Friday, 24 December 2010

For those Who Know It's Christmas Time

Christmas Eve. 6.44 am.
I've been awake for hours. It's minus six out and I've been lying very still, hands tucked under my pillow to stop the chill.
I've been trying to pretend I'm sleeping. If I pretend perhaps it will really happen.
There's a whole other post in there somewhere, but it's not for today.

Finally I tiptoe out of bed and pull back the curtains.
I catch my breath, startled afresh by the stark beauty of the winter world.
Evergreen branches bow, weighted by heavy snow. The folds of thick coated earth gleam darkly in the midnight hues; The earth is dark blue and black and every shade between.

The neighbour's lights glow orange against the blues and I can't resist opening the window to take a postcard shot.
The cold Christmas air seems to shiver with silent expectation. The heaviness of the snowfall muffles even the sounds of nature itself and I am quieted by beauty.
I light a candle and place it on the windowsill before getting back into bed.

On the radio, the Band Aid hit plays and for the billionth time, I think about those who DO know it's Christmas.
Not in a way which disregards the starving: those afflicted by disease, drought, extreme poverty. That song was for them, and thank goodness for Geldoff and his incredible dedication to the cause.
But I can't help of think of those for whom the knowledge that it is Christmas, brings none of the excitement or seasonal cheer; none of the hope or expectation that glows around us, warming like a father hug; none of the childlike joy that pervades despite having shed the skin of youth.

For some, all that makes us glow, serves as a cutting reminder of what they have lost: loved ones, people suffering with terminal illness, the elderly, the lonely, so many.

I light my Christmas candle for those who have gritted their teeth and closed their eyes in the hope that they can make it through today and tomorrow. For those whose darkness feels even deeper next to the (often superficial) brightness of Christmas.

I pray (in honesty, without much hope) that the true magic of Christmas may be known in hearts that feel desperation and dread at this time of year.

(And yes, it's an almost impossible time for those with eating disorders, so I guess I don't get off Christmas lightly either... but I'm thankful that I'm loved today and I'm thankful that I'm not alone.)

Happy Christmas readers.
My prayer extends to ALL of you.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Sometimes I have something I want to say but I can't find the energy to piece the words together. It's been like that for days now, and I'm now expending more energy on NOT writing than I would otherwise do in making the attempt.

So here goes.

My Blog...

When I first entered the blog sphere, it was as a teacher in search of colourful or comical images which I could use to liven up worksheets and teaching resources I was
A Google Image search for "mountain" may link to a post about somebody's holiday; somebody's love of climbing; advice on mountaineering equipment; an obsession with Everest;
somebody's personal obstacles or victories; the view from somebody's back garden...

I loved it that, just for one moment in time, I could dip into another world, culture, mind, heart. It felt like a privilege to glimpse the world through the eyes of someone I would never know and I loved the bizarre juxtaposition (and I'm sorry to use such a word but I can't think of another) of intimacy and anonymity offered by a blog.

I didn't realise that blogs could be 'followed' by strangers who may become friends in the virtual world. I didn't have a clue that there was a relational aspect to them, and I certainly never dreamed that anyone would sustain interest in anything I wrote.

The notion of blogging became attractive because so much of what I feel and experience feels as though it belongs to a part of me that couldn't be shown to others. A part of me that is too dark, too honest, too pained, too tired... too something.

A diary was too risky. I've kept them before. Dangerous things, diaries. You end up lying half the time... just in case...

I liked the idea that some random person, sitting, standing, lying anywhere on earth, in an office, classroom, lounge, hut, hospital, cafe, bedroom, could hear my voice.
Just for a moment in time.
And that's all this blog was.
A glimpse. A raised eyebrow every now and then. A sound bite.

I like it that I am not 'known' and yet can be heard

I admit to struggling with the fact that not only do some followers feel that they know me, but they have also come to 'care'.
Intimacy is an itchy jumper.

As I type, I am inwardly howling with frustration at sounding so ungrateful.
I have appreciated your words. I have come to care too.
The split in me hurts. I am torn by wanting care and wanting to yell at everyone to stay away from me.

Before disappearing into sleep, I should probably conclude by saying that this blog is not about anyone apart from me (yes, it's a very selfish blog).
Anything posted here is an expression of something I am feeling or thinking about. It will have been posted either because of a drive to somehow put it 'outside' of me, or because of an urge to 'create' words for it.
I have no need to be understood or cared about here. I'm not looking for anything other than a little space, on a vast web, where I can be heard without being known.

Intimate and Anonymous.

I will remember, next time I need to exemplify an oxymoron.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Saturday, 4 December 2010

No Way Out

Call you up in the middle of the night
Like a firefly without a light
You were there like a blowtorch burning
I was a key that could use a little turning

So tired that I couldn't even sleep
So many secrets I couldn't keep
Promised myself I wouldn't weep
One more promise I couldn't keep

It seems no one can help me now
I'm in too deep there's no way out
This time I have really led myself astra

Runaway train, never going back
Wrong way on a one-way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I'm neither here nor there

Can you help me remember how to smile?
Make it somehow all seem worthwhile
How on earth did I get so jaded?
Life's mystery seems so faded

I can go where no one else can go
I know what no one else knows
Here I am just a-drownin' in the rain
With a ticket for a runaway train

And everything seems cut and dried
Day and night, earth and sky
Somehow I just don't believe it

Runaway train, never going back
Wrong way on a one-way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I'm neither here nor there

Bought a ticket for a runaway train
Like a madman laughing at the rain
A little out of touch, a little insane
It's just easier than dealing with the pain

Runaway train, never going back
Wrong way on a one-way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I'm neither here nor there

Runaway train, never coming back
Runaway train, tearing up the track
Runaway train, burning in my veins