Saturday 23 March 2024

Authentic and Courageous

Courage and authenticity are two of the key values of the church I belong to.  Fortunately I count them as two of my own values.  In my planner as part of One Little Word project I have this:

Over the years I suppose I have been courageous.  I wrote about it in a blog post in 2017: RISK.

However looking back on the 3 months of anxiety I think God was talking to me about being courageous, but in the sense of being more vulnerable and letting people in.  Taking down the barriers that I have surrounded myself with.  Taking off the mask of 'fine'!  It's been a tough journey but I have to say it has been so worth it.  Being vulnerable is part of being authentic.  Showing the whole of you not just the bits that make you look good. 

During this time I have found real depth in friendships that I value more than anything.

So in light of this, I'm going to share a poem I wrote in January as part of the online zoom workshops I take part in. We were asked to write a poem from a child's point of view where something happened to change their perspective.  This was an incident when I was 10 and it severely influenced how I felt about childbirth which led to pre-natal depression when I was pregnant 27 years later.

Bordon Hill
The view from the top of the hill
went on forever. But turn around
and one small single-storey home
sat in the midst of an acre of
meadow flowers and orchard trees.
Chickens pecked at fallen plums.

The child, too young to have been kissed
romantically, wandered through the
fruit laden trees. Glad to be out
of the city as she recovered from
the kissing disease. Her grandparents’ home
a place of solace and recuperation.

And yet, there was still medicine to take.
Large pills for so small a throat.
Forced to swallow despite her cries.
'Ungrateful girl. Your mother almost died
in pain and labour. And you won’t ease
the worry of your health'.

On the same zoom poetry day we were asked to write about time passing.  This happened in August 2022.

The doors slid open
to welcome the man
to A&E.
And closed behind him
shutting out the world
shutting out his wife.

Her phone rang.
'Go home. Go home and wait
for me to contact you.
Go home and wait'. 

Lunchtime passed but no food
passed her lips. She was home
and waiting. Time slowed
and still she waited.
The phone rang.
A woman’s voice. A pause.

She waited.
'Your husband’s had
a heart attack and surgery'.

Another pause – lingered long.
'You may visit now'.

I sincerely hope you have people in your life who you value and who value you - 'warts and all'.

Thank you for joining me today

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