Friday, October 19, 2007


'There's a loneliness inside her, and she'd do anything to fill it in. And though it's red blood bleeding from her now, it feels like cold blue ice in her heart....when all the colours mix together to grey.'
(Dave Matthews Band)

I started this blog really for a way of finding therapy for my today, I preach to myself, my soul if you like. knowing that if i listen closely, if i have the courage to do so, i just may see the divine, and in seeing the divine, i may see others as i should, as they really are.... i may just also see myself.

the trouble is, am i willing to see the truth of who i am, the real me? for the reason i don't stop most of the time is because i do not want to see who i am - that person who lurks beneath...

they say the truth sets you free,
it also breaks you to pieces

'if i stopped

if i was quiet for a minute
if i was calm
if i was still

if i turned everyone down
if i switched everything off
if i ceased looking everywhere all at once
if i was silent
if i was still

if i stayed at home
if i didn't pick up the phone
if i was out even when i was in
if i was silent
if i was still

if i slowed

if i simply sat

if i stood on my head
and emptied out the contents

if i stopped

would you be there
would you speak to me
would i be able to hear you
would it be worth it?

if i stopped
would it be long enough?

if i was silent
would i hear anything?

if i heard something
would i know it was you?

if i did
would i be interested?

if i was
would i stop again?'

(Martin Wroe from 'When You Haven't Got a Prayer: A journalist talk to God')


Awareness said...

Pip has written lately that the beginning of learning starts with awareness and I agree. But, boy oh boy, awareness can be a stark place littered with shards from that reflective mirror, can't it?

Bleeding through our own pain as we continue on our therapeutic paths is inevitable for all of us. No one is immune, because shame and guilt lurk in us all. When the truth of who we really are is revealed, it can be a jolt, a disappointment, a revelation.....but don't you think Paul that we can only arrive at a place where personal forgiveness, of really understanding that one is doing the best one can, that we all have some nasties in us, when we face the truth?

There's nothing more difficult than facing one's ugliness.....processing it....wondering about it.....and then letting it go. Maybe truth leads to the place of forgiveness. Maybe it's when we reach forgiveness that we are set free.

Truth also shows our goodness too. Your goodness shines through too. always.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Dana, thanks, and sometimes we do look damned ugly (well i do anyway)

Mark Twain once said that 'forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.' A response to the act of forgiveness that is wonderfully philosophical, but not simply understood let alone easily put in practice. I think what Mr. Twain was trying to explain, albeit very poetically, is that the genuine act of absolution has to be entirely selfless for it to have genuineness. The authenticity of forgiveness, i guess, must include acceptance of what is really there as contrasted with what we simply imagine or wish there to be from within the complexity of the difficult situations we find ourselves struggling through.

Kierkegaard (oh how i might slave myself to him!!) proposes that 'the anguished soul alone understands Christ'. I think he may be right for surely forgiveness is a burden, and for it to reach its destination it must be carried. In other words, maybe forgetting is a constant act of will, a deliberate decision to redeem the past, as opposed to the judging of the absent minded forgetfulness of an immediate moment.

Forgiveness and forget-ness are mysteries yet they are mysteries that are not far away, for they are hidden deep within us all those same mysteries that constrain so many to choose to forgive rather than demand retribution.

The truth is that our yesterdays hold irreversible things for us, lost opportunities that will never return, but the good news is that forgiveness isn't so much about judging those things lost; rather it is about redeeming them....maybe

Kathryn said...

Paul - thank you so much for writing words I needed to hear (and incidentally for saving my sermon....I hope it's alright to take your thoughts as part of the process??)
As to redemption - I'm with blessed Julian that "all in the end is harvest" and reading here there honestly cannot be any doubt of the fruit.

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

"they say the truth sets you free,
it also breaks you to pieces"

this is true, at least it has been for me.

(p.s. I was just reading "Messy Christianity" earlier today, I miss him too)

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

please take what you want from my rambles any time. i deleted this post then put it back again so your words are a great encouragement as to be truthful, right now, my words (to me at least) seem pretty void of substance....but as Julian says (and this has chirped me up after the rugby) 'all in the harvest'

let me know how the sermon goes, hope all is well

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

hi barbara
i crashed, too much beer and wine during a battle royal with 30 men playing with an odd shaped ball! You must have commented whilst i was attempting to reply to Kathryn but fell asleep...., it does break us to pieces, anyone who says they are fixed (for me anyway) is only telling part of the story....

love mere christianity - thank god he was never points scoring - thank god he loved

ps, loving 'magic' - first album in a while that makes me so very happy

Kathryn said...

Thank you for your generosity, Paul. You so often inspire/encourage/provoke thought for me...and I value this space hugely.
The sermon, fwiw, is
Blessings x

Rainbow dreams said...

often comments evade me, but that doesn't mean your words don't make me stop, think and question...
am pleased you returned this post, cheers

Awareness said...

I agree with your explanation of forgiveness and the ongoing process of forgetting. I most definately isn't a short destination because it is tied in with the fragrance of truth. This is where the ugliness comes in.

No we can't change the past, and a person would be lying to themselves if they didn't admit to regrets. Missteps and deeper sins can't be erased and forgotten. They are a part of who we are. However, I do believe we are our own worst critics. Why is that? Why can we more easily forgive others before we will forgive ourselves?

I read a recent case study written by neurologist Oliver Sacks (the movie Awakenings was about some of his work). It was about this man who for some reason had lost his ability to remember at all. Every couple of minutes or so, he would "awaken" to discover he couldn't remember. So, he tried different techniques to find linearity and cohesion in his daily thought process. But, the mindfulness would only last a couple of minutes and then he would lapse into forgetfulness again and have to start over again. Despite all efforts of the medical community and his wife, he never overcame this twilight zone existance.
Don't know why I made the link between this discourse and the article, except that the very idea of not being able to process our actions and thinking over time....the very idea that we can't reach a point where forgiveness and NOT forgetting, but resolving and coming to terms in a selfless way is a frightening concept to me.

How can we redeem loss if we can remember? I prefer to take on the challenge of looking at myself even if it is through a reflective mirror that has a few cracks in it.

Awareness said...

I should always proofread before I click on publish comment... Sorry.

Here are two corrections....

I most definately believe it isn't a short destination because it is tied in with the fragrance of truth. This is where the ugliness comes in.


How can we redeem loss if we CANT remember?

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

I like what Thomas A. Kempis said, 'Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.'

then there's that wise fella Merton
'We have to have a deep, patient compassion for the fears of men and irrational mania of those who hate or condemn us.'

but like you say, forgiving ones self is the hardest. I beat myself up constantly...

oh, nearly forgot, my late gran used to say, 'Never ruin an apology with an excuse.' - i guess either to others or to ourselves...

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

apologies Kathryn and Katie, was half asleep when commenting - glad my nonescence is helpful in some way - most of the time i have no bloody clue what i'm on about!

souwestersue said...

Wow, this entry hit a nerve. I'm always in search of myself, and seems I can never find myself....weird eh? Facing the truths in your life is sometimes the hardest thing to do.
My blog too is kind of like therapy to me, although it seems like I have all the right answers...actually living by them is the hardest thing to do!
Love your blog, glad I stumbled upon it!