The diary entries are extracts from my spiritual journey, going back about twenty years.
No, I tell you this because I was told to tell it – by what you might call ‘ a higher authority’ – and truth is, the thought of how to tell it has taxed me for so many years.Miss Garnet’s Angel, Sally Vickers
It was nice to talk to my companion today. I feel more calm now. Maybe the fear of reliving the pain I feel because of my dad’s death (and to a certain extent Desolation’s) is actually worse than the pain itself. I don’t want it, but as my companion pointed out, Jesus didn’t want that cup either! Maybe holding on and not letting go is about more than that. How deep can you go? There is comfort and compassion; a suffering with. All this God talk feels alien to me again, after staying away for so long. I guess that is something I will have to put right. My companion has given me a book to read: “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” by Margaret Craven. It is about sadness and death. I’m just getting into it.
I finished the book and I wrote a letter to my dad. The floodgates have not opened. I miss my dad, and I feel sad at losing him. but I don’t think I will go back to the intensity of the pain I felt when he first died. I am not unresolved at his death. I have accepted it. There are no floodgates holding back waves of unexpressed grief (and not for Desolation either). The fear has gone from me and I think, I hope, I will be okay to let myself go deep into this prayer and this retreat. I finished the book my companion gave me. It was poignant, sad and beautiful. Mark found his true self before he died.
I meditated on Matthew 11: 28-30 earlier.
I sat with JC at the piano for a while and then we were at the Opera. He sat back in His chair with His fingers together – a bit like Dumbledore – and He listened. It was an angel singing and she rose from the stage (the Opera house in Rome). It was mesmerising. We then went to the Colosseum. We stood at the wooden pathway and looked at the cross there. It seemed bigger now than when I was there in January. There is a bitter sweet irony of the cross in the Colosseum, but He pointed out that it was the cross all Christians bear – right from the beginning, from those who died at the hands of the Romans in the Colosseum. I have mine to carry too.
This time when I went with Him we walked further, holding hands; sometimes He had His arm around my shoulder and mine around His waist. The river was on our right and I was wearing sandles and my retreat clothes. The place at the well was on the other side of the river when we stopped for a rest and it couldn’t be reached. We were leaving it behind. I noticed that we were walking against the way that the river of my life was flowing and He said:
There is no time: no past, no future, no present. Time did not exist.
Walking in that direction seemed to mean the same as swimming against the tide. (But the salmon in the book were carried with it backwards anyway!). Then we were walking away from Jerusalem and the well, and the river on the other side. This time I was dressed for walking – with boots, a small day sack, water and a cap. I said I would follow Him. He told me the road would be long and hard and that there was no destination – I would not know (or He would not tell me) where we were going. I said I would go anyway. Then we were dancing a Viennese waltz. It made me dizzy and breathless and I started laughing. It reminded me of when I’d done that dance with the Chinese boy at university. The trick is to relax, to let go and let Him take the lead. Don’t try to control it – that’s when you fall over. The key to success is to follow His lead! The walking was brisk, sportif. It made me hot and sweaty and raised my heartbeat. Not just a gentle stroll then. