Friday, 30 January 2009

spontaneous

phone a friend

cycle down to pier and watch the birds

cycle along the seafront to the old pier


cartwheel


take photos
caught in the headlights of our helplessnes
the world keeps turning burning up in
flames of anger violence rape revenge
we feel guilty for our books
clean looks
locks on doors
watching the clock
to race home
to our comfy chairs
how much do we care?
are we tumbling to a point of no return?
picking up speed as war births more
taking no heed of the groaning earth

creation

i wonder if it was like that for them
before time
if They were so overwhelmed
by Their own goodness and glory and unity
that the only thing They...He could do
was create
speak out
and the word brought physical into being
commanded light, revealing form and tone
breathed out sound, filling sky and earth and sea
with an orchestra of birds and beasts
singing praise
the most beautiful poetry of colour and movement and aroma
rhythms of rest and work
flowing sea swaying tree
line upon line of intricate detail
depths unknown
miniscule complexity in every curve and twist
of abundant life.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

you who are lost and weary and burdened

stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way it,
and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls
Jeremiah 6:16

Monday, 26 January 2009

the world in a week

university. some might say we're living in a bubble. but, over the course of 3 days last week, taking place within the non-aesthetically pleasing 60's style buildings...
  • about 50 students occupy a lecture theatre as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians living under the violence and occupation of Gaza, drawing up a petition with requests for the university to fulfill certain actions to offer support especially to Palestinian students in the form of scholarships, sending out old computers and making a public statement condemning the current situaton
  • "Hear Afrika" society puts on an event: 'Somali Aid', a fundraiser for a Somalian orphanage with poetry, DJs and live music.
  • I watch a film on child slavery around the world for a my human rights course
  • I'm set a spanish translation about Obama's decision to shut down Guantanamo bay
  • We discuss the pros and cons of the UN
  • All the bars and computer rooms on campus are full of students watching Obama's inauguration

i felt a little bit like my head had been run over. and SAD. seems the world is falling apart. and hope sometimes seems quite dim. and i know we are not experts by any means, and there's a whole lot we don't know and don't understand and haven't experienced. but all the same, i'm glad people care and are looking beyond the classrooms.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

boast

"let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD,
who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth
for in these i delight".

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Monday, 19 January 2009

John and Fritha got married




a wintery walk




yesterday was amazing. Breakfast with a friend. Cooked Curry for friends. Walk in winter sun with friends. Luxurious hot chocolate with friends. Evening chatting with a friend. Hooray.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

thoughts on Jeremiah and Isaiah

the last few chapters of Isaiah made me think about the FIERCENESS of God. Of His LOVE, His jealousy for us, of His Glory. So... a fierceness that is scary but beautiful and incredible and part of what make God God.

The first few chapters of Jeremiah show the depth of His love in another way. It struck me just how our rejection actually breaks His heart. something that lots of people can relate to....

He cries out
RETURN TO ME
unfaithful wife. sons who have deserted me
COME HOME
after all these miles we travelled together. how can you forget me so fast?
after i took your hand,
held you close through the dark nights,
led you when your fears blinded you,
made space for you to be fully yourself.
How do you turn away with such apparent ease? and i hear you say that i'll take you back anytime you chose. oh nails driven deeper into my aching heart, that you would mock my love in such a way.
and these others with whom you flirt and fumble. when did they seek you out from your secret place? rescue you in the storm?
do they even know your name?
do they know what makes you smile and what makes you cry? do they hear your heartbeat?
i cannot comprehend. what is it that you see in them? you sit exposed giving yourself away to anyone who will take you. Pieces. IN pieces.
when i would have ALL of you.
loving you completely. Completing you.

Friday, 16 January 2009

a good week

after a panic last weekend that i couldn't even do one essay let alone finish university, and with the help of encouragement and prayers, i handed in the work ("Are Anthropologists of Religion Potential Converts?") and proceeded to properly begin the term and actually have a really good week. HOORAY!! :-)

why good? well, firstly, i feel like i might actually enjoy my courses this term: Human Rights (actually maintained concentration and interest in both lecture and seminar!), Anthropology of the Body (the three hour long seminar might be a bit of an effort, but there's lots of good stuff to look at) and Spanish continues (looking at Borges who will be interesting i think).

Secondly, the past 3 evenings have all been great and fitting in with stuff i wanted to do more of this term. Tuesday i helped a friend at an after school youth club (11-14 year olds), which involved assault courses in the dark taking me back to scout days. loving it!

Wednesday i went to a great open mic night ('floetics') started up by a girl from Sussex. I'd never been before but heard good reports and thought it would be a good opportunity to put into practise my aim of reading some poetry-type-stuff this year. There were a lot more people than i expected but the audience was great and I'm really glad i did it. Read 3 poems. Guess it's hard to tell what people really thought but seemed positive response. yey :-) i think i will do it again...

