Friday, 30 January 2015

The Boss once more consults Q his spiritual director

The Boss hobbles into Q’s study on a crutch and settles down in the comfy armchair. He sighs and then says:
- But Q why did this happen to me…How did God let this happen… And why now… And what have I done to deserve this?
- It could have been worse!
- Whaat! The Boss was outraged.
- Well, God – if he did cause it – could have handed you an even worse accident!
- Even worse?
- Yes, brain injury for example.
- Oh.
The Boss was silent.
- Ok but the timing was awful… I was about to travel to Kenya to work there for a week.
- Hmm… but suppose it had happened closer to Christmas?
- That would have been unbearable… But are you saying that I should be thankful for small mercies… to count my blessings as my Grandmother to say?
- Cold do worse Boss.
- But really Q… why did this happen to me?
- You know! You served on your bike to avoid a pedestrian and-
- Don’t be supercilious with me Q. You know what I am asking!
- How this accident fits into the overall shape of things in God’s plan if you like?
- Yes.
- Well what happened to you in hospital and afterwards?
- I got bored a lot. Had to let people care for me even when I didn’t want them to. I was vulnerable, weak and needy which I hated. I was pathetically grateful when people did unexpected kind things for me. The male nurse who made me coffee and toast at 11pm when I was first admitted to hospital. The chatty volunteer who wheeled me in a wheel chair for communion that first Sunday.
- Hmm… a different experience of life for a while?
- Yes, and it continues. The crutch brings out the best and sometimes the worst in people, usually the best.
- Sounds like you are having a life changing experience.
- True.
- That strikes me overall as a good thing, whatever part God played or didn’t play in it.
- True and it was for me another opportunity to find out what really and truly matters to me.
- Well!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Hospital cycle poem

Hospital cycle poem

‘I’ll need a commode soon’
She nods
The feeling becomes urgent
‘I am going to shit myself’
The words are forced out of me
She moves quickly
And arrives back
Just in time
It was a close one.

It was blind Colin
Blundering out of bed
Setting his alarm off
That woke Samuel
Who immediately began to
Climb out of his bed
Eric was asking for a nurse
In his quiet well-bred voice
It’s 4am and where am I?
Oh Yes, trauma ward in the hospital.

We settle down and then
Out of the frame
Rachel kicks off
‘Get out of here’
‘Get out of here’
She screams
And nurses get hit.

I don’t belong here
Well it’s true
I crashed off my bike
But these other guys
Have much longer back stories.

She wheels me to the chapel
For a moment of rest
And reflection
Bathed in the colours of the stained glass
And I’m weeping
Glad to be alive
And out of my head on morphine.

I feel a fraud
Just in for a quick bit of bone setting
And seeing how stressed
And over worked the nurses are
And how other people’s needs
Are legion
Compared with mine

It’s 9pm
And I’m wide awake
And the nurses don’t need me
I need them
But they are far away
It takes an eternity for them to
Respond to my buzzer
Or so it seems
And it’s soon over
And they vanish into the dark again
Or so it seems
It’s easier if you have
Simple physical doable needs
Or so it seems
Feeling lonely and
Needing a bit of company
Is different
Or so it seems.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The patient with no name

The patient with no name

Please don't seem me as disabled
look beyond these signs of my frailty
Even if my mind is broken
look for my soul and spirit
Be in the moment with me if you can

Sunday, 14 September 2014


I aim to do some piano practice most days. It usually consists of the new piece I am working on with my piano teacher - currently Flower Duet by Delibes plus 2 or 3 old favourites - currently The Policeman's song and Autumn Leaves. The other day I decided to play Somewhere over the rainbow for the first time in about 6 months. After a couple of goes it all came back to me, my fingers remembered. Because I know and love this song so well I can put me into it more than many other songs. (You try doing a sad version of The Policeman's song!) So it becomes a subtle and different expression of my mood in that moment. Wow! Sad, angry, wistful, impatient, happy even or maybe a mixture.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Betweem me and you-and-me poem

Between me and you-and-me

On my way
To meet you again

I travel
Therefore I am

And apart

I become
A curious me
Being alone

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Boss consults Q his spiritual director

- You know Q there are difficulties in my life at the moment.
- Hmm.
- Yeah, I don’t really fit into things that well. I feel a bit on the edge of things. I’m currently seeing a few old mates, trying to develop more of a social life after giving myself over to my work for so long. But it’s not easy. And…
- And?
- And I am finding church difficult.
- Ah!
- Yeah. I long for a sense of spiritual and human belonging. I can feel connected to people during worship and when we sing but I have lost the sense of a human connection – how to talk about me, my love, my hopes, my fears, my spirituality. I used to like being anonymous, lost in the midst of the congregation but now it is like I don’t exist. I don’t seem to mean anything to anyone anymore. Occasionally I still attend a service and people briefly welcome back and then that’s that….It’s painful.
Q nodded. The Boss fell silent and a tear ran down is cheek. He brushed it away and got out a hankerchief and rubbed his eyes.
- That sounds a really tough place to be.
- It is…. I feel so stupid….What’s wrong with me?
- Hm…. Maybe God wants you to experience this.
- But why?
- Who knows? For your own good, maybe for the good of others… What else can you do?
- Nothing (The Boss sighed) I can be nowhere else… I still believe, help my lack of belonging.
- Oh Boss. (A heartfelt sigh from Q).
The Boss smiled grimly. At least he felt heard, felt received by Q in his painful position.

But this time the silence in Q’s stud did not have its usual healing impact on the Boss. He found himself weeping bitter tears. And only gradually did his sobs fade away into an uneasy silence.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Mystic bit (July)

A somewhat dishevelled Paul was at Manchester airport terminal 3 to pick up his old mate Frankie. A dishevelled look was not unusual for Paul either a consequence of long hours on a stakeout or a night at Ms place where he refused to store any clothes – fearing it would signal a commitment that he did not yet want to make.

Frankie was coming home from Chicago and his plane was 2 hours late. The cappuccino that Paul had drunk had left a bitter taste in his mouth and already he was bored with the latest issue of Private Eye and with the overloud dull one sided conversation of a middle aged Yank at a nearby table. Paul never travelled with his computer or tablet. Often his work got a bit physical and in any case he left the fancy electronic side of his work to App in the Fuel Café.

Paul found himself musing on last night with M. A visit to Band on the Wall for some cool jazz had been an aural treat but the conversation back at Ms place had turned sour as she once more addressed his lack of commitment.
- The thing is Paul neither of us are getting any younger.
Paul shrugged, not wanting to encourage her.
- And sooner or later I need you to commit.
Paul nodded.
- Understood?
- Understood.
M sighed wearily and offered him a brandy.
- Best not, I’m picking Frankie up first thing at the airport.

Things went quiet, too quiet, and despite their physical closeness in bed there was a real distance between them. The trouble was Paul didn’t want to commit but nor did he want to lose M. It felt like a choice was being forced on him and he wondered what would Frankie say? He knew already ‘Keep it light, stick with your truth, be you, not what the other person wants.’ ’That’s all very well but what if I lose her?’ ‘You’ve lost her already if it means you’re giving up on you to be with her.’
- Oh shit!
An elderly woman sat nearby was startled by his profanity.
- Oops… sorry said Paul blushing. She smiled in return.