Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm not necessarily officially stopping this blog but...

... I went got me a new one.  Check out 'Communikate' for the whys and wherefores. It's been about a little while but I figure having more than two readers might encourage me to write a bit more.  I'm not going to lie to you, there's not much quality there right now - I'm kinda out of flow an all.  But I have got some dreams about what it could be so watch this space, if you like.

Sorry there's no clever/ridiculous/tenuous analogy to introduce it.  I just can't be arsed (hence it being time for a new blog).

I still massively believe in the metaphor mind. More so than ever perhaps. Life just got interesting in other ways recently and I thought I'd explore that for a time.

Over and out.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

I miss you

I miss blogging.  I miss everything.  I miss finishing something I have started writing; capturing a thought and turning it into something complete; sitting down with a nice cuppa tea and not having a nagging "to do" in the back of my mind. I miss rest and I miss activity that is productive - how can a person be so busy and not be at all effective?  Or at least, not effective in the things she puts most of her energy into.

I know well that the Christian call is not one to be a "doer" of life.  That's because we don't need to work at being saved, because it isn't possible so God, who is gracious, made a way through Jesus (link)!!  It's also because life isn't a hobby, action or event - it's a state.  It is the context within which other things happen - jobs, relationships, children, ministry, creativity etc etc etc - and it's quality shouldn't be determined by the "stuff" it contains; rather, the quality of what it contains is determined by the atmosphere around it.

So I quit my job...

I miss them too.  In a way.  I miss the dear sweet (pain in the arse) children, and the fight for progress.  I miss the office banter and I even miss the people I didn't see eye to eye with.

Mostly though, I miss me.

I suppose if one's character is constantly changing, being redefined by what you do and experience, then all too easily we can become strangers to ourselves if we rapidly change tack.  This isn't always a bad thing but when it is the potential damage is high. I'm glad I've realised now but I still feel a little farther from home that I would like. But then perhaps this is my Dorothy moment : somewhere over the rainbow... 

I also miss what goes missing when you don't have opportunity to be.  To be yourself, to be with God, to listen to the world around and hear what it is telling you through the most ridiculous and sublime media. No wonder I don't have an analogy to share today... I've been so busy I missed it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

False prophets

I know I know I know, I have not been At All around.  I'm sorry.  You think you're hard-done-by?  Try being one of my actual real-life friends that I am neglecting.

That is a whole other story though.

Remember my Cat of Redemption (link)?  Dang it, it really would help to have a picture.  Mum, Dad, C, Rich - if you are out there anywhere could you email me a pic of Tilly and Abby together please?  It is high time I illustrated this point.

Anywho.  CofR (aka Tilly) is an all-black cat and Abby is black and white with the white being mostly on her belly.  One time a dear friend of mine Miss Love came over and she met Tilly... she then saw Abby on a chair later and said oh there's The Cat of Redemption again.  Ehr Ehr! (quiz show fail noise).  From that moment onwards Abs has had the rather unfortunate name of "The Cat of False Prophecy".  (Kitty the fluffy tabby feels rather left out.)

It is SO easy to take a fabulous analogy - like, I don't know, a pertinent song or a car - and think it means something.  A friend of mine did that once.  She fancied a boy who had her dream car: it was in her favourite colour and the make had brilliant adverts.  That, coupled with a memorable moment of eye contact and a shared taste in music, had her smitten.  Perhaps you might want to say smote as it wasn't really a good thing.

We were in my car the other week behind the very same model of car and it prompted a memory; and a revelation.  The boy thing never worked out and the car (and song) were always a bit of a frustration for her - why did it even have to be like that?  Why fall at all, with such small but darling details to now have to let go of??  My thought was that perhaps God sometimes let people see small "signs", from which they inevitably infer big wrong things, because working through all of the resentment and pain the lesson comes out that people are, in fact, emotional and pattern forming creatures who often see what they want to see.

This might not sound very hopeful from a blog that seeks to find something in everything!  However, it is important if one is seeking out the truth and not a projected ideal. Care must be taken when looking for answers; if not, when the lights come on and you realise it was just a fiction, hearts can get hardened rather than wisdom increased.

So the false prophecy was actually a real analogy!  Everything is significant, just not always in the way we expect or want it to be. I think Abby probably feels a lot better about her name now.  I know my friend finds it easier to let go... Having a purpose to pain always helps, I find.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Still here... and still hoping...

Blimey, I haven't been blogging much at all. Talk about being a changed woman. I have plenty of excuses to make and a great long list of things I'd like to say that I don't have time for but let's cut the crap.

Firstly: Happy Christmas! I hope that you all get the analogy of giving presents - that Jesus came to earth as a gift for all of mankind and that is why we celebrate on the 25th December! You didn't? More's the pity.