Last night i went to something called the 'Spanish Invasion' which is not as scary as it sounds but is an informal spanish-english exchange open to anyone meeting at a local pub. Was the first time I'd been and was really good. Friendly people and so nice to hear and speak spanish. The words definitely aren't flowing so well anymore but it wasn't toooo bad. and met a spanish girl who's really into poetry and wanting to perform. love how things link up! :-)

Thirdly am just loving my friends here, bumping into people on campus, coffees in the meeting house, etc. Feel a bit more re-established in Brighton i guess. And just been encouraged in so many ways by different people, including those who aren't in Brighton, by reminders of the truth, by openess, by generosity. By knowing i'm not alone on the journey. which leads me to...

Fourthly and most importantly God is GOOD. I am still learning what that simple oft-used phrase actually means and realising a lot of time i'm not sure i believe it. But also i am learning that His goodness does not depend on my circumstance, and that it is far beyond anything i can imagine. I also know that while i sometimes doubt, it has to be true. Because everything hinges on it...

poetry

sick of talking cryptic
skipped it
the real meaning behind my words
while i'm seeming to be
poetic-floetic
flowing descriptions
and vague undertones
of that extra something
beneath the surface
hoping people will catch my drift
comprehend the gist
(u get me?)
of what i'm really trying to say
between the split lines
pathetic rhymes
start. stop. pause. breath.
fast-slow slow fast
droaning moaning
rolling droll
(...that doesn't sound funny)
overspill of thoughts
thoughts spill over
my cup overflows
permeating through the thick skin of lies
let the truth seep in and flavour life
like
salt
light
chases darkness away
brings fortha new day
by this let me be characterised
love behind my eyes

if they are the window to my soul

i found this in my old blog, changed it a little and it was the first poem i read at an open mic this week. imagine it being read in a range of accents and quite exagerrated intonation!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

i just think friends are amazing!

my life has been filled with people who inspire and encourage and love and are just beautiful all in their own ways.

wow. what a privilege!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Saturday, 10 January 2009

the problem with essays

- i don't think in straight lines and yet this is what an essay demands. A linear flow of thought from one paragraph to the next. Like there's been an explosion of thoughts which have to be funnelled down into a narrow stream of one word following the next, losing all their energy in the process. my thoughts go in circles and spiders and storms. I could draw it all out for you on a big sheet of paper if you'd let me.

- there is not one way of saying things. chosing one above the other seems to take away from the whole process of thinking and questionning and analysing and suggesting ideas, because it means discarding a whole lot of what formed part of the planning process, as if it's unimportant because it won't make it to the final show. OK so yes i hate the way i have pages and pages of notes and i have spent hours working on this but if i don't 'do it right', no one will be able to tell.

-Do we chose the way of 'telling it' that we know (if we do indeed know) is what "they" are looking for or do we stay true to ourselves and risk getting a lower grade?

- they want us to be original. but their (or that of the one man who will read and mark the essay) definition of originality is highly narrow. and if original is writing something that no one else has thought of, well... how are we to know what everyone else is currently thinking and choosing to write down?! it all seems a matter of chance.

- and it leads to the bigger question of one person deciding the worth of our work, and that number potentially influencing our futures and saying that in some way we are better or worse than the next person... and i hate the fact i do still care as much as i don't want to; that i will be disappointed if i get a 2:2 and not a 2:1, because someone somewhere along the line told me that's what my brains are worth and so i will somehow be letting them, or myself down.

- and i know a degree is supposedly a 'privilege', a 'passport', and is what everything i've done academically in the past has been leading up to, and here i am begrudging the whole system yet too much a part of it to give up just yet. too proud? or just 'sensible'. and then there's all that money.....!!!

overdramatic maybe. but somehow it all makes me feel like i've put on a pair of dark glasses and everything turns a shade of grey.

thursday in london

a friend.
(Helen, who i met in Ibiza last summer and
lived with there this summer... stopping over in London on her way back from a Christmas visit to Germany)
a bar.
(this was actually where we went on new years eve. helen would have been there if she could!)



a great cafe.
(cafe 1001 on brick lane. everything i like in a cafe. homemade danish pastries, sofas, internet, cushions, good music)




a market.
(spitalfields antique market. highly random!)


a walk.
wanting to make most of my day pass and not feeling like rushing back to Brighton, i took a wonder down the Thames path. Thinking to myself one day I'll be here but after seeing all the people rushing around in their suits and black coats, maybe I am not ready for it yet. I think first I'd like to go to the less known places...

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

today's BIG UPS for helping to combat the cold weather and essay boredom

- the view of Brighton, the sea and the south downs from the golf course

- hot water bottles

- last fm (for access to much music), check it out

- turkish delight

- brazil nuts

seek first the kingdom of God

i know this is important. like really really important.

but what exactly does it mean????????????

