blog for movember

Movember will shortly be upon us again. Movember’s a great opportunity to generate awareness about and financial support for prostate cancer and men’s health issues, all while sporting an extra badge of manly sophistication and class. The blogosphere shall not remain a neutral spectator to these proceedings thanks to Bloggers for Movember. Go to the magnificent Le Clown’s blog for details on how to become a Mo Bro or Mo Sista and raise awareness and support for the cause.

Go on, become a Blogger for Movember!


confessions of a wannabe writer

Let’s face facts. I’m a pretty terrible writer. And no, that’s no false humility donned as a thin veneer to score compliments or look very noble because, let’s face it, you don’t actually know who I am and so it wouldn’t benefit me anyway. I only mean that I’m terrible because I never practice.

I do want very much to be a writer. I was encouraged the other day when a friend of mine asked me if I was, thinking that I would be. She said I had the thoughtfulness for it, which was very kind and has encouraged me to come back on here and keep on having a go. This isn’t my first blog. I’m a hopeless blogger because the medium requires a  high turnover of new material, and I just can’t think stuff up that fast. Writing for me carries the potential, the desire within it for something wonderful, something profound, and I just need to…to ponder I guess.

I’ve hoped to blog to help me practice my writing. Unfortunately, perhaps as a hangover of a long history of depression never properly dealt with, perhaps just because of bone idleness, I go about my life cloaked in a horrible inertia in which I’ve put off fully involving myself in doing the things I’d love to do. With a deep sadness I see people who love involving themselves in this or that, and I think of the past decade of my life in which I’ve squandered my gifts, my loves. Only me to blame of course.

And really, I’m not depressed about this, and I don’t mean this post to be a self-pitying, self-indulgent round of  ‘poor me’  because, of course, I have the rest of my life, however long that is, to pursue what I love. The world is ripe and full of possibility. And that gives me joy. Really, I’ve been horribly impatient and perfectionist when it comes to creativity – the journey of growth had somehow become a pain rather than a joy. That’s the ugliness of pride. So, here’s to stepping back into glorious creative living.

Because a great myth out there is that a spiritual view of the world somehow should denigrate this real, messy, beautiful world we live in. Certainly a lot of so-called spiritualities seek to transcend the ‘lowly’ physical world for the ‘higher’ spiritual one, through mystical meditations or harsh treatments of the body. But spirituality and the created world aren’t divorced from one another. The chaotic splash of physicality and history is the stage on which the divine drama plays itself out. A drama we’re all a part of. A lecturer of mine spoke last week of the gulf between time and eternity, popularised by Plato, and how the worldview presented in the Bible is quite different. God isn’t ‘somewhere out there’, but intimately involved with creation and history from beginning to end. Our bodies aren’t cages we need to break free from. They’re a part of the whole us.

My rambling, shambolic point is that seeking to live for God will not drag me out of the world into some kind of monastery, but joyfully into it. Instead I think it’s been a misguided attempt at protecting myself that has kept me passive about my art. The great plan of God is to redeem this broken and painful world, to restore it to all its intended beauty and joy. And I’m thankful to him that I’m being included in that.

down days

I’ve had a depressing few days. By that I don’t mean a bunch of sad and miserable circumstances transpired to bring me down, but that in my own head I became incredibly depressed, seemingly from out of nowhere. Tiredness and thinking fairly deeply for a while combined with some frustrating interactions with people, and my head kind of exploded. It’s very rare for me these days, and when I do start to feel down I know there are several things I can do right away to stop it spiralling. But nothing worked over the weekend, and I just  felt tense, angry and as if bile wass just being pumped into my gut in great measures. Although I tend to think kind of deeply about things, I become in these instances uncharacteristically intense in my thinking, narrowing in on one small thing and blowing it right out of proportion till it seems to fill my vision. I also found myself more irritable and rude to people I care about, often as an expression of so called ‘humour’.

It worries me that this sort of thing can still happen to me, however rarely. But this weekend has alerted me to the fact that, even if only once or twice a year, these experiences will come, and I can’t be passive about that. Pre-emptive care is important, not merely remedial actions.

What’s important, when you’ve got a melancholic disposition like me, is to own it, take charge, learn what can be helpful and do it.