Wednesday, February 24, 2016


I am conscious of breath at the moment - or rather, lack of it. My throat feels tight and I realise my breathing is shallow. But I am not ill. Or am I?

I am anxious. This horrible feeling of constriction and being closed in is a very real part of being worried and anxious. 

I make an effort to stand taller, breathe deeper. The physical change helps my mental state, a little. Like the fight to breathe deeply, the fight to push worry aside is an ongoing, breath-by-breath effort.

"Do not be anxious about anything. Instead of worrying, pray... And... Jesus... will come and settle you down..." That's a mix of NIV and Message versions, I think, of a scripture I once knew better, in Phillipians. Time to learn it again, it seems. Watch this space!

Monday, February 8, 2016

VW CC farewell

This sleek, well-engineered vehicle has served us in the best way possible: it protected Steve in an accident. When another car drove across his path and they collided, the airbags deployed and the seat-belt tensioners tightened, and he got out and walked away.
Arriving to collect him after the accident, I opened the door of the damaged car to retrieve the usual items a car seems to gather - old receipts, a few business cards, cell-phone plug-ins - and the sharp smell of smoke and chemicals was a strong reminder of the damage done.
We spent most of Monday in a round of visits and phone calls to the police station, GP, and insurance broker. It was only on Tuesday evening that I felt that I was emerging from the experience - coming up for air, as if from under water.
All week since then I have had a growing sense of the need to stop and take stock, to re-assess our busy lives; but the busyness has taken over, with hardly a chance to draw breath between business trips, school tasks, teaching, helping elderly parents, and just "doing life".
I still plan to find that "down-time", to carve out a place where we can just sit and look at each other, and share dreams, and agree on what to add to our lives, and what to discard. For now, it seems enough that I can hear and feel the cool wind, see the sun is glistening off the palm trees outside the window, and feel a sense of wholeness.