Monday, 5 January 2009

but where is He?

read THIS
He Loves Justice

love

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

safe with my guard down because even with my guard up you'd see right through.
and you would not avert your eyes
there'd be no flicker of disgust.... surprise....
only
a passion so strong and so deep i could get lost in it and i'm no longer sure if my feet are touching the ground
and i'm unaware of what's around
me
...all that used to fill me with fear
and rob me of my confidence
fades into insignificance
when i see
the way you look at me


it'll take more than a lifetime to understand

Sunday, 4 January 2009

tea

after a lifetime of saying 'NO' to that quintessentially english hot beverage, that answer to all life's woes*; after years of insulting its taste-lessness; after too many cups of coffee (instead), i have finally succumbed the infamous CUP of TEA. It started off with as merely something to warm me up with slightly lower caffeine levels than beloved coffee. That was 2008. And now, 2009, i have had at least one cup every day. I feel slightly ashamed, for abandoning that small collective who continue to reject the staple of an Englishman's diet. I don't plan to become dependent. I don't plan to start drinking 10 cups a day. I'm still not even sure I'd say i LIKE it. But, I am drinking it. Right now. I knew fourth year at university would do this to me. And thanks to too many friends who are way too into a good brew, a can make an OK cup of tea (am i thankful for this?). I'm still kind of hoping it'll just be a winter/university thing. We'll see when June comes...


*Tea is still believed, by English people of all classes, to have miraculous properties. A cup of tea can cure, or at least significantly alleviate, almost all minor physical ailments and indispositions, from a headache to a scraped knee. Tea is also an essential remedy for all social and psychological ills, from a bruised ego to the trauma of a divorce or bereavement. This magical drink can be used equally effectively as a sedative or stimulant, to calm and soothe or revive and invigorate. Whatever your mental or physical state, what you need is 'a nice cup of tea'. (Kate Fox, 'watching the english' p.312)

room


(my teeny tiny bedroom in oxford)

(a few of my 'journals'...!!)


2009

"Every new morning is a new beginning of our life. Every day is a completed whole. The present day should be the boundary of our care and striving. It is long enough for us to find God or lose God, to keep the faith or fall into shame. God created day and night so that we might not wonder boundlessly, but already in the morning may see the goal of the of the evening before us. As the old sun rises new every day, so the eternal mercies of God are new every morning"
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from 'i want to live these days with you', jan 4)

Thursday, 1 January 2009

2008

wow, what a year!

-2 months in Sevilla (plus 4 in 2007)
-3 months in Badajoz
-3 months in england in bits and pieces, mainly Oxford
-1 month in Ibiza
-3 months in Brighton

5 completely different places ... all challenging in their own way, all with plenty of tears but also plenty of fun and plenty of laughter. plenty memories and some pretty amazing people making each one an experience that i am grateful for.

some highlights... (all of which i have probably written about in the past on this blog, but it's good to remember!)

Jan:Running away for the day to the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain



Feb:(After) Abbie's 21st birthday party in manchester... 9 old friends up till 6am, honesty and encouragement

March:Having my own flat in Badajoz... living by myself for the first time. Not something I'd want to do for a long stretch of time but for then it was great.

April: Going to Feria in Seville, unexpectedly being able to get into one of the private parties, wear a traditional dress and hang out with friends from the Brazilian church

-Travels to Barcelona and Madrid


May: The concerts that the church in badajoz organised in May, especially the last one when we danced in the square

- The 'surprise' goodbye party in Badajoz - a great last memory of saturday nights with the 'youth' and friends.


July:Surfing and camping in Devon (and Esther's wedding)

August:Beaches in Ibiza
- Sh*t party, "Shipwrecked" and other mad outdoor ibiza dancing times

September: "Home" (the 24-7 prayer international gathering in Southampton)

October-December:
-Seeing Brighton friends again and making new ones
-Several trips to London to see various friends
-hanging out more with my younger sisters
-and.... last night (New Year's Eve) was pretty damn cool. i went to london to meet with Ibiza/clubbing/praying friends to go for curry and dancing. MUCH FUN!! a great way to see in 2009
yes... lot's of good things! And. Also, looking back to a year ago, when i was visiting England from Sevilla and to be honest pretty exhausted and pretty down and not really feeling myself at all, it's amazing to be able to say today "i'm fine" and mean it. It's great to look back even on hard times this year and be able to see that there was good amongst the pain and answered prayer amongst (and maybe through) the struggles that i couldn't see at the time (isn't that always the way?). and yeh i know life is up and down and there's different seasons etc etc and i want to learn to be content in ALL circumstances... but today i want to say thank you to the Great Creator, the All-powerful One yet most gentle and humble Shepherd. How You have blessed me in a thousand undeserved ways.