Destiny Is Light

Grief oiled the hinges of her bones
so she ran easily
into pools of joy;
of sunlight fingered petals
on the fading bluebell
in the heat of latter May,
pregnant with seed.
So she prayed
destiny discovering, probing
release from centuries of programmed
growth and entropy.

Patience sang a slow song in her head
so she laughed impulsively
at Pride’s solemn conviction;
‘Guilty and Redundant for All Time’.
Yet the only chains that held her
were these words.
Repeated in the chain mail rattle
of the surrounding army
where she found herself a prisoner.

Promise held the sinews of her heart
which sometimes missed a beat
in fear’s glare
But around her lay confetti
from the wedding day;
a reminder
that sealed hope over her quieter mind
like a silent witness at her trial.
In innocence she would be released
into the first embrace
That weighed her whole being.

UK no longer a democracy de facto?

The doctor’s opinions are likely to be the most significant and appropriate ones for us to listen to. ‘Inappropriate’: bully speak euphemism for “This is not the propaganda we are promoting!”

“In the Commons Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, asked Lansley if the trust’s action showed it was now his “policy to threaten NHS staff with disciplinary action if they speak out about his reorganisation”. He challenged the minister to reconcile his “new top-down bullying policy” with his previous strong support for NHS whistleblowers.

Prof John Ashton, county medical officer for Cumbria, received a letter from his PCT last week after he joined 22 other signatories to a letter in a national newspaper criticising Lansley’s health and social care bill. The letter read: “You are bound by the NHS code of conduct and as such it is inappropriate for individuals to raise their personal concerns about the proposed government reforms.” Ashton will have to “explain and account” for his actions at the hearing.”

Denis Campbell and Patrick Wintour  guardian.co.

I would have thought his explanation and account is quite obvious, something like, “I agreed with the letter and last I heard, this is a free country!”

More and more evidence shows us that it isn’t.

Is this scarily familiar to anyone?

I use here, as an example, an extract from an article in The Guardian, Sunday 12 February 2012 by Al Murray on the Twitter joke trial: ‘Problem is, the law don’t do funny’

‎”…..poor Blairite terror legislation (“not a joke!”), a bureaucratic tendency to timewaste and the speed of technological change brought about by the internet. Add to this a feeble-minded sense of humour failure, a failure to realise that not finding something funny is not the same thing as being offended, and that being offended is not the same thing as having an actual opinion, and that a metaphor born of frustration – “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!” – is not a terror threat. Even having to point that out is wearying, bewildering, soul-sapping.”

I don’t mean the frustration of disrupted public transport; that is annoying but in a way, endearing. It is still possible for Brits to be reminded by large organisations that humans get stuff wrong and life goes on. We deal with it, and remember that the agendas of our lives are not big enough deals for the universe to grind to a halt when we are held up. No, I mean the totally out of proportion reaction to someone doing or saying something that a moron would see as a breach of some law, but anyone with any common sense would see as just the way people are when they’re being genuine but harmless.

 

We are sleep-walking into insanity and I hope enough people wake up before its too late to improvise, instead of repeating mantras of PC script written for us by the Ministry of Thought.

I’ve already had threats of dismissal for the most innocently made remarks about work on a public networking site. I think we all vote for the Regime of the Republic of Fear if we give in to  such empty threats, because it will brainwash us into thinking that thinking is actually illegal. Just watch….

Valentine Joy!

It is raining on the snowdrops.

It’s a very unremarkable kind of mild day, where I can turn the weekend events over in my mind, mentally mineralising the memories into my spirit as I walk the dog through the dripping woods and marvel.

This is Joy on very different levels. The laughing kind; the serendipities where I sense God’s manifold humour sparkling on the edge of the dimly perceived mirror, and the deeper, quieter, ‘syfrdanol’ kind.

Thank you letter type prayer starts polymerising, but that’s for a little later.

Last night was our Valentines meal together, and with such a busy schedule we didn’t have some great idea about where. To me, the anticipation of the date was like a picture of a big, squashy sofa and a glass of wine, and I wanted it to be Saturday evening not Tuesday, the alternative because the squashiness of the sofa would be limited by work stresses on Monday and Wednesday.

How many people are looking for total chill out moments in their week?

We ended up in ‘A Taste Of India’ in Borth, and arrived in an empty little restaurant with a potentially pleasant atmosphere, for Borth. We were directed to the table for four by the window and brought popadums.  I waited for the circulation to return to my hands, frozen from sitting doing accounts in our chilly lounge for my imminent annual inspection by the Organic Control body. We were having an experimental evening and I tried hurrying the warming process with some nose wringing lime pickle! We perused the menu and decided to take a chance with the ‘Indian Banquet’ and the chef’s discretion. Before long our waiter was busy serving our starters, which were very tasty, with special minty sauce. He was eager to tell us about his life as a missionary. He is part of the fellowship of St Matthew’s in Borth but is a Pentecostal himself. I thought my jewellery didn’t offend him, though. We thought it would be lovely to come with Nina, Shedrack and family. The high and lowlight of the evening  was the bizarre background music! In fact it was the music which inspired me to blog it! The problem of creating atmosphere conducive to relaxed chatting in restaurants that are empty but for one couple can be solved easily by background music, so it was a good move when the waiter put the radio on, albeit a bit wheezy. He fiddled with it for a while and managed to cajole from it something that sounded like a reporter in a war zone rapping across a bad phone reception, and as that was all that could be sifted from the ether, he left it at that. After a short while the restaurant had filled up with what seemed to be a relaxed and regular clientèle, and perhaps perceiving this, the rapper down the line hung up, leaving nothing but an intense hissing and crackling. We were a little distracted by this and snatched glances at other diners to see if they were at all put off by it. By all appearances everything continued as normal and we persevered with our conversations. The restaurant manager came over as we finished our starter and asked if everything was alright. I too hurriedly asked if maybe the radio could be retuned and he smiled graciously and switched it off, as he carried our plates away. “Oops,” I thought, ” If he didn’t like me saying that without first thanking him for the lovely first course, I may be in for a  taste of his displeasure next!” On the contrary, we were treated to such an amazing feast of delightful  dishes and delicious naan bread that we continued trying to work our way through them all well after we felt replete!When we were finally defeated by the banquet we asked for the bill and our missionary brother came and began working out with us how our doggy bag could best be packed! As I’m vegetarian, some things couldn’t be mixed, and when that puzzle was solved and the bill paid we were presented with a large paper bag full of perfectly wrapped parcels of delicacies. As we flumped hugely into the car, we laughed at ourselves for forcing so much food into our drum tight bellies, as we’d have a bigger lunch the morrow if we’d stopped sooner and at a more comfortable stage of full! However, all in all the evening was a great giggle and the chippy left with the manager wringing his hand and saying to leave his card, in case his help was needed with renovations to the premises beginning next month.