Second: Happy New Year! Did you realise (I didn't) that this isn't actually a new decade, since the first year A.D. wasn't actually 0 but rather 1, ergo this is the last year in the 201st decade since Jesus was given to mankind. Bit of a dampener isn't it? Still, Radio 1's list of the UK's top 100 purchases of the decade (link) was kinda interesting. Interesting and WRONG - in the top 10 HALF of them were winning tracks from television programmes such as Pop Idol and X-Factor :-O Analogise That! for what it says about British culture. I am disappointed in us all.

Though, to stay on topic for a moment, analogise the way facebook managed to get 'Rage Against the Machine' to Christmas number 1(link). Is it power to the people and a sign of the potential for world alteration through the unity of "insignificant" people? Lol. I particularly love the way that the runner up's X-Factor song 'The Climb' has the lyrics:

Always gonna be a uphill battle

Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

True dat.
The thing is, I'm not actually taking the piss. I even bought that track 'cause I'm all about the uphill battle and am well aware that though "my faith is shaking I gotta keep trying". Ridiculous? Or sublime? (I know my metaphor swapped sides halfway through - deal with it!)

In other news, all over England we have beautiful prophetic weather. I wrote a song about it last Feb, when we first got - to quote the Mayor of London - "the wrong kind of snow". It's called 'Snow Hope' and a bit of it goes like this:

S’a tiny flake of hope as I sit and wait

For the day that the weather will break
and a little piece of heaven will cover my world

One on it’s own the world would melt
Oh so fragile they can barely be felt
Yet they can halt life’s daily machine
You know it looks quite different when it all looks clean
Pause a while take stock and smile...

The way I see it, this country is basically brought to a stand-still when something bigger than them takes over. Getting in everyone's way because, actually, the world doesn't revolve about them and their way isn't The Way.

It's clearly an image of grace (being made clean) but I am particularly excited by how it's when all the flakes get together that they have a massive force. So strong that "the world" can't cope and they can't ignore or deny it either. People are gonna have to change, and fast, to deal with this outpouring. Each flake totally unique, beautiful and pure... with potential to make a HUOUGE difference.

Are we going to make that difference this year? I ruddy bloody hope so. I think we all need to be stopped in out tracks, before we drive off some proverbial cliff...

Hmmmm. I have enjoyed writing again, it's been far too long. Been expending lots of my words in other arenas you see... another time perhaps I'll share but until then: change the world. OK?

"What we need are more people who specialise in the impossible." - Theodore Roethke

P.S. But can they do it again?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Insight into humanity

What I would call a Very Telling found poem, that I read on Verbatim (link) (which I've told you about enough already).

I want to

I want to die.
I want to break free lyrics. I want
to be anorexic.

I want to break free.
I want to be skinny; I want
to be a model.

I want to be thin.
I want to lose weight; I want
to know what love is

lyrics. I want
to get pregnant.

Google searches speaking of people searches, much? What is this world a-coming to.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The beginning of the end

What with it being the start of December I am tempted to say: "what happened to the last 6 months?" The first half went crazy slow but since about mid-June it has whizzed by in a blur. Not a particularly nice blur but I suppose if it's hard you want it to hurry out of the way. However, I will do no 'reviewing the year' until the actual end.

I started this post yesterday and filled it up with loads of babble and excuses about things I wasn’t going to say. Then I found a point and decided that, in my new incarnation as Editor, I would cut the crap and deliver.

It started when I put on my ipod – to block out the sound of inane Starbucks babble – and 'All good things come to an end'(link) by Nelly Furtado came on.

This year, with all its horror that I praise God for (sometimes joyfully, sometimes begrudgingly, sometimes blatantly failingly) I still see Good things (and by Good I mean the kind that I can appreciate as good and not just take on faith) that have happened. And lots of those have come, or are coming, to an end. I suppose friendship and community and what my life in Bristol is about are all obvious examples. I’m writing in Starbucks Borders - my city centre living room/office with so much history and familiarity - and it is closing in as little as 2 weeks. One less piece of contact with the world as I knew it. So much ending. I have been in semi-stasis these past couple of months but actually a lot is now properly finishing. For good. Finito. Or at least, I am at last noticing it clearly.

I find myself asking all sorts of question, for example: what is the fate of this blog when I spend most of my new life writing other things; when I have an aspiration to pursue actual “careers”; when I get bored and restless 'cause I have a terrible attention span and can be quite fickle with where I give my heart to? I'm not saying I’m quitting again, just thinking out loud.

