Thursday, November 02, 2006


The seaon is changing, you can feel it, almost smell it in the air
Chapters, verses, times move on, summer gives way to autumn,
the coming of the fall

I knew this week would be hard
Saying goodbye is never easy
I knew people would describe a me I didn't recognise
I knew I would struggle to respond
I knew I would miss the office,
not so much the physical space but the creativity that has been nurtured there
and so given birth to a dreaming we never thought possible

For ten years I have tried to guide a community
together we have pushed our souls to see a bigger picture, a better way

And on tuesday the chapter closed
The last paragraph penned
The last sentence lived,
and as I looked around that room for the last time,
I smiled,
closed the door, the full stop placed

I will miss them all
the kind ones
the gossips
the bigots
the confused
I will miss them all

We have struggled together, and the struggle will go on,
but not with me
I have a new chapter to write
and I have no clue as to what it will look like

I have spent many happy days here,
but am bound elsewhere now

On Monday I remembered an old friend with tears
The one person I wish was around to be my guide
But he's not, he's gone and has been for 3 years
I love you Mike....always will, please check on me from time to time

When one stands on the edge of the desert,
it’s hard to see beyond the shimmering haze which dances on the horizon.
Whatever’s out there, I will not find it by peering into the difference.
I actually have to leave where I am to strike off into the unknown.
Along the way I will find places and experiences by which to learn to orient myself.
There are no maps.
There is just an invitation to enter the uncharted territory which stretches in front of me.

22 comments:

Awareness said...

Good morning Harbour. Would it be possible to send me an email through my address on my blog profile? I would love a chance to write to you.
Thanks

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Haven't managed to send through your account, but you can get me on paul.chambers@cwgsy.net

paul

Niki said...

Are you leaving Les Cotils?

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Afraid I have already.....every season has its time and this one is now over

I have been proud to be part of its vision for a decade, but alas the curtain has fallen

Niki said...

Wow, I had no idea. What's in store for you next? x

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

wish i knew....

Suzanna said...

You are the map maker

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Suzanna,
I know I am at the border of the future, straining my eyes to find the way. I’ve been looking for a while, and picked up a few vague shapes which loom through the dust clouds. But what i really need is not so much to be an observer as to be a pioneer; someone who is willing to leave behind whatever is familiar for nothing much more than a pillar of cloud or fire. It’s time for risk-taking and exploring, to live out of faith and courage.

a map maker maybe?

The Father said...

or a myth maker ......

like Ben Okri says and i paraphrase ...Stories are the reservoirs of value that shape an indivdual or nation. Change the stories and you change the individual or nation.

Keep changing the stories - you do more than you know.

respect

Layla said...

Oh, this post hit home to me because I was in a similar place ago last year at this time (probably not for the same reasons). I had been with a ministry for 15 years and saying goodbye was not easy. Gathering with my co-workers one last time as they said tearful goodbyes, laughed at old memories and promised to stay in touch.

I understand the sense of grieving that goes with that. I will pray that you clearly see the next steps on the path in front of you.

Niki said...

This is your chance, this might be the most blessed chance you have ever received.
You will never have to be alone with your decisions, though.

Mog said...

Paul, I knew this change was coming up for you - and now it is here. I'll keep you in thought & heart over the next while. Change is such an all-encompassing thing. It can be tiring, the body can feel it, the heart, the head. I hope that you're able to find the right energy, rhythms and pathways over the next few weeks.
Michael Leunig is always a delightful mixture of pain, frivolity, grief-lived and hope - here's a few of his thoughts...

The path to your door
Is the path within
Is made by friends
Is lined by flowers
Is lined by thorns
Is stained with wine.
Is lit by the lamp of dreams.
Is washed with joy.
Is swept by grief,
Is blessed by the lonely traffic of art:
Is known by heart,
Is known by prayer,
Is lost and found.
Is always strange.
The path to your door.

x Pádraig.

Arlen Crawford said...

Transition can be a daunting occurrence. Whenever something of major consequence happens to me, I simply read and lose myself in thoughts; my own or someone else's. Here are some lyrics that always seem to help me. Why, I'm not particularly sure, but they do nonetheless. Blessings to you.

Seldom seen
A scarecrow's dream
I hang in the hopes of replacement
Castles tall
I built them all
But I dream that I'm trapped in
the basement.

And if you ever hear me calling out
And if you've been by paupers crowned
Between the worlds of men and
make-believe
I can be found.

Plans I've made
A masquerade
Fading in fear of the coming day
Heroes' tales
Like nightingales
Wrestle the wind as they run away.

And if you ever hear them calling out
And if you've been by paupers crowned
Between the worlds of men and make-
believe
I can be found.

Garden gate
An empty plate
Waiting for someone to come and fill
Scarecrow's dreams
Like frozen streams
Thirst for the fall
But they're running still.

And if you ever hear me calling out
And if you've been by paupers crowned
Between the worlds of men and
make-believe
I can be found.

Scarecrow's Dream
Dan Fogelberg

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Mark
Thank you, that means so much - most of the time I don't believe in myself at all - here's to a story that will re-shape and restore

Layla
Your prayers are welcomed - so need to see those steps, wherever they lead

Niki
Just need to adjust my sails I guess...thanks for the thoughts and encouragement

Padraig
My dear sweet friend, thank you - I love Leunig's work and these words of his from you are painfully beautiful
I need to come visit my belfast family soon and drink deep of the cup.

Arlen
Another great Fogelberg song - wonderfully encouraging lyrics,

Garden gate
An empty plate
Waiting for someone to come and fill
Scarecrow's dreams
Like frozen streams
Thirst for the fall
But they're running still.

And if you ever hear me calling out
And if you've been by paupers crowned
Between the worlds of men and
make-believe
I can be found.

thanks for the blessings

Niki said...

Oh if you ever feel like a sail I know a great skipper ;)

mister tumnus said...

hey man, good luck. i find northern ireland a great place for quiet contemplation of journies yet to come (wouldn't you agree mark?)... It's also a very good place for drinking beer.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Niki
You should come out with me and my mate Terrance - he used to be in the Navy - he's a laugh and a half and always looking for someone to join the merry bunch of drunken idiots on a day out in sark or trip to france

Shirley
there are many reasons for coming over again soon - if i can find the cash i will - it's crap there is no direct flight from here!

Mata H said...

I could have sworn I posted here -- the ether must've eaten it ..

what I said was..that this is a shedding of skin, one of those best/worst times that leaves us vulnerable and wanting but oddly with a sense of relief at the edge.

You sound as though you have a good supportive community on-the-ground where you are, and the support of God, of which I do not need to remind you .

I find it hardest during times of life-reinvention (and I am in one now) to just surrender to the flow. If we keep our feet moving, the path emerges beneath them. Every time. The key is to keep the feet moving. Trust the process. Trust God's refining fires. Trust the music of your own heart.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Hi Mata,

'that this is a shedding of skin, one of those best/worst times that leaves us vulnerable and wanting but oddly with a sense of relief at the edge.'

that's exactly where i am - relieved to be moving on, but also nervous with the responsibilities of things like children etc

but i do need to keep moving my feet otherwise i will go under - you are right the trick is to keep moving, moving on into the unknown

Niki said...

Sounds ace

Rainbow dreams said...

Good luck with whatever path lies ahead, take care, Katie

Trailady said...

Harbour, You are a kindred spirit. I can relate to your words here.

My life too is in a transition. I'm not sure where I'm headed... just hoping for a better stretch of luck and the realization of some of my dreams.

Best wishes to you and your journey...