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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life - Page 6

  • World Mental Health Day

    One day a year to focus on mental health, and this year specifically on suicide.

    Mental illness is still the subject of stigma and poor understanding, and it can be really difficult of those affected, and those who care, to negotuiate a path through the experience.  That trauma, bereavement, child-birth, hormonal changes and major physical illnesses can all impact mental health and wellbeing further complicates amtters and comments/campaigns such as "I wish I had cancer" are really not at all helpful - comparing conditions that 'mine is worse than yours' is so unhelpful.

    A decade ago, soon after I arrived in Glasgow, two young girls committed suicide, jumping from the Erskine Bridge.  That memory stays with with me, a reminder of the fragility of life and that, but for the grace of God, there go any of us.

  • Journalling with the French Pantoum!

    Whatever exercises we do on the GPRL course, we are invited to journal about it - to write about the process, what it felt like, what we experienced, how we might have heard God in any of it.

    Last night, after journalling about the prayer as art exercise, we were invited to created what was called a 'French Pantoum' from it.  The process was roughly thus...

    Read through the journal emtry and underline six phrases/sentences that stood out for us.  These would become the pantoum.

    Step 1 - write out sequentially the first four phrases

    1

    2

    3

    4

    This is the first stanza

    Step 2 - write out, sequentially the phrases

    2

    5

    4

    6

    This is the second stanza

    Step 3 - write out, sequentially, the phrases

    5

    3

    6

    1

    This is the third stanza

    The mathematics and symmetry is attractive to me, the  resultant 'poem', if such it be, surprising.

    So, here is what I wrote (with a few small tweks, which are permitted apparently!)

    Maybe this is God, glittering in the background:

    I am pleased with what I have made,

    Delight in creating

    A little seed, trampled underfoot.

     

    I am pleased with what I have made:

    Defiantly bursting out of the earth, season by season

    A little seed, trampled underfoot.

    I feel proud of what I am.

     

    Defiantly bursting out of the earth, season by season,

    To delight in creating.

    I feel proud of what I am:

    Maybe this is God, glittering in the background

     

  • GPRL Six Sessions Already!

    Growth in Prayer and Reflective Living (GPRL) is an acadmeic year course in Ignatian Spirituality which I am taking as part of a (academic) year-long sabbatical process - not a massive chunk of time 'out of harness' to spend in splendid isolation, but a 'portfolio' (as the trendy word has it) of shorter sabbatical spaces.

    Although I missed two sessions (on the 'Examen' and 'Lectio Divina', each of which I am already quite familiar with) we have now completed six out of thirty-four and have a 'pause week' next week.

    Last night was a marmite session, I guess - praying with art. Some will loathe it, and they did.  Some will fear it, and they did.  Some will love it, and I did!

    The image is my meditation on the parable of the mustard seed (the set text for the evening) and is the result of 45 minutes industrious endeavour, thought, prayer, reflection, feeling and being.

    There is good scientific evidence that humans think/process/pray differently if their hands are occupied, whether doodling, 'telling' beads, making things with lego, sewing or knitting.  It's why people can knit (even complex patterns) whilst watching television or reading.  It's why some people think by writing.  It's why people use fidget toys.

    I am really enjoying the course so far.  The articles we are given to read are interesting, the exercises wide ranging, the sharing meaningful, the 'space' helpful.

    Most people probably won't ever get into art (or craft) as prayer, and that's fine.  But for those of us who do, it is a real gift of God.

  • Happy Birthday to Us!

    That was a very lovely morning.

    Celebrating, commemorating, covenanting...

    A truly wonderful sermon from my good friend Revd Dr Ruth Gouldbourne, a joy to co-preside at Communion with her and Revd Dr Jim Gordon.  Wonderful to have visitors, new students and established friends.  The 'ubiquitous' yummy cake hand made by N, amazing music from P, L S F and E and of course the choir.  A card and flowers from the Sunday School... It just felt ful of love and life, hope and happiness - what more could a girl wish for?

    In the meantime - it's back to being "bothersome small things" in the Kingdom of God.

    Thank you everyone, I am blessed beyond measure.

     

  • More Anniversaries...

    Today I am involved in a Glasgow-wide service which will mark two important anniversaries - the 150th of the Baptist Union of Scotland and the 125th of the Scottish Baptist College.  Should be good - report, and possibly photo, to follow.