Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Colin Hay

Colin Hay is a very funny man. He's a musician, who plays guitar, writes spare, honest lyrics and peppers his time at the microphone with hilarious anecdotes. We've been to his shows twice and he has a way of drawing you into his stories.

He's obviously a talented musician, because he has three guitars on stage and swaps between them. They all looked the same to me, but he's good because he knows which one for each song. I think one was a twelve string guitar, but let's face it, we were at least five metres from the stage and well who can tell that stuff anyway?

He talked about sailing to Australia, from Scotland when he was fourteen years old, and that's a little of the reason my husband is a fan because he did the same thing when he was six. He told a story about having Paul McCartney over for dinner and Paul doing the dishes. Badly. And I'm sitting at the table, too, listening to Paul McCartney rinsing the crockery under the streaming tap.

He talked about becoming an alcoholic, and trying to stop drinking. He found it hard to stop here in Australia, because no one wanted to agree that he was drinking too much. Perhaps it was too confronting to their own alcohol intake. So he moved to California, and stopped drinking there. He talked about getting up and having breakfast one day, and thinking "Well. What now?" His question  embodied the deep lostness and grief of giving up what is most habitual to you. Even (perhaps especially) destructive things.

And the experience of loss and change and discovery evolved into this beautiful song.

I love that the simple act of swimming or drinking tea becomes a way to acknowledge the beauty of the world.

When I lie awake in the darkness and listen to the rain falling on the grass and the road, I can be worrying about not being asleep or anxious about tomorrow. Or I can just hear the water falling and feel the coolness of the air through the flyscreen and the slow breath in and out beside me. I can be here and awake and know the beauty of this world in the stillness of the moment. That is when prayer and miracles are possible.

PS. Linking with Emily...

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Days pass quickly, and it seems that I should have made pancakes last Tuesday. I forgot.
I love the idea of reflecting quietly on Ash Wednesday, as a way to prepare myself for Easter. But I wonder what that means, too. Thinking about stuff can immobilise me, as I wonder what I should think or feel. As I become self-conscious. And maybe ideas of religious orthodoxy are always better in theory. Or blogposts.

The second thief asks Jesus to remember him, when he's king. But I might be the oblivious one, crowd-pleasing till its too late.

Church makes me dwell on the hurts we deliver to each other and the brokenness that's slung across our shoulders handbag style. I wait for the spirit to heal, but I'm impatient for change. I make excuses about inviting people into this mess, but it's how they'll see glory.

I ask myself questions that have no clear answers and turn them round and over in my mind.

How do I answer childish statements that God is boring?
How do I calm my son's tantrum in the midst of leading playgroup, or teaching sunday school? Do I just stop doing it so the tantrums are more conveniently met?
How does God spark passion for him in people's hearts? In my heart?

Answers that work one day, mutate to inadequate the next and I can't build up a self that's trustworthy. I long to be enough.

Everyday he tells me of his unfailing, covenant, extravagent, forgiving, chesed love. It awakens the memory of yesterdays within me and I can be, today. Be content in the fragile, illusory answers and the ever-changing questions. Be listening for the death that brings resurrection.

Jesus, remember me, when you come into your Kingdom.