on properly feeling your feelings

Of all the people I see week in, week out, there’s someone I especially look up to, for her ability to stick with uncomfortable feelings. An older person, she’ll always answer the question, how are you, honestly, which is very rare. She’ll say things like ‘oh, I don’t know what’s going on with me –…

pray for Trump: pray for me

Today Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. I, for one, will not be watching. My New Year’s Resolution was to avoid all news of Trump, being how it was making me feel depressed and anxious. But no doubt that will prove to be impossible to maintain as…

sing a new song

I wonder what your ‘new’ is this year. Are you looking out on January 2017 with your spirits singing or plummeting? Psalm 40 was set in church today – and we heard how God lifts us out of the pit we’ve got ourselves into and how in response we ‘sing a new song’. U2 (Irish…

epiphany snow

  I had not thought it could be so white. Ice white under frost white long shadows blue white. The cold bite of a winter street houses squat stiff walls, safe as a knot. The ground as a sheet unyielding hard as a promise is to keep.   The everyday suspended. Sitting in its place,…

Losing time but gaining now

Each new marker of time brings up the same conversation, be it new school year (September) or new calendar year (January). ‘Where has the time gone?’ ‘Time’s rushing away with me’; ‘The days are slipping by’… I suspect these inevitable thoughts about time didn’t happen during childhood, but they seem to be a feature of…

being known

The new year’s lectionary readings bring us to John. First chapter, skipping Jesus as a baby, we go straight to Jesus as a man. A man who knows. Even before chapter one is done, he is calling people to follow him. ‘The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to…

feast or famine

Post Christmas, and the pendulum swings from feast to famine. How can the broadsheets advertise a ‘new fitness regime for 2017′ across the front page of January 1st? We’ve heard it all before. Adverts from November to Christmas Eve: feasts of turkey and wine; chocolate mountains; indulgence of expensive perfumes not normally smelt the rest…

last day

Last day of the year and old man’s beard smothers the hedgerow like the fresh fall of snow we haven’t had   this winter. No flowers but the red tips of hips and haws perched in between the palest green lichen creeping along blackthorn.   The damp creeps too, up from the earth to meet…