Archive for August, 2012

Home Now

Home now, place of belonging,

in safety of Father’s house.

Long and torturous journey

‘cross rugged mountains, whose

jagged rocks tore tender feet to shreds.

Through deep, dark valleys of despair

casting deathly shadows over tormented soul.

O’er sun-scorched deserts, where

parched spirit thirsted, all in vain.

Along dangerous bypaths, threatening

to swallow true identity.  Leaving bruising,

brokenness, almost bereft of hope.


Surviving, and inside is birthed

resilience, triumphant in adversity;

determination filling the vacuum,

so keenly, painfully, felt within.


And though ugly scars remain, as mementos

of trauma – home now, with Love’s

healing balm abundantly applied.

Warmly embraced in tender arms,

acceptance – integral to Father’s family.

Smothered in delicious fragrances,

covered with robes, befitting royalty.

Diamond-spangled band adorns finger –

covenant sign and token of belonging.

Seated at sumptuous banqueting table,

partaking of the best cuisine, and joyful

celebration, amid musical extravaganza,

and Father’s beaming face, says it all…

“You’re home now!”.



I sit and stare vacantly at the blank screen, its flashing cursor mocking my brain deadness – all attempts to think completely futile. Then an inner censor kicks in: “I have nothing to say, anyway”. “I am 60 years old, I have done little, discovered little, been little, and now have no worthwhile thoughts in my head.” I grit my teeth, gird up my loins, shake myself down – and still, nothing.

The censor continues putting the boot in, as it viciously occurs to me that most people are not the slightest bit interested in my meanderings – so I’m left even more demotivated – why bother !


Of course, it’s an experience common to creative writers – novelists, poets, dramatists, script-writers – which I find strangely encouraging. Realizing that professional writers, even those who have produced the world’s  greatest literature — Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, for example — were tormented by momentary lapses in their ability to produce text, affords me a degree of comfort.



Then, I briefly get to musing about the prolific psalmist of Israel – the shepherd/king, David – as he plucks away merrily at his harp, his heart bubbling over with goodly themes, and I wonder if inspiration ever seemed elusive to one so obviously moved by the Spirit (that is, when he wasn’t committing adultery, or plotting the murder of his lover’s husband !)

I further ponder on the ancient Jewish prophet – weeping Jeremiah – as his message burns inside, like a fire shut up within his bones, which he found impossible to contain. Did that sense of being carried along by the Spirit ever leave him at the height of those depressing moments – in a dungeon, or in a pit.

My thoughts turn next to that brilliant theologian – St Paul – writer of much of our New Testament scriptures, many of whose letters were birthed as he languished in captivity.  Did he ever have those soul-destroying moments of emptiness, wondering if anything made sense, or did anyone care ? Surely not !

But it happens to me … plenty !

Now, American poet William Stafford offers a proposition: “There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.”

No, he’s not encouraging me to produce garbage, but suggesting how easy it can be to take myself too seriously, to think I’m going to produce the greatest, loveliest, most intelligent piece of work ever made. Consequently I sit there, thinking how useless I am, cursing the day I was born, even hating the very act of writing that has so stymied me. Rather,  Stafford encourages writers to let go – to go ahead and write anything, just so long as they write. Out of their ramblings something good will come, an idea will catch fire right there on the page, there will be sparks, patterns will emerge.

Be willing to throw stuff out. It’s quite all right.

So here it is: I decided to write … and you have the outcome … and if it makes any sense, or even helps, all well and good – perhaps Stafford’s advice works after all.

Have a block-busting month !