This morning we were privileged to have Dr David Ceri Jones preaching from Peters 1st Epistle, Chapter 1, in St Michael’s church Llandre. We Christian’s are supposed to have this ‘unspeakable’ or ‘inexpressible and glorious  joy’ because we live in the company of Jesus despite the trials we experience today. It was so apt a word as we now have in our sights the arrival of a new incumbent, Rev Peter Jones with his wife Carol and daughter, Elen.  We had been told that they would be coming to meet the congregation today, and so I wanted to be there. I am so delighted to discover that there will be this new opportunity for growth and spiritual reality being lived and breathed and explored right here in Llandre. Part of the outcome of being so eager to meet and discuss hopes for us was that it seemed as if I was being ridiculously demanding, and poor Peter, who isn’t beginning his ministry here till May, asked me at one point how long I was giving him for all these transformations to take place! It’s just that I wouldn’t have dared to hope we could have that conversation with a minister in this church. Shame on me, but now, all the more, joy and hope! I can’t claim not to be biassed but I thought the hope was tangible. Not in the singing though, which was as dismal as usual! I am genuinely thrilled for Roger, who seemed to have a huge smile on his face whenever I glanced in his direction, and for Doreen his wife. They have worked tirelessly through all the years when the  only the lights of hope were in their souls and the eternal promises, none were in outward circumstances.

I walked home through the rain with a smile on my lips and became aware of the little green clio at the bottom of our lane, with my husband waving to me as I approached. I literally jumped for joy as I explained that David had told me to go and listen to Peter Jones on the Hubberstone web site, and what a great preacher he is. I have just done that. Yes, there is much to be thankful for and to pray about and to celebrate.

Now I’m going out again to enjoy the rain with the snowdrops.

Refocus a great deal!

If I picture that Jesus is standing between me and him, then every time he says something to put me down, I know Jesus is saying to me, “Are you giving him permission to do that to you?” And I am trying to say “No” but I can feel myself slipping all the same. And I need to really believe Jesus when he’s telling me, “If you won’t, then neither will I.” I have to want not to be torn up like rubbish and to believe also that Jesus doesn’t either. If my heart was a computer I would have this protection programmed into my hard drive!

I have hardly been able to talk to anyone since I was there, being shown the gritty, dirty ground where I get my face rubbed with his every comment and put down.

So I guess this is Jesus’s deal with me. I’d like to accept. I had said before-hand, “I take an oath with myself.” I’d said it out loud with my hand in the air like a stop sign! “I won’t let anything he says hurt me.  I forbid the words to enter my personal space.” But they did. I had virtually scrambled into the car to get away, in the end. I don’t want Mum to know. She deserves never to know. So I have to try to act normal or like I’m laughing. On the way home I couldn’t talk or cry. My chest ached and it wasn’t angina!  I went to sleep as an escape both nights since. ( A miracle for an insomniac!) But I woke still hounded by the rejection. Well, I don’t have any better deals to sign up to and I actually believe this one will be best in the long run. It takes such a big upfront payment though. Not to blame, not to imagine vengeful things I could have said…not to be natural.

So yes, Lord, please come and stand between him and me. I want to see you when I look at him and I want to hear you when he speaks. In return, I want him to see you when he looks at me and to hear you when I speak.

Done deal.

I will fail. Help me help me help me help me help me help me!

working for a ‘Christian’ care organisation

Thought I’d start keeping notes about how it is on the paper-chase face of health and social care.

Here’s an edited copy of an email I’ve just sent my brother.

Not so bad doing the certificate and the car is mended. I thought suspension had gone and it had. The wheel was almost falling off!

worked till 1.30am last night and started again 8 am after about 1 hr sleep.

any jobs in holiday break?…sounds like a holiday by comparison. Morale at work a bit of an all time low with management lashing everyone below them for overspending on budgets. I gave our manager a piece of my mind; he is getting it all from above, and we agreed they are stuck in a 1980s ivory tower where budget planning is concerned but he tugs his forelock and passes the pressure on down, as if the people we are supposed to care for will benefit from that! I told him we shouldn’t take it but actually make a calculation of the cost to staff all the work and routines and standards expected of us. It could be done. If we drop the standards we get Social Services and the inspectors kicking us but they’re the ones who won’t pay the funds they owe. We should show management they should be on the case of the local authorities who underfund not the 30p above min wagers flogging their guts out!
There is a modern translation of a  Bible saying from proverbs I memorised after my last scrape with Pxxxxxxxs:
‘The proof of a leader and his hidden strength is the extent to which he protects those who can put the least pressure on him!’ Proverbs 29, 14

I have  to work again till 9 tonight so need to press on.
Love,
Judith