Archive for February, 2015

Truth

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , on February 28, 2015 by becciseaborne

Difference 2– • –

 

I found my way;

More bearable than your way.

My way has no stopwatch,

No expectant blank page,

No closed door.

 

My way has spaces,

Open windows,

Gaps, loops, connections, cracks.

 

I found my way;

My way has truth,

My way has me.

 

I found my way;

More bearable than your way.

My way has no checking,

No assumptions,

No answers.

 

My way has openings,

Uncertainty,

Opportunity, questions, choice.

 

I found my way;

My way has truth,

My way has me.

 

 – • –

 

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Refraction

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , on February 23, 2015 by becciseaborne

Dark Beauty by Miumi-U– • –

Soul splitting rush

Scatters truth like leaves;

Through knowing forest

Crashes boundless creation.

 

Insatiable rays drive

Light forward, through;

Eye beyond fathom,

Infinitely seeking.

 

Flames of encyclopaedic beauty

Fuse beginning to end

In limitless genesis

Of journey’s thrall.

 

Kaleidoscope wings

Beat in eternal space,

Thrumming awe to distant stars,

Defying essence of beyond.

 

Your worlds beget worlds,

Your light sparks light.

 

Refract my life into wonder.

– • –
Art: Dark Beauty by Miumi-U from http://www.deviantart.com

Attenuate

Posted in Poetry with tags on February 18, 2015 by becciseaborne

Beneath our tread
At depth embed
My own roots’ roots
Spring eternal shoots

Where souls are wed
Trace single thread
Of heartsreach place
Seen in true face

Yet hungry fate
Will attenuate
Lifelong bloom
Through distance’ gloom

Way now unclear
Bring your essence near
Journey as we began
Feel my hand

Held

Posted in Poetry with tags , on February 7, 2015 by becciseaborne
Hold my heart for 5min that I might not feel so much
 – • –

You kiss my head;
It makes me feel like
I am utterly
Contained, yet free;
Held, yet offered;
Wrapped close,
Yet given to the world;
So presently alive and full,
Like heat reflected back;
Moving stillness of
Love’s gravity;
You kiss my head
– • –
Art: ‘Hold my Heart for Five Minutes that I might Feel so Much’ by Frances Lozear

Not

Posted in Poetry with tags on February 4, 2015 by becciseaborne

Cold edge

     hard shape
          no space
               not here
                    shut down
                         freeze out
                              push through
                                   press on
                                        long way
                                             stop there
                                                  go now
                                                       cry then
                                                            be gone
                                                                 .wait.
                                                                      .

Is Stephen Fry right about God? I don’t know…but that’s important

Posted in Non-fiction with tags , on February 1, 2015 by becciseaborne

Conversations about faith and religion happen less often for me these days. I struggle with the closed-mindedness that even some of the more ‘enlightened’ people I know display. It’s almost as if this subject is the last bastion of what it’s okay for educated, liberal/socialist people to be bigoted about. Stephen Fry’s recent, and very public, attack on God did trigger a brief exchange though. It got me thinking.

I was raised as an atheist by atheist parents, one of whom I would say is fundamentalist. But for me there is something quite unsatisfactory about this perspective; it is so very certain and intolerant. There are atheists who can match any religious zealot for their blinkered preaching, and who refuse to listen to – to really hear – what other viewpoints can add to any debate. (Equally, there are those atheists who are curious and open minded of course.)

Stephen Fry described atheism (i.e. the absence of a God) as making things “simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living”. He also criticised a ‘capricious’ and ‘monstrous’ God (if one existed) for creating bone cancer in children and allowing suffering that is not our fault. I have two issues with this, which on close inspection are slightly contradictory I have to admit, so I won’t explore them in depth here just now. But see what you think anyway…

Firstly, he takes an incredibly human-centric view of the issues; these cruelties he identifies are not fair, not “acceptable” to us as humans, but what about everything else that inhabits this planet? Humans are filling up the planet at a rate which is simply not sustainable, and we are only one part of a very big picture, which his comments fail to acknowledge. Surely a God who created all the world would have equal concern for everything in creation and would have to try and hold things in balance in a way that perhaps we cannot conceive?

Secondly, there are atheists who lack precisely the kind of compassion and humanity that Stephen laments as absent in this ‘maniac’ God. Many atheists, looking to science, make claims about what is true and known, and consequently what is right. Richard Dawkins is essentially, technically right about a lot of things. But it doesn’t make him morally right, or even good. He ultimately apologised for his comment about how expectant parents should terminate “abnormal” foetuses, but that doesn’t change the fact that he clearly believes this to be true, a moral requirement, based in scientific reason. Pure rationality would dictate that he is “correct”, but where on Earth is the humanity, compassion, hope, and love in a view like that? How can anyone but the most utterly diminished kind of human being think and function in this way?

This kind of narrow thinking and insisting on rationality alone blocks out other possibilities and closes down opportunities to gain a far deeper and richer understanding of what it means to be human. Not only does this approach diminish the discussion itself, often rendering it a pointless monologue dressed up as academic debate, but it causes other, wider audiences to switch off too.

I was brought up by people who thought they knew best, were right about things, and raised me to believe it was important to be right in that way. I’m sure this isn’t uncommon, however being sure of things is very limiting, and I’ve spent most of my adulthood trying to cultivate a sense of assured uncertainty. Learning to live comfortably in the ‘I’m not sure zone’ is difficult but interesting. The thing that has helped the most, has been choosing an area of work that means I get to be with people from all kinds of different worlds (colleagues and clients alike).

In various roles around the criminal justice system, involving support and/or rehabilitation I’ve been lucky enough to meet people who have challenged my assumptions and changed the way I see the things around me. They’ve enabled me to realise I don’t know best, and I don’t have all the answers, but that it’s alright as long as I’m prepared to ask questions. And to listen to the answers I’m given; really listen.

In the end I don’t know if Stephen is right about God, but what does it mean to be right anyway? For me it’s important that I don’t know, because it means I’ll keep on asking questions, and when you ask questions you learn things you never expected to know. I can’t think of much that’s better than that.

 

Epilogue I

I once asked my Dad if he preferred writing or playing music; Mum looked at me as if to say, “You know the answer to that”, and I was pretty sure that I did. But what I found out was that he’d written a piece of music for a friend’s wedding. And I got to hear it too. I may have never known that my whole life if I hadn’t asked that question.

Epilogue II

Within hours of first posting this, I was on the phone to my Dad talking about a music recital he has coming up. He’s played in rock and folk bands all his life, playing by ear with no musical theory knowledge, and his recent foray into the learned world of classical music practise and theory is being put to the test for the first time at this recital. I asked him how the apprehension for this is different to all the other gigs he’s ever played. Quite a lot of discussion and information flowed…including the fact that his band, St Willys Cool School supported Jimmy Hendrix in East Dereham in 1965/6. I couldn’t believe I’d never known this. Ironically, East Dereham is precisely where Stephen Fry got married last week.