No Ghosts This Year: A Story of Advent #1

hen holidays came, it would be okay. But for now Philip just had the long waiting days. The sun deceives us, he thought, into believing it’s holidays before it is. Last weekend he had made the mistake of sitting out on the verandah with his book, like he used to do with his sister inContinue reading “No Ghosts This Year: A Story of Advent #1”

OCD Prayer for the New Year

What lies behind corners can hurt or heal; What lurks in this heart can wound or bless. What triggers in mind can remind of the past; What future is clean is unknown. Whatever contaminates; whatever is sick; Whatever is broken, whatever will break; Whatever may lift and whatever may tarry: God give, God take, GodContinue reading “OCD Prayer for the New Year”

From Ashes: No glitch

No glitch in the creation plan and yet my mind skips and repeats over old tracks as though, as though in early days a scratch a fleck of dust crept in, crept in, upset the balance of it all. With every beat the tension in these ancient grooves – this wax – threatens now toContinue reading “From Ashes: No glitch”

From Ashes Part 8: No work for tinkers

It is autumn in my home town of Melbourne as I write these words, and outside the University library the streets are bathed in orange, golden and golden-brown leaves. It is a glorious sight, one of those moments where something seemingly hopeless – the dying of leaves – can be simultaneously so beautiful. I wasContinue reading “From Ashes Part 8: No work for tinkers”

From Ashes: The Crushed Flower (For Therese of Lisieux)

The flower that is me, Crushed – in crushing, free. Yet still I wilt here to see This dying beauty. Until You tread in victory, I languish in me. Crushed by foot, by sea Of crowd’s apathy, I will Yet trust, Christ, in Thee, Thorn-crowned on a tree, Your will Crushed; in crushing, free TheContinue reading “From Ashes: The Crushed Flower (For Therese of Lisieux)”

From Ashes Part 1: Melancholy and Silence

  When I announced, both on my blog and on Twitter, that I would be writing a series of pieces on significant Christians’ struggles with mental illness and asked for suggestions, I had thought I was onto a good thing. I had in mind as a starting point the stories which had brought me greatContinue reading “From Ashes Part 1: Melancholy and Silence”

Faith and Sight

I. “Am I okay?” the question asks itself. The mind retreats within to make reply And eyes forever dart towards the shelf (The cupboard open, fruit left out to dry). Unsettled souls put back the oil of joy And rifle through supplies to find the seed. The memory bank’s a plastic, moulding joy, Responsive toContinue reading “Faith and Sight”

Obsession (After George Herbert’s “Affliction (IV)”)

The fact that George Herbert wrote a number of poems of called “Affliction” tells us something about the nature of his life and the hardships, many of them internal, that he endured. Today’s poem is based on his fourth “Affliction” poem, a poem that resonates strongly with me despite the four hundred years that haveContinue reading “Obsession (After George Herbert’s “Affliction (IV)”)”