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Archive for July, 2005

Dear Diary moment

I thought it would come to this at some point. But certain things have to be noted. Tomorrow I’m off to the land of Bulgaria (a sentence which only makes sense if you are reading this on the 20th July). I go in slight trepidation, taking a team of students to attempt to teach English and tell Bulgarian students a bit about the true nature of reality. To be honest it’s been an pants day today, not great starting out on a venture such as this feeling a million miles away from the One who will make it happen, go smoothly and work in peoples lives. And entirely my fault.

But the sea looks blue, the clouds are dancing across the sky and the sun is shinning now. Somehow there will be One who can take my weakness and rebellion and work through it and inspite of it to transform lives. In the students from England and in the students over there. Thankfully His work doesn’t depend on how perfect I am or my level of sincerity about everything I do. Just going and being me is enough.

So if you pray, pray for us. I’ll be back early August for some holiday and endless chances to fill this blog with random quotes that inspire, amuse and entertain me.

Until then- “go and read a book- it’s so much more worthwhile”

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Musical Musings

“Yesterday it was my birthday,
I hung one more year on the line,
I should be depressed, my life’s a mess
But I’m having a good time.” (P.Simon)

Ah it’s always good to have some Paul Simon to cheer ones day. It was my birthday yesterday, but my life isn’t really a mess, and I am indeed having a good time.

I realised this weekend, afresh, my love of music and need of it in my life. Thoughts that were spurred on by the genius REM gig in Hyde Park. Music is the backdrop of my life, in fact you can probably trace my mood on any given day to the music playing on my stereo. I love providing the right music at the right times for my friends.

I’m fairly indiscriminate as to who I ascribe my love to when it comes to music. There are a few qualities the songs have to have. They have to melt my insides. Take me by the heart and lead me away to dance, to cry, to feel… to feel… You know, I can’t describe it, the almost mystical quality that music works in the inside of me. The strange thing is that a wide variety of musicians and bands can do this to me. I’m not sure how that happens. It seems that the stuff in the music seems to connect with stuff inside me and I shiver inside. Of course there is a vast amount of music in my collection that doesn’t do that deep work inside me. And the different times and moods of my life are connected to in different ways by different songs. But there are a few songs that can leave me breathless.

The weird thing is, and possibly the hardest thing to come to terms with is that the songs that do that to me, mostly don’t do it to others. Testament to the uniqueness of us all? Just occasionally I’ll find a song with a friend that gets us both. Those are good times. Souls entwining?

It’s a hard thing to put into words, this impact music has on our lives. I guess it’s a short cut to expressing the deep inner stuff of our souls. A release of emotions that would be impossible to articulate in any other way, a gift to experience the stuff we cannot say in words. And that’s maybe why we get so defensive when it comes to defending our music taste. If a song has touched us deep inside, how can someone rubbish it and dismiss it so easily.

Of course, there must be limits. Does Peter Andre’s singing really touch anyone deep inside? Answers on a postcard please.

A small afterthought.
Reading through this I realised I ought to reference the ‘touch me deep inside’ phrase on endless repeat in this entry. Clearly robbed from “something touched me deep inside, the day the music died…” (From the classic American Pie)

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Savouring life

It’s never good to start a new thing when you are heading off for travels around the country and the world in the next few weeks. Ah well. Updates will be sporadic and random over the summer months. Today I’m off to Southampton then to Guildford, London, back to Guildford and then finally back to Brighton. All in the space of 6 days. Anyway. Here’s a quote from my guru of the moment, Eugene Peterson.

“We wake up each morning in a world we did not make. How did it get here? How did we get here? We open our eyes and see the sun careen over the horizon. We wiggle our toes. A mocking bird takes off and improvises on themes set down by robins, vireos and wrens, and we marvel at the intricacies. The smell of frying bacon works its way into our nostrils and we begin anticipating buttered toast, scrambled eggs, and coffee brewed from our favorite Javanese beans.

There is so much here- around, above, below, inside, outside. Even with the help of poets and scientists we can account for very little of it.

After a while we get used to it and quit noticing. Somewhere along the way this wide eyed looking around, this sheer untaught delight in what is here, reverses itself: the would contracts; we are reduced to a life of routine, through which we sleepwalk.

But not for long. Something always shows up to jar us awake, a childs question, a fox’s sleek beauty, a sharp pain, a pastors sermon, a fresh metaphor, an artists vision, a slap in the face, scent from a crushed violet. We are again awake, alert, in wonder: how did this happen? And why this? Why anything at all? Why not nothing at all?

Gratitude is our spontaneous response to all this: to life. Something wells up within us: Thank you!”

(from ‘Christ plays in ten thousand places’)

I remain committed to staying awake to this world and not submitting to the sleepwalk through the beauty all around me. And if that sounds a bit too like American Beauty then fear not, there will be no video tapes of plastic bags appearing here. Just a fresh appreciation of life in all it’s amazing detail. (and thanks to the one who made such detail!)

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The start?

For about two years now, I have been tempted to blog. Somehow I’ve always been stopped by the thought of what I would post, whether my endless ramblings on life would be of interest to anyone, let alone to me. I’ve been stopped by the fear of it descending into internal rants, self pitying moaning or self indulgence. And really, who would want to read the thoughts of this mind? It’s an interesting thing to ponder. There is also the fear of exposing the inner working of my mind onto a page, where it can be misunderstood, and my thoughts open to criticism or opposition. But if they can’t take healthy debate and understanding, I guess they aren’t really worth articulating.

Being the first post I guess this should be something of a statement about what to expect here in this space. I want more than an online diary, I’m not sure recounting a day in the life of Kath will be worth it. My tales of eating porridge for breakfast aren’t that interesting to anyone. I’m concerned to start conversations in this life. Too often we accept the reality of the world with which we are presented (I’m sure someone else said that at some point…) and fail to recognise the affect the invisible has on all we do and are.

I am a Christian. But it’s an easy thing to say and label myself as. What that means has far reaching consequences on all I do and say. (hopefully) But I’m interested in exploring what that really means. I love God, but recognise the ease of applying my preconceptions to Him without discovering who He really is. I love the Bible. But I want to explore the affect it has in a world empty of truth. I want to call attention to reality both in my life and in the lives of those who live around me. I believe in questioning and searching and seeking until you find. I believe in truth as tangible as the gravity that holds me to this earth, and I believe in one man taking on all I deserved on a cross 2000 years ago. I struggle to comprehend what that really means for all who live around me, and struggle to believe. But I cannot walk away from Him.

I spend my life swinging from opinion to opinion in the hope of pleasing all I meet. It’s a problem of mine. But through the different styles, the different expressions, I’m learning to sense the weaving Spirit, the truth from the lies and the diversity and beauty of our maker.

I also love chilled out things as well, simple stuff, worth mentioning and focusing on. I’m very aware that this blog could disappear into the realm of pompous statements of seemly great importance. The simple stuff of life helps me avoid that. I love music, friends, long walks on the beach, sunsets, the lake district, cups of tea, long chats into the night, swimming, chocolate cake and hugs.

So there you go, if you like random thoughts of a slightly cynical or over idealistic nature, random musings on reality and cups of tea, stick around. Comment, continue the conversations and sense the invisible that moves and transforms the visible world in front of us.

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