Saturday, 5 January 2008


Through encounter with paradox we are touched in some way by what could be described as an intellectual misprint. It may be puzzling, perplexing or pleasing, disconcerting, surprising, amusing; the range of possibility can be neither defined nor confined.
Always there is that heightened sensation produced as a consequence of momentary confusion, a mental response to a contradiction tangled in the unreasonable tendrils of seemingly irrational thought that may give birth to such as the convoluted ramblings you now find yourself reading.
Unexpected complexities of meaning, confusion and contradiction are themselves a paradoxical expectation in these encounters, but the rolling and inverting of meaning is sometimes so layered and overlapped that we can lose all sense of where we are within the paradox. We can even lose sight of the fact that there is a paradox, or, on rare occasions when we are suddenly brought to a point from which we are enabled to see from a wholly new angle, we are brushed by a totally unexpected reaction, and, for a moment at least, we realize that the paradox does not exist. It is merely the word we use for some forms of our failure to grasp the truth: something existing nowhere other than in our stumbling around within our own fragile inadequacies.

For anyone living their life with a thought that there may be more to come, life itself may at times be sensed as a paradox.
For those with an ongoing belief born of faith, those with an inner conviction that existence –in some form– continues beyond the world in which we now live, life is experienced as a paradox.
At times it is clear that an awareness of our own limitations of consciousness and experience makes for an easily registered understanding of the supposed and self-imposed boundary to life and the totality of creation. That self-awareness allows for the simple stepping beyond that boundary to what is still seen only as a void, but which is anticipated as the mature blossoming and the fullness of our existence.

It is not strange that we can be moved into a brighter light, a greater clarity, a deeper understanding, by an event that appears to bring darkness, a clouding over, a deepening gloom that spreads from an already obscured horizon to the eventual loss of all that had once been visible. For those at the heart of the event, the mists of tears and heartfelt numbness envelop and diffuse all that had been held firm and clear in heart and mind and eye, but even for them the warmth and brightness of light longs to fill the emptiness as soon as it appears. (see 18.05.07 posts: ‘Not filled ... but emptied’)
Such was the unexpected touch and the gentle strangeness of my most recent encounter with the paradoxical nature of death and the joy that entwines itself with grief.

The whole experience of receiving news of the death, attending the funeral, meeting extended family members not seen for some years, and all of us making our ways home to our separate lives once more, was different this time.
The outer layers of emotion were the same, but there was an underlying joy that I found impossible to separate even from the stone-in-the-heart feeling that rose and re-rose within: joy born of an overwhelming certainty that, among others, a quartet of souls already gone from this life (Teddy, Norman, Bunty and Alf) had welcomed him home, and that the hilarity and love they enjoyed and shared while living among us was living still. The bonds of love that bound them here remain unbroken and their joyous reunion was shown to be inevitable.
Paradox, conjured from incomprehension, had been untangled and dissolved in the power and the simplicity of love and truth.

The long struggle and physical distress of his decline, so contrary to all earlier memories of this lovely, humour-filled, and -in all ways - “big” man, are now gone. He is the personification of delight once more.

The unforgettable are never forgotten.
God bless you John Brett; glasses shall be raised to you many more times yet.

‘What is the body? - Endurance.
What is love? - Gratitude.
What is hidden in our chests? - Laughter.
What else? - Compassion.’

(Rumi. ‘All Rivers At Once’.)

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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