But as I started 'Analogise That!' with a post about life from death(link), then very soon saw a whole lot of death - both the negativity of "death" in circumstances and the real deal - I have come to see that endings really are a part of life. But not the end of life, because all the good that comes as a result is real and apparent and full of redemption. Like my ‘Cat of Redemption’(link), who has gone from hiding out on our neighbour's shed roof to being the most affectionate darling creature ever.

[Aside: I learned a new word – ‘Bathos’ – and it means the ‘unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous’. It is just me or is this blog sometimes a bit like that? Not that I think it matters. In fact, I kinda think that’s the point…]

I fully don't know what is coming next today, this month, in 2010 and beyond... but I know that for all the things that finish there will be something of life that springs from it; something bigger and better. Which does remind me of this thing Jesus said once:

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives." John 12:24 (NLT)

Plus, if you believe his death leads to our redemption, it is an even greater (nay greatest) example of the idea that every time something dies, something better comes along and the world ends up being better overall; ever-increasing in glory.

‘The good being the enemy of the best’ is a philosophy I hold strongly to. It has to be when I have so many choices available to me. One thing I've learned this year is that I can cope with the Goods dying if the Best is the end result.

So I suppose these changes, this ending and even the despair that 2009 contained can all be chalked up to a plentiful harvest of new life. That's a faith thing. But a true thing as well... says Kat(i)e in her latest incarnation...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stranger Danger

Some people say that strangers are just friends you haven't met yet.

Most of my friends are strangers I only just met.

2.5 years ago my life got flipped turned upside-down and I'd like to take a minute just sitting right here and tell you how it happened... but I don't have time.

In that quarter decade I never have.

And though there have been moments where this is a symptom of over-working I don't think it is the main reason. Almost everything I do just feels so "right" and the things that aren't are difficult to spot but I'm working on it. I am living an amazing existence: my job has exciting potential to make a real difference, and open some major doors; I've started a "subversive" Christian newspaper that 2 weeks ago didn't exist but will (prayers said) be printed in 3 weeks - counter to all possibility. I'm coping quite well at the moment, having gotten past some massive internal struggles, and am seeing incredible occurrences on a daily basis. Church is flippin' fantastic and by golly I'm even starting to believe once more that good stuff can, nay will, happen.

But I haven't slept in the same bed continuously for as long as 2 weeks since I was in Russia this July.
And I don't know if I will until I go back.
Which is probably in 2 years time.
And it is foolish to plan that far ahead anyway.
Yet I've still got to at least try to learn the language, just in case...

I was hanging out with my equally busy, work-consumed missionary friend tonight for about 20 mins. We vowed (though accidentally broke it several times) to not talk about work. Here was our conversation:

Him: So, what sort of animal would you get?
Me: Well I was planning on "borrowing" one of my parents' cats but I'm too busy with...
Me: What's your favourite colour? Red?
Him: How did you know?
Me: Well, it's your car. But then you didn't choose that did you, you just had to get what you were given 'cause you're a poor missio...
[Pause, where we insulted Luke for talking geekily about Dr Who, before realising that he did, at least, have a hobby]
Me: Errrrr... what's your favourite reptile?

End of conversation.

I feel like I have no time for friends. I have nothing to talk about with friends apart from "business". The people I do know are all so relatively new and life keeps moving on so fast that sometimes I sit in the same room as them and feel like a stranger in my own life. Am I a friend I haven't met yet?

Sometimes I wish there was someone there to be my stability in this place of huge change. To know about the different parts of my life and be able to feel my pain and get me, even when I don't. Someone that doesn't feel strange. How is this even possible? Just supposing I had the time right now for a "significant other" to come along - which I don't - that level of closeness would still take ages to develop.

Then I remember this poem (that Nathan (link) posted on his blog a little while ago and gives a little bit of the info for it here (link)) and I think that maybe things will all be OK...

Abigail Burdess – All Kinds of Trouble

I’m in all kinds of trouble now,

The kind where you wake up on a train

And everything, everything’s strange

And where am I? And when did the season change?

I must have been asleep.

I’m sure I must be late.

I’m in all kinds of danger.

The stranger on the platform is not a proper stranger.

“You’re here with me,” he says, “isn’t it great?”

And he’s right.

The kind where there’s too much meaning on the edges of sight

Because he might be there.

The kind where you randomly weep.

I’m in deep, deep hot water.

In a boiling hot geyser

In the mists

In the midst

Of ridiculous Icelandic snow.


You should give up the fags and eat fruit,

Because life should last longer, this life should last longer

If someone like him exists.

Everybody. Lock away the razors and save your lovely wrists:

Someone like him exists.

I’m in every single kind of trouble now

The kind where a kind man could write himself a significant part.

I’m in very grave danger

Of a change of heart.