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  • The Edge of Privacy...

    Today, being my 'day off', I took myself off on the train to the place where the West Highland Way starts, and enjoyed a walk of roughly 7-8 miles, blowing away a lot of cobwebs in the process.

    On the inbound walk, I stopped to take photographs, including this one which says, just about discernibly, "privacy's edge" - being on the boundary of public land and a private, permissive path.

    It got me thinking a bit about the boundaries between public and private in our own lives, and more epsecially, about the stuff I share on this blog.

    Privacy's edge... that delicate balance between what is or is not appropriate to share; and another between what I choose to offer because actually I think that someone has to say it (which is why my cancer stuff always drew a large readership) and between what I don't offer because, actually, I don't want to share it...

    I kind of liked the fact that the stone was obscured, that I had to look closely to make out what it said, because that seemed to reflect the blurred, imprecise nature of public/private boundaries in blogging.

    I'm not sure I'll ever fully suss out the answer, but I did have a lovely, muddy walk, which did me a power of good - something I am quite happy to share!!

  • The Very Stones will Shout...

    As week one of an exploration of a few of the Psalms, and under the heading "all creation worships God?" this is the creative writing that emerged for this morning's service... (Advance posted to appear when we are at church!!)


    The author of Luke tells us that as Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,

    ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!’

    Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’



    Stones, rocks, boulders, pebbles…

    We come in all shapes and sizes

    And are born – if we may use such a word – in different ways:

    Spewed forth from the molten heart of a volcano

    Squeezed beneath the surface of the earth

    Or the product of centuries of sedimentation…


    Silently, we observe all human life.

    Silently, we are used, and abused, in the cause of human life.


    Flints struck to create a spark to light a fire

    Stones sharpened for use as tools… and as weapons…


    Polished and cut to ornament human bodies… or the floors of palaces…

    Used as slingshot to maim or kill


    Quarried and fashioned into regular blocks

    And built in dwellings for humans… or for deities…


    Gathered into circles to contain fires

    Or built into walls to protect sheep and cattle… or exclude entire nations…


    Pebbles joyfully skimmed across the surface of a river

    Or thrown angrily, deep into the depths of the sea…


    Silently we watch… silently we listen…

    Silently we delight… silently we despair…


    Just below the threshold of human hearing.

    Just beyond the comprehension of those whose lives we share,

    We too, utter prayers and praises to the one in whom we have our being


    For the hurt we have caused, in natural disaster and in human activity, Lord, have mercy

    For the joys we have brought, in the natural environment and in human endeavour, Lord we praise you

    That your promises be fulfilled, that all will be made anew in your Kingdom of Shalom, Lord we beseech you


    God, rock of ages, hear our prayer. Amen.

  • Commissioning of Toy Bears...

    So, I did it!  I gathered up all the 'new with tags' and 'never played with' teddies and packed them into bags ready to be sent off to charity, where they can bring smiles and laughter to small people, or hear the secrets of children and adults, or generally just be loved.

    Over the years they have sat on my spare bed or on top of the wardrobe looking down on me, they have brought me lots of pleasure, but now it is time to say 'farewell' to them and send them off to new lives.

    I've also contacted Tools With A Mission to collect my old sewing machine and some computer peripherals, and gone so far as to list my E-piano on Ebay (pointless it gathering dust on my living room when someone could enjoy playing it).

    This clearing out exercise continues to be healthy and helpful - and if nothing else will free up space in my over-stuffed flat!!


    So, bears (and other cuddlies):

    Go ye into Charitable Purposes, bringing smiles and cuddles to children and, behold, their love will make you very real, even to the end of time. (with apologies to JC according to Matthew.)