Sometimes, when all seems at its very worst
There is a shard of light which shines through
Full of promise, offering encouragement
But sometimes, it's just a sweetener
For the awful sadness which lies ahead.
I realise that my Blogging has been a little low in level of late. As previously stated, this is more because too much is happening than because too little is.
Then, when I have things I plan to blog about, I put them to one side, waiting for a free minute or ten, but those minutes never emerge from the madness which seems to be my life at the moment.
So now there are a great many pictures and little movies waiting to be adorned with my own particular brand of semi-amusing and self-depricating prose. Sadly, some of them were way too topical, and have past their blog-by date. The others, I am resolved to resurrect.
So, hold tight, put on a pair of extra-safe water-tight laughing pants, and read on.
No-one could ever be more amused by the juxtaposition of these two blog entries than myself. I should add a word of immediate apology to anyone who is, at this moment, rolling around on the floor in paroxysms of undiluted mirth. Special and very sincere apologies to anyone in this extreme category for whom the release of bodily fluids becomes a consequence. Please let me know, and I will happily provide some moist wipes, or, perhaps a warm towel or two.
So what's amusing? Well, one very serious posting about a major change in direction for my life, and then one showing a picture of a large-breasted gingerbread woman and a rather gifted gingerbread man.
Actually, it may not be all that funny. It's more like a cheap visual gag. What raises it to new heights is when I reveal that it was the picture on a card given to me bearing the simple and heartwarming inscription:
“Thank you for being you.”
In order to preserve some small sense of intrigue, I have decided not to tell you who it was from.
Thank you for reading this blog entry. I can't avoid the vague feeling that I have been busy messing around trying to be funny and yet failed to make any kind of relevant point.
I'm not good at endings. The truth is that I just don't handle finishing things very well.
So it was today, as I spent my last Sunday at North Shields Baptist Church, a place that has been my spiritual home for all but ten years.
It was unquestionably the right time to go, but I found the process of leaving to be very painful. Saying goodbye to so many people who I have come to know and love over the years was far from easy. They are all good people, and do not deserve any bad thing - rather, they deserve a very great deal of good.
It's important not to overestimate my importance in all this, but I know I was involved in quite a bit of stuff for the church - not only playing, but doing the weekly news sheet, and a variety of other little jobs. The reality is that I will leave a bit of a hole, certainly for a while.
So it's time for me to adjust to a good bit that's different in my life. It's exciting going a new and different way, but full of uncertainty - which few of us like. Me included.
I have to decide whether to look for a church locally, or even whether to go to any church at all. So much of what I actually believe takes me outside the scope of what might reasonably be termed “traditional church”. My faith is important to me, though, and will ultimately find a way of expressing itself, of that I feel sure. I guess time will tell exactly how.
It's a funny day. Very funny.
I can't believe I won't be going back there next Sunday and playing that piano...
In the interests of writing something for you to read and learn from, I proffer the following.
Having been encouraged to listen to Ben Folds by the lovely Jason Thompson, a man for whom lunch is never dinner, I decided to listen to some of the music which has so inspired and pleased my Newbiggin-by-the-Sea-dwelling friend.
I was not disappointed.
He's a talented piano player, has a wonderful voice, and seems to have a very good idea how to write songs. Nor does he take life too seriously. Some of his song titles are exceptional:
“One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces”
“The Ascent of Stan”
“She Don't Use Jelly”
...to name but three.
To name a fourth, I would have to go for “Landed”. I saw the video today on E4 Music, which seems to be a good and pleasant music alternative to the ever-cheesy MTV. It's a funny video, featuring a chimp in a nappy. I will mention no more of it here, thus leaving the pathway open for your own exquisite enjoyment.
The main point is that this track is special, a work of pure genius. The song has gripped me and taken me somewhere new.
Why not get hold of it yourself and see whether it works for you too? If you are, essentially, cheap - then just listen to AD-LIB Radio, where it will crop up again and again and again...
It's not easy, writing a blog. Sometimes nothing happens, so nothing is written. Then, sometimes nothing appears to happen, but really quite a bit has happened, but still the blog is not written because I didn't see the stuff as important or comment-worthy. Then sometimes very many things happen, far too much to take in, so nothing is written. From time to time, really incredible things happen which are too personal to write about here.
As it goes, this week has covered nearly all of those categories, several times over. I have singularly failed to achieve that exact balance of “not too personal events and not too many of them” that engenders the writing of a blog entry.
I apologise. I shall endeavour to live a more blog-friendly existence in the weeks to come.
I suppose it's a form of denial, because I still hear her around the house. Those little shuffles as she moves into the room. The slight bang as she comes through the kitchen door, knocking it. The clash of pot against wood as she gets the last morsel from her dish. Her trademark cough as she rids herself of a troublesome fur-ball.
It's all still there.
Which means...that half the noises I attributed to her, were not Holly's at all. Scary. I still think she is around, and will appear at any moment. I greet her when I come into the house, I imagine her joy in meeting me. I sling food onto the kitchen floor knowing that she will hoover it up.
I spend much time in this room, and she was a part of it. In her later years, she hated loud music. I think her days as a studio dog had made her pretty deaf, and maybe with tittinus. So, I have got used to using headphones because of her. It has been hard learning to use speakers again. Just little things, but I do miss her.
Why am I wailing on about it? Well, one blog entry ain't much to reflect over 15 years of companionship, so I don't really think I have anything to apologise for. I doubt even two will completely cover it. No amount could.
And yet, even as I write this, I know that at least one reader of this blog has had a much greater grief to deal with recently, remembering the passing of a close relative. I guess everything has its context.
I am so grateful for the friends I have and those who are there for me when times get tough. I take my hat off to you all. Or at least I would, if I could find a suitable one and put it on in time.
Enough morbidity. Maybe life will have some nice surprises around the corner?
Please stop laughing hysterically.
PS My foot is improved, although still rather painful and swollen. It'll need time.
I almost never want heavy pieces of equipment falling on my feet, especially feet that are not too well to start with. I'd lay good money that you don't like that sort of thing happening to you either.
Sadly, this is exactly what happened to me on Monday at about 1.45pm. I was placing my keyboard back in its rightful place in my studio when my hands slipped, leaving the keyboard free to drop to the floor. Regrettably, I was unable to get my foot out of the way in time and it took the full force of the fall.
I don't remember ever being in such excruciating pain. Whilst I knew that this was the kind of pain that would certainly ease off in time, it seemed to me that this time was considerably longer than would normally be covered by the term: “brief acute discomfort”.
After ringing NHS direct, I felt better, as they didn't know what to do either. So, rather than running off down to casualty I decided to simply sit it out. After a couple of hours thrashing around and making a sickening variety of “noises of discomfiture”, the pain started to ease, although walking was all bar impossible.
Now it is Wednesday and I am all relaxed out. I really am tired of being horizontal and so am risking a little vertical in the hope of being at least half-prepared for my planned journey down to Huddersfield tomorrow. If I can build a couple of computers and manage not to scream too much, it might just be possible, although I am pretty sure most people will advise me not to go.
I really think “bloodyminded” should be my middle name. I just hope I never cross the line into “foolhardy”.