Friday, 13 April 2012

Lost in the fog/forest/desert/wilderness/maze/underground/crowd

 So many things going through my mind today.

Realising that again I had got sucked into someone else’s path and was trying to channel someone else's charism and persona.  Sigh.  Find the mistake, unravel the knitting, pick up the stitches, start again.  My family is patient.

Then I got to thinking, when I do this it’s voodoo really – avoiding stepping on the cracks between the paving stones so the bears won’t get you (US and Aussie and Canadian and Swedish children do this too, right?).

I try to hold the chaos at bay by courses of action – if I wear this, if I buy that, if I eat this, if I go without that.  And I guess courses of action do help, up to a point.  I mean, if we save rainwater and thereby draw off less tapwater, it has to save pennies on our budget if nothing else – and plus you have to be the change you want to see in the world; and I surely do want to see us stop sucking Mother Earth dry.   Then there’s the bees.  If we plant the right flowers in our garden and stay away from toxic chemicals, it will help them. 

But then . . . there’s all the electromagnetic mess from microwaves and cellphones and whatnot.  And complicated metals that I don’t even know about implicated in making computers.  And light pollution and nuclear power stations and asthma from car exhausts and greenhouse gases – and you know and I know that’s just the tip of the iceberg, I could go on all day.

Even if I do my very best and get as obsessive as only I can be – what difference can I make?  Apart from, to myself and the patient people who have to live with me.

I guess there comes a day when one just has to grieve that Mother Earth is dying, that wars will never cease, that religion will always bring alienation and persecution alongside its many blessings – that wherever there is Christ there is a cross, as messy and bloody and painful and impossible to get round as it ever was, at the heart of the way things are.

It makes such a wave of sorrow in me, that I am a childish person, and not very good at life, and I get things wrong so often – like, most of the time.  I never seem to learn.  I only need to meet someone who tells me “Wear this type of hat and dress, it’s what God wants:” and instead of taking the obvious course and saying “Chum, you’re sweet, but you’re off your trolley,” I do the thing (Apologies, of course, if you are a person who believes it makes a difference to God what type of hat and dress you wear).

And then the other day I was reading a book by this guy who believes money is the problem and we should all live without it.  I mean he rides a bike and goes dumpster diving and wears clothes and I couldn't help thinking, "Wait - but surely . . . "  Even so, I felt guilty, and so I should.  Friend, you have no idea with what cheerful abandon I can spend money.  Savings, what are they?

And food!  Everything that crosses our lips seems to cause some kind of damage – cheese gives me heartburn and requires the slaughter of calves, eggs require (male) baby chicks to be gassed en masse, abattoirs are the theatres of atrocities that sear the soul for ever, potatoes tomatoes peppers and aubergines are nightshades that do something bad I can’t remember, margarine is basically paint or something in disguise, rapeseed oil messes with your lungs, palm oil starts wars and causes indigenous people to be turned off their land, bread bloats your gut, anything processed is inherently evil for all the usual reasons – Geez!!! What’s left to eat?  No pancakes, no ice-cream no currant buns, no Sunday roast, no macaroni cheese – British apples R us, right?

Crossroads?  I feel like I got lost on a traffic island in Spaghetti Junction!

It is rather late at night and I was very ill yesterday.  Take this with a pinch on salt.  No, wait - I think you'd better not do that . . .  OK, just stick to the hat and the dress and avoid the cracks between the paving stones and maybe the sky won't fall and the bears won't get you after all (in your dreams . . .)

Life is s o o o o o  v e r y  d i f f i c u l t

It has no script, no map and no certain outcomes.  Before you rush to tell me, yes I do believe in Jesus, and I do know about prayer and the Bible - I'm just saying; even then.


365 366 Day 104 – Friday April 13th

This was a sweet little hook kindly given to us that lived in our kitchen for a while.   


Slippyroad said...

You do what you can in your personal life and support or oppose what you need to in your public life. Don't get overwhelmed by the details and forgive yourself.

I have had a silly little song speaking to me the last few days. It is "By My Side" from Godspell. The song wasn't written with this meaning, but in the middle the disciples sing to Jesus:

"Let me skip the road with you
I can dare myself
I can dare myself
I'll put a pebble in my shoe
And watch me walk (watch me walk)
I can walk

I can walk!

I shall call the pebble Dare
I shall call the pebble Dare
We will walk, we will talk together
We will talk

About walking Dare shall be carried

And when we both have had enough
I will take him from my shoe, singing

"Meet your new road!"

Then I'll take your hand
Finally glad

Finally glad

That I am here
By your side

I had the strongest feeling or insight or whatever that strong people like you and me can get really far on our own courage and strength, the pebble "dare" which also causes so much pain in our shoe. We can push our way through almost anything, but eventually we get exhausted and we have to remove that pebble and rely on someone else. It could be Christ to some. To others it could be that of God within someone else. Eventually we have to give up that pebble.

