Before anything else.Before you can get any help, or start working your way through a tricky situation or painful experience, you have to acknowledge it exists.The universe I inhabited before my thirties was a place where it was not the done thing to express discontent.We were loved by God and had everything we needed. We were not homeless, or learning to live with a critical illness. We were not cold or hungry. We did not have to walk miles every day to collect water. We were not alone and abandoned.Anything that did go wrong, or didn't turn out how we...

I was in the garden the other Sunday, and as I began to tackle the enormous weeding task that lay ahead of me, I listened to Poetry Please.On this occasion, the Sunday morning quiet, the warmth of the sun behind the clouds and the gentle tones of Roger McGough, found me moved by the first poem I heard.I stopped, closed my eyes, and listened.It is called Now I Become Myself, and is by May SartonNow I become myself. It's taken Time, many years and places; I have been dissolved and shaken, Worn other people's faces, Run madly, as if Time were...

A benediction for fools. For those of us who know we haven't got it all together, who are messy and unfinished.For today; May we meet the day with innocent expectation,  not cynical or world weary or jaded. Let childlike curiosity mark our moments. . May we be brave enough to admit we don't know the answer, and wise enough to ask for help. Let us be relieved of the burden of certainty. . May we be happy not to have the last word, the last laugh. Apart from at our selves. Let us not take ourselves so seriously. . May we be fools for love, for beauty and laughter ever on our lips. Let the...

This post owes a great deal to the section on Holy Saturday, in Pete Greig's brilliant book, GOD ON MUTE As a Christian, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are where it's at. They are the big days that mark events that stand as the cornerstone, the pivot of our faith. We're told, "It's Friday… but Sunday is coming".But in between these days is the day we don't regularly discuss. A day I never paid any attention to until recently. A day that is teaching me about who I am and how to live. Holy Saturday.On Good Friday Jesus was crucified."They took...

Sometimes the writing process feels like a huge dot-to-dot drawing.I start with no idea what the final image will be. Moments, ideas, a song I heard on the radio, an article I read, a half-snatched conversation each acting as a dot, pointing to the shape of what is to be revealed.I hold these 'dots' in my mind, scribbling a few down from time to time, trying to unravel what my subconscious is processing. And then the moment of clarity and often surprise, when I see the image emerge, as the line is drawn, connecting the dots.Recent dots:I got into bed...

On the way home from church today we found trees blown down across the road. Huge branches blocking our path, dangerous obstacles getting in our way, preventing us from continuing our journey.One kid is ill and the wind howls outside. And all the leaves that had hung on until now, swirl in the air.It is the first Sunday of Advent and the hope that is to come feels like a fairy tale.My stomach churns and I feel empty. The words I speak evaporate into the air, swallowed by uncertainty that lies just one breath away.Today, I need truth.I need someone...