The world is short of true compassion.

Compassion constitutes a radical form of criticism, for it announces that the hurt is to be taken seriously, that the hurt is not to be accepted as normal and natural but is an abnormal and unacceptable condition for humanness…Thus the compassion of Jesus is to be understood not simply as a personal emotional reaction but as a public criticism in which he dares to act upon his concern against the entire numbness of his social context…Jesus penetrates the numbness by his compassion and with his compassion takes the first step by making visible the odd abnormality that had become business as usual. thus compassion that might be seen simply as generous goodwill is in fact criticism of the system, forces, and ideologies that produce the hurt. Jesus  enters into the hurt and finally comes to embody it.

Walter Brueggemanncompassion-word-cloud-compassion-word-cloud-white-background-99074985

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What If…

What if

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Knots: Stories


The Book Keeper Book Shop


“Sometimes when you read, it’s like certain sentences strike home and knock you flat. It’s as if they say everything you have tried to say, or tried to do, or everything you are.”
Gunnhild Øyehaug, Knots: Stories

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Right Side Up

via A Provocation: Second Sunday after Pentecost: June 14, 2020: Matthew 9:35–10:23

This is a moment to listen to people who have been afraid for far too long. This is a moment to pray and work for the world to be turned right-side-up. This is a moment to realize that things are going to change because they have to change. This is a moment to listen for messiah. Especially from voices that you have never listened to before.

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“In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover…”

Bookshops are dangerous places…

The Book Keeper Book Shop


The divine Italo Calvino identifies the real trouble with bookshops….

“In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop past the thick barricade of Books You Haven’t Read, which were frowning at you from the tables and shelves, trying to cow you.
But you know you must never allow yourself to be awed, that among them there extends for acres and acres the Books You Needn’t Read, the Books Made For Purposes Other Than Reading, Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Being Written.
And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of the Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read…

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When I was at primary school (too many years ago to remember!) we were taught to write a beautiful flowing cursive, drilled and practised until perfect. At high school all my assignments were handwritten, and the same for University, until I became the proud owner of an electric typewriter. And I guess its been all downhill since then…

Yet I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been complimented on my signature, which was born in the age of “everything handwritten” and has remained a true, flowing, dare I say beautiful cursive. Like Andrew Piper in  “Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times” I feel that handwriting should be valued for its creative aspect, its artisanal quality. But “real” handwriting is no longer taught, just a quick perfunctory script that plays second fiddle to keyboard skills.

One of the good things about the enforced isolation during the current pandemic is that people are turning back to and dusting off old semi-forgotten skills, or learning new ones: playing board games, gardening, learning to cook from scratch, sewing , knitting, crochet, woodworking, macrame, reading books rather than screens. There’s been  time to think and meditate too. And I’ve been thinking…

Keeping in touch has been given much promotion on social media, and the things that have most caught my attention are the ones that are personal and tangible rather than the sharing of clever memes. Gifts left on the doorstep, singing together from balconies, drive-by birthday parties, pocket hearts.  Before email, keeping in touch was often by mail in the form of a handwritten card or note. I still have a supply of beautiful note paper, sadly long un-used.

So… my next boredom busting project will be to handwrite some home made cards for my friends and neighbours. Writer’s cramp beckons!

#handwriting #isolation #pandemic #crafting #boredombusting



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I love my garden…love working in it, growing things, talking to magpies and butterflies. But just recently it has also been a source of peace and wellbeing, much needed in these troubled times. Putting together my care for my much-loved garden and my practice of meditation has given me deep resources to help me keep going as we self-isolate to stay well and safe from the coronavirus. #meditation #covid19


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Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day.

via Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day.

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Experimenting with poetical forms. I’m no Will Shakespeare, but here goes…



Waves inward dance, enlaced with fringing foam,
Sand oozes up between bare wriggling toes,
Hat firmly anchored down upon my nose,
Beach-combing shell-strewn edge I roam.

Wind sings a siren song of sailing free,
Sun scatters light like glitter strewn,
Squabble of gulls, harsh, out of tune,
Odours of ozone, salt and sea.

This my escape from all that ties,
Freedom to run, to feel, just be.
This my salvation, here it lies,
The place where I can be simply me.

Shaking off cares and tasks that bind,
Freedom of heart and soul and mind.

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Heart Broken

Literally heart breaking.


The last time I wrote about a photograph of my husband was December 10, 2019. I was worried about the impact of the fires and the smoke on his health and angry at Scott Morrison for saying that the volunteers wanted to be there. Here’s a link for those that missed it.

No Scott Morrison my husband does NOT want to be fighting fires

As a consequence of that post, Graham and I both ended up on The Project. Here’s the link to that:

The Project: In my own words – Meg McGowan

We said no to all the other media requests. We nearly said no to The Project but we had been overwhelmed by the messages of support, particularly from other fire fighters and their families. “You have put into words what we have been feeling!” they said, so we felt like we owed it to all of them…

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