Any way, that is my poor little pep talk and here is the link to "By My Side":

Julie B. said...

When I was little it was always, "step on a crack and you'll break your mother's back"....yes, we Americans go straight for the violence - what are a few bears?

I just want to say that I think you are doing life in such a way that has blessed many people. You have diligently used the gift and the mind God has given you to write books that honor Him to the best of your ability. You have touched lives and given hope through what you've written. You have welcomed people you've never even met (like me) into your life, encouraged them, spoken softly to them, prayed for them, and given them reason to thank God. You have survived very hard times and still look to Him. You love your family. You love God's creation. You are so honest about yourself and humble about paths you've taken.

I'll bet most of your readers and friends understand so much of what you've written here, dearest Ember. Life is terribly hard and things are getting serious and sad all over. I also think I'm probably regularly eating poison, am ruining the earth, ruining my children, not representing the Savior I say I follow, and am generally doing most things wrong. Ack!

But a wise friend told me a long time ago that this is why we need God. We will never really get it just right. I will always sin, and despair, and be prideful, and wander off until I'm lost. I know you already know this, but how I love that Jesus has the remedy for my sin, can lift my head when I'm so sad, and gently humble me when I'm full of myself. The longer I live the more messy I seem to become, and the more wonderful His grace and patience become to me.

I, for one, am very thankful for you, no matter what.

God bless you and rest you today, dear Ember.

maria said...

On is difficult. I believe it was meant to be so. How else would we need Our God to give us the strength to bear it all?

I believe that we must focus on what is right for each of us. I can not take on the whole world, it would destroy me. But I can change my small world. I can teach my children to respect this gift of Creation. I can wear my homemade clothing, and store rain water in barrels, and grow my own veggies and save and live frugally, because I know that this is the way of Our Lord.

I believe that one small change can make a difference. I don't have control over the whole world, just a little patch of dirt in PA - USA.

Have a blessed weekend my friend,


Ganeida said...

Have a (((Hug))). It won't change anything, but it is a gift of ♥♥♥ & the best I can do long distance.

Lynda said...

Dear Ember - I can so realate to what you are saying. The hardest thing for me is to not think!!

But my mind just keeps going round and round...jumping off here and there and finding a dead end.

So I am sitting here...
waiting...not knowing what the next step is.

Here in OZ it's "step on the crack and you break your mother's back!"

From one beffuzled mind to another :o)

Oh...and by the haircut is just like your's now!!!! xx

Ember said...

Ah, you are such good friends - thank you for your kindness and wisdom. I enjoy writing this blog, but when I read the comments you write, I feel proud of it too!

Slippyroad, I know Godspell, but can't call to mind that song - I'll go along and listen to it.

Julie B, what you said : "The longer I live the more messy I seem to become" - totally! And I think when I was a young woman I hadn't yet had time to see my mistakes for what they were - by this time I see the patterns and still can't get on top of it.

Maria I loved that little paragraph you wrote saying about the daily way you have chosen "because I know that this is the way of Our Lord". Amen and ain't that so!

Ganeida - :0) right back at ya - thank you!

Lynda - Gosh you better really hadn't step on the cracks then!! New hair? Is there a pic on your blog? <>


Ember said...

Oh no! Lynda - your blog has gone! :0(

Lynda said... least someone will miss my blog :o)

Will re-open it once I get moved and resettled. xx

Ember said...

Hooray! May your searching go well. May you find the home of your innermost heart. May you have good companions on the journey now and always.

Anonymous said...

The closer I follow God, the clearer I can see the faults in myself. Take heart, Ember, we are all on a journey and I haven't met a Christian yet who says they've taken a direct route!
Kay, Cornwall

Anonymous said...

If you stand on a line you marry a swine, if you stand on a crack you break your mother's back and if you stand on a square you hug a hug bear...walking round to the shops was fraught with danger and the energetic jumping into the oblong paving slabs!

There's lots I wanted to say but Julie said it better so I'll just send you a cyber hug ((())))

Ember said...

:0) Thank you, Kay!

Gee, Debs - be so careful how you tread!!!

Sarah said...

You are so right and I think this is why so many people follow quite fundamental, rigid doctrines, it's safer sometimes to put the blinkers on and say 'this is always the way to do things etc. I think it works the same way outside the Christian world, my friends who follow fashion/ celebrity are quite content to read magazines that tell them what to wear and which people are 'in'.
I admire you for your free-thinking.

Ember said...

:0) Thank you, Sarah x

Penny said...

This here - the honesty, the friendship, the encouragement to keep on despite the difficult - is beautiful.

Ember said...

:0) Yes - it feels like a circle of friends holding hands round the world.