The Scots and the Irish have seen a speck of light at the end of a long tunnel, but, this isn’t what I want to say. Yet.

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Being retired has its downside, despite living in Paradise. It is often all too easy to find oneself a little bit off balance, the mind engaging in a variety of absurdities, there being little to challenge it. This can escalate into unhelpful thoughts and even actions, the consequent ripples sending those close to us scurrying for safe haven.

Curiously, I came across this. It’s a repost from a blog I visit from time to time. The speaker is Charles H Spurgeon – few readers, if any indeed read this – who have any knowledge of Church history, will need to be introduced to him. He wrote:

Knowing by most painful experience what deep depression of spirit means, being visited with it at seasons by no means few or far between, I thought it might be consolatory to some of my brethren if I gave my thoughts on it…

Most of us are in some way or other unsound physically… As to mental maladies, is any man altogether sane? Are we not all a little off balance? These infirmities may be no detriment to a man’s special usefulness. They may even have been imposed upon him by divine wisdom as necessary qualification for his peculiar course of serviceWhere in body and mind there are predisposing causes to lowness of spirit, it is no marvel if in dark moments the heart succumbs to them.”

He goes on to describe himself as “feeling like empty earthen pitchers which a child might break.”

In his ‘Lectures to My Students’ he wrote:

Causeless depression cannot be reasoned with, nor can David’s harp charm it away by sweet discourses. One would as well fight with the mist as with this shapeless, undefinable, yet all-beclouding hopelessness.”

So. What. One of the strange precepts against which I have battled all my life is the idea that going it alone, toughing it out, the lone sailor drifting into a sunset is infinitely preferable than being together, a ship sailed alone is a somehow more noble enterprise  than one where help is needed to get her to face into the wind and, indeed, if such help is not sought, she may founder.

I think, indeed I know, that this attitude is both muddled, prideful and wrong. I have discovered something in recent times about forgiveness, both its depth and the awesomely simple idea that, as I forgive, forgiveness is released to me.

“and forgive us our trespasses (going places where we should not), (just) as we forgive those who trespass against us.” ‘Our’. Not ‘my’. Oh.

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The power of metaphor

This is written on the day in which Britain’s European destiny was changed for ever. She has voted, narrowly, to ‘go it alone’, a decision that she may regret. Millions, if not billions of words have been written and it’s pointless to add more charcoal to an already overheated fire. The Leave/Remain debate, the demise of David Cameron and the victory, as some have put it, of the ‘sans culottes’, is yesterday’s news, a knee jerk, emotional response to their EU prison door being opened just wide enough for them to make a run for it, stage-managed by the know-it-alls, autocrats and plutocrats, with little UKIPs pattering along in their shadow, like delighted terriers chasing a bone.

Harold Wilson once remarked “a week is a long time in politics”. The fallout from the last twenty-four hours may last for a generation.

Thanks to Charles Milner for the photograph, plus caption.

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View from Cap Blanc-Nez,  France

…on the morning after the referendum- you can just make out the white cliffs of Brexit “Great” Britain. Ah…



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