Monday, 8 November 2010

Reading my wall...

I should probably start by saying that all over my wall in my room I have cards, notes and the occasional old service or hymn sheet.  It's very colourful!  One of the old service sheets that is rather conveniently at head height right beside my bed is from a service that the little Margarety one did.  In it there was a quote that I really like.  The quote itself is from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and it is brilliant!

"It's never too late or too early to be whoever you want to be.  There's no time limit, stop whenever you want.  You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing.  We can make the best or the worst of it.  I hope you make the best of it.  And I hope you see things that startle you.  I hope you feel things you never felt before.  I hope you meet people with a different point of view.  I hope you live a life you're proud of.  If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."

I really like it because it just seems to sum up how life should work.  It very simply states how I have tried to live this year, and how I hope to live.  I've seen things that have startle me, I've felt things I've never felt before and I have certainly met plenty people with different points of view.  And yes, it is a life I'm proud of.  Yet I will have to find the strength to start all over again, even if I am proud of it.  Leaving Iona does feel a little like starting all over again, but not necessarily in a bad way.  I need to take back everything I have done, everything I have become and everything I now want.  Starting all over again is only because I have to learn to fit that it to the future, not just the present here now.

Things can change or stay the same.  There are no rules to this thing.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Here we go again with another song that seems to be on repeat...  Another Dashboard Confessional Song, this time it's 'Stolen'...

Some of it just seems particularly apt given the time of year.  So I thought I would share.

"We watch the season pull up its own stakes
And catch the last weekend of the last week
Before the gold and the glimmer have been replaced,
Another sun soaked season fades away"

"Invitation only, grand farewells"

"One good stretch before our hibernation
Our dreams assured and we all will sleep well"

"You are the best one, of the best ones"
"We all look like we feel"

"You have stolen my heart"
 It just seems to capture for me the feeling of tired-end-of-season that we have.  And at the end of the day Iona has still captured our hearts, even if some of the gold and glimmer has been replaced.  And lately we do all look like we feel...  Especially me and my face...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Another song addiction...

I've been listening to a song called Dusk and Summer by Dashboard Confessional a lot recently. It's one of those songs that you can just press play again and again with...  I just thought I would share some lyrics from it, because quite frankly, they are brilliant.

"She smiled in a big way, the way a girl like that smiles when the world is hers."

"And she said, "Nobody here can live forever," quiet in the grasp of dusk and summer."

"But you've already lost when you only have barely enough of her to hang on."

"And she told you laughing down to her core
So she would not cry as she lay in your lap"
"Some things tie a life together, you slendered threads and things to treasure."

"Days like that should last and last and last."

See, quite brilliant.  And quite beautiful really.  Anyway, just wanted to share.

Monday, 18 October 2010

While I wasn't looking.

Isn't the unexpected funny?  It just kind of sneaks up on you.  And the weirdest thing?  The last thing you expect can be just what you needed.  A big case of 'who knew?!' right there.  And it just gets stranger still.  Sometimes it's the last thing you thought you wanted.  And it can be so unexpected that you might actually want it when it's there.  Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.  Well put John.

Just a reminder that really we aren't in control of what happens.  We can never know what lies just over that rise.  But when we get there we have to appreciate that it's beautiful there.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

"Work of the People"

This is taken from a book called Gathered and Scattered, and was written by a volunteer from 2000.  A guest passed this passage on to me after a conversation we had at dinner a few nights back.

"'Liturgy' means 'the work of the people', I'm told.  That's how it was on Iona most of the time.  We all did services - not just the ministers - the cooks, the shop staff, the maintenance team... Different people had different gifts.  Some were good at writing prayers, some were good at music, some were good at leading, some were good at seeing how the whole would hang together.  You know, like that bit in Corinthians.  In churches it's hardly ever like that.  No wonder they're empty.  Who wants someone talking down to them from a box?  What is this 1666?  When I left Iona it was so dissapointing going back to church.  It was really depressing.  Someone told me I might get to read a Bible passage if I stayed long enough.  'I did sermons on Iona', I wanted to say."

This is really striking a chord with me today.  Perhaps it's because I've spent the day preparing tomorrow night's service.  Or maybe because the end of the season is fast approaching, and I'm starting to think about life after Iona.  Going back to my church back home will be very strange for me.  Not only is the tradition completely different to the ecumenical community I've been living in, but the service will be led by one person and one person only.  I'll have to sit in the pews like everyone else and pretend I'm not capable of being up there myself.

Part of what has kept 'church' alive for me this year has been the fact that it could be anything.  You never really know what the service will be about till you're there.  Some I've led myself have even felt like that.  One night we're praying for Africa, the next we're looking at how a fruit salad is a bit like us really.  Every Sunday when I go to church will I be constantly challenged and engaged?  Or will I just begin to switch off as I get used to it again, remembering what comes next?  When I go home I expect church to feel normal.  But I don't want it to.  I want it to be strange every time.  I don't want to feel comfortable.  Comfortable invariably means I'm not listening.  If I don't know what to expect or what's coming next I have to listen, don't I?

So I should up and move churched, right?  There's a problem with that.  I would have to leave behind what I call my church 'family'.  The church I'm part of right now, even though I've not been there this year, is still a little community I'm part of.  They are my friends... my support in all things God.  We may not share the same views, or want the same from a service, but we love each other and understand each other.  And after leaving the community on Iona, I don't want to have to leave another.

Tough one, huh?!