Tuesday, April 10, 2007


The sun was hot, little Hannah tired as if she was waiting for lesser things, samuel wondering why we were visiting the cemetery on Easter Monday. It was another cruel ending. We picked flowers for a man I never met, a beautiful troubled soul who all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put back together again.

We stood by his grave and placed the flowers gently by the stone - he was 32 when he left this world. I asked Samuel if he wanted to say a prayer - he said that he hoped he was having a good time in Heaven and that God was being kind to him. I said a heartfelt amen. i am sure he is.

why did we do it? I simply thought that no-one should be alone and everyone remembered, especially during the great feast of Easter....

There's a scene in Thornton Wilder's play 'The angel that trouble the waters' where a doctor suffering from meloncholy comes to the magic pool with healing powers to be healed of his troubles and his gloom and sadness but the angel guarding the water tells him he cannot enter. The man says, 'but how can I live this way?' the angel again says, 'I'm sorry this moment is not for you, this healing is not for you'.

So the doctor again pleads 'but I have to get into the water, I can't live this way' And the angel then says...no this moment is not for you, and he says, but how can i live this way? And the angel says to him, doctor, without your wounds, where would your power be? it is your melancholy that makes your lower voice tremble into the hearts of men and women, the very angels in heaven cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children of this earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living...in loves service, only wounded soldiers can serve....

he was truly a wounded soldier who served better than any of us know...

truth is communicated through brokenness, sadness and vulnerability...and our scars should always remind us of this, our dear friend Martyn knew this and penned this beautiful song about his life

'he was a good man, went around
with compassion in his eyes
he'd do anything for anyone
loved truth and hated lies
some say he was burdened
some think he was free
some say was driven
this man of empathy

at night he'd slip away in sleep
and run down winding roads
to where an angel stood...
before healing waters

he was a good man who would not choose
to walk on middle ground
believed he had to lose himself
in order to be found
walking in his brokeness
and desperate honesty
with questions there inside him
aching to be free

at night he'd meet his angel
said 'let me bury all this pain'
but the angel would not let him
said 'one day i'll explain'

broken on the wheels of living
broken by this life
broken yet still held together
by this love

one day he just lost it
the anger blew inside
he pushed past his admirers
and found a place to hide
he was a good man who pushed down the locks
and turned the engine on
prayed there for forgiveness
and hoped it wouldn't take too long

soon he slipped away in sleep
and ran down winding roads
to where an angel stood...
before healing waters
(M Joseph)

for all those who need healing waters and the shelter of storms...eventually, maybe, the road seems to straighten right out despite the bridges burned and despite the route we take


Awareness said...

your words have drawn a beautiful picture of you and your little ones, connecting in a moment of remembering. I loved reading it.

My grandmother, whose birthday it is tomorrow (she is on my mind this week)....often used to take me to the cemetary near her home to walk amongst the tombstones....to acknowledge and to remember. Your post hits me the same way as I felt when I was with her as a little one.

Beautiful lyrics to Martyn's song. Haunting and deeply felt. I would love to hear and see him live. Has he ever toured the Maritimes in Canada? I saw on his website that he was out in western Canada this year......

Anna said...

This was beautiful. I loved to hear about your children as well. You are such a gifted writer Paul and these images are wonderful. I love looking at them.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

thanks you two

happy birthday grams....
not sure he has, will ask next time we talk...will think of you tomorrow

your words are a great encouragement, thank you - glad you like the images....it's your fault/doing, and that's a good thing

shalom to you both

Anna said...

I will take that as a compliment Paul! :)

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

indeed it is.....i would still be idle and pinching images if it were not for your inspiring work!

Niki said...

That entire post just moved me to tears, sitting here on reception. Thank you

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

one step up, two steps back by bruce springsteen was his favourite song - guess we can all relate to that

Niki said...

Definitely; and how it sometimes feels like half a step up and five down.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

it sure does, particularly at 3am

Catherine + said...

how often I have longed for the waters but was also denied...still am.