facing the fears and pain of her past brought up by present difficulties.

For her it involved not just facing and acknowledging the pain, but letting go of it and giving it over to God. In this she found an experience of love and peace, reconciliation with herself and her current circumstances through dealing with the past. It was very moving and beautiful, obviously so real and meaningful to her.

This is the conception of self and healing that is found in Evangelical Christianity. It is an understanding that the totality of who we are is in our depths and understanding the way that our character is formed by the past and our experiences. Also that understanding ourselves and finding freedom and wholeness is a journey of a lifetime and that …

Meditation Revisited: A Conception of Self

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The most significant and transformative element of my "spiritual practise" in recent years has been my meditation. For about the last seven years or so I've done mindfulness of breathing for an hour a day. A 20 minute meditation followed by a 40 minute meditation.

The meditation itself is nothing magical or mystical and is the basic meditation taught by the Buddha. It is an exercise of focus, being aware (mindful) of just the breath. In focusing on the breath, feeling just for the breath itself, you have to let go of all other distractions and trains of thought that compete in your mind for attention.

So when distractions arise you let them go and return to the breath, always returning focus to the breath. Once you've stilled the ceaseless chatter of the mind, the constant need to vocalise thoughts internally, the deeper things unwindind inside yourself also rise up and also need letting go of. I found this process so healing, some days memories and feelings would j…

To Those Who Worry

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To those who worry,
And feel they ought to worry,
Because there's such a lot they care about,
And such a lot that matters,
And it really does matter and maybe if you don't worry
You'll forget to care, or not care enough,
and you need to care. That's why you're alive.
Don't worry about worrying,
Or worry about not worrying.
I promise you care enough, you won't forget to worry
and you won't forget to care.
You don't need to worry about worrying,
it happens by itself I promise you.
You just get on with the caring,
and let the worrying worry about itself.
I love you. How much you care is so very  beautiful. My own story about worry. I worry, but not as much as I used to. I used to worry a lot but eventually I made things so bad for myself I had to stop worrying. I worried, but I didn't know how to fix it, and it wasn't actually possible to worry that much. I couldn't do it. It damn near killed me. So I had to stop worrying.

I still worry a …

The Nature of Consciousness and the Role of Myth

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The standard view of consciousness, the way that seems natural to many people to think of themselves, is that consciousness is a separate thing from physical matter. The "stuff of the soul" is fundamentally different from the rest of reality. This view of the world is called "dualism", more specifically "mind-body dualism". An alternative philosophy of mind is called monism, of which there are various kinds.

The kind I subscribe to is that consciousness exists in a continuum with the physical and energetic world. By this I mean that consciousness is not separate from the physical world, which includes the world of energy as well as matter as described by modern physics. You can see consciousness as one end of a spectrum, joined to the natural world because it arises from the natural world. Consciousness is an effect of the natural operation of the world. Coincidentally this kind of view of mind is taught by  the Christian writer Watchman Nee when he desc…