I would tell you that God’s story for your life is always bigger than your most painful chapter, or even the one you are in right now. Just because you’ve suffered incredible loss does not mean that your story is over
The boy charmed all the waitresses by telling them how old he was in Italian and singing them nursery rhymes. I felt VERY smug as a parent, which is really what it’s all about, isn’t it?
My July was happy and busy (though it should be noted that I did next to no writing. It turns out I can either live or write, but not do both at the same time). Meanwhile, the world fell apart (Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza), and the Church of England accepted Women Bishops.
Jon had prepped the boy before the service by explaining what would happen: white dress, songs, vows, rings, and that there was a part in the service where the whole congregation would join in. “When the minister asks, ‘will you, the friends and family support them…’ that’s when you say ‘we will’, as loudly as possible,” he told the boy. These proved to be fateful instructions.
We think we know the momentous and portentous events of our lives, because we have them mapped out with the big things – proposals, births, funerals – but love and grief have their own rules, and they funnel their potency into the little details, the ordinary objects of life, so that we are caught unawares by our emotion even whilst we are going about our daily business.
There is a beautiful arrogance in the works of great artists, and I am trying to learn from them. The other day, I drew a picture of my boy. It wasn’t very good, and it made him look like decidedly simian. I frowned, then thought of Picasso: I wrote ‘My child as a monkey’, and signed my name beside it. If in doubt, just change the title and call it art.
My interview for BBC Radio 4 on the topic of being ‘in the world, but not of the world’, presented by John McCarthy
I have been interviewed as part of a half-hour program presented by John McCarthy (yes, the John McCarthy who was a journalist in the Lebanon hostage crisis) on being ‘In the world, but not of the world’.