Wednesday, 18 January 2017

I am a contradiction (or I am a video game reference, or maybe a Bon Jovi song)

As I started to write these first few words I'm reminded of a student I once had. He was top of the class, not because he was a particularly gifted student, but because he had memorised the script of all the Call of Duty games. He often told me: "The more things change, the more they stay the same". Pretty deep for a 14 year old, but like I said, it was totally lifted from Call of Duty.

So with that, it seems kinda fitting that by some sort of fluke that I'm writing something exactly six years since the last time I rambled. So many things have happened since I was here. I moved to China for six months that ended up being six years, I finally met the person I thought about in primary school (Yes, I was a hopeless romantic. I used to wonder, "I wonder what she's doing right now? Does she have blonde hair?"Turns out she was learning how to walk and most certainly doesn't have blonde hair), I'm stood on stages in front some pretty sizeable crowds, I've been crippled by food poisoning more times that I can possibly count, I've been in hospital, had to learn to walk again and lost my best friend to depression.

I think it's the last point that's brought me here today. I was looking into how to preserve his blog so we'll have something physical to remind us of how his wonderfully odd mind worked and found myself back here. See, lots have changed but my awful use of punctuation has stayed the same.

I think about him everyday and I'm not exaggerating. I think it's because I've had some rather vivid dreams of him and so I find myself in the shower, unpacking them and trying to inscribe them in my mind's eye so I won't forget him. I haven't had dreams like these since the mess of a situation that lead me to want to leave the UK in the first place. I feel rather humbled that I had these dreams, they've enabled me to express how to I feel and discuss his reasons and the fall out with him. Being on the other side of the world has kinda made grieving process rather fragmented. I've missed the conversations that I'm sure his friends and family have shared so I've been somewhat sheltered from it...Though at the same time, I would preferred to go through it all with everyone else. So yeah, me and him are slowly working through it in my dreams when he comes to visit me.

Part of the fall out of being so disconnected is that I could easily convince myself everything is how it was. If I think about him, I can still hear his voice, imagine his laugh and the time we spent in his lovely home with his beautiful family. I've done this a lot in the time that I've been here because that's how things were. The time difference, the distance, the restricted internet. I could easily convince myself it's alright, it's all fine.

I blame myself. His wife told me this is normal, but I do. I wonder if I hadn't stopped going to church, maybe if I had kept playing the role of the happy christian he wouldn't have lost hope. I remember him saying to me once that it was weird watching me, a christian he looked up to (I cringe writing that), walking away from it all. I actually found it very say when he told me he stopped going to church. I never wanted to be a distraction, I still don't. I might not go to church, pray or even call myself a christian anymore, but I would never discourage someone from it. I'm not one of those angry ex church types, more one of those slightly heart broken disappointed ones. (I find it interesting that I wrote that, did I pick up on the heart broken part of me because I'm writing about him or is it a church thing? This is part of the reason I got out, so much emotion and stress that just dragged me down). I blame myself too because he told me a various different occasions how much stress he was under. After this all, it's made me realise (again) how incredibly important it is that The Samaritans ask every caller "Are you feeling suicidal?" maybe if I'd remembered my training I would have asked him and possibly helped avoid this whole thing. I blame myself because I would often, as is the case here in china, bring up the filthy topic of money, wages and how great life is. I'm not sure were this all came from, but it's a frequent topic among expats here. I find myself biting my tongue now whenever the topic comes up now. I would hate to think anything that I said would cause anyone to have a lower opinion of their own self worth.

I imagine that if he was reading this now, he would point out that it was his choice and no one forced him.

But that still doesn't bring much comfort. 

But then I think if I'm placing blame at my feet, if that really what I want? It seems weird that I'm almost building up a case for his wife. Is it really my goal that she would one day turn around and say "Yes, you're right, I've thought about it and it is actually all your fault." Apart from the actual pain of losing him, I can't imagine anything worse. Maybe blaming myself is part of the process of coming to terms with the fact he made his choice independently. I think I'll ask him the next time I see him in my dreams.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Thine be the glory

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o'er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict'ry, thou o'er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting. Refrain

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above

Have you ever noticed the line "No more we doubt thee"? I haven't.
It came to me in the shower. Weird that it's included, I mean so very often the idea of doubt isn't included in church songs and the fact it's included in such a well known song resonated with me.

Also, I just read my last post and realised it doesn't make any sense. It did at the time, doesn't any more. I had decided I was going to try a bit a clearer with my writing instead of constant self referencing and crypticness. Seems I have some way to go eh?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Part of me persists

Part of me still wants to try and make you sing, but it would be hypocritical.
I've always quoted to people "if 5 million people say a stupid thing it's still a stupid thing", but there are times when it falls short.

Monday, 3 January 2011

We have things in common

David Crowder Band, Sufjan Stevens, Cool Hand Luke, Phil Wickham, O.C Supertones and a hundred other artists, all of them have covered Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. I find it interesting that a relatively unknown person of Norfolk Church history could write a song that seems to strike a chord with so many even today. I've posted about him in the past, it's rather sad story.

I've never come across a church song that is so honest in it's doubt. I think I've said it before but never mentioned it here before, doubt isn't talked about enough. It's seems it's ok have questions just as long as you're "pressing in" each Sunday, but the moment you question and doubt and stop the Sunday feel good junk, you're some how tarnished with an incredibly unhelpful/unhealthy opinion that says "You better get right with God", like it's some stupid threat.

That's another thing I've realised since I've been away. I can't help but get the feeling church gives out this unspoken message that there's grace for the sinner, but there isn't grace for the doubting Christian. Go figure.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Hello again

I just stumbled across this blog after reading all about McFly and I can say with complete confidence:"I'm not who I was."

I'm more at peace with myself. Do you know; I used to talk constantly to myself? Pointing out every flaw and imperfection. It was sometimes a torrent of abuse, but now I almost feel "Bugger it, you're not perfect. It's ok, move on."
I don't view myself with such disdain any more.
I'm not the horrible person I was led /I led myself to believe.
I've certainly got a foul mouth now. I'm ok with that. I'm just saying what I think rather than bottling it up and then despairing at myself.
The future looks uncertain and I'm ok with that.

Monday, 15 March 2010

I think I get it

what's been eating at me for so long. It's the feeling that the future doesn't seem to hold much prospect. Nothing outstanding, nothing exciting, but low paid, unintelligent monotomy and I know I've brought it upon myself. My thinking then goes to how when everything gets better when the whole relationship with God thing is going well. And that's exactly it, I feel so many of my friends have got themselves figured out without God and my arm is being bent behind my back, being forced to submit to something that I don't want to do if I want to any chance at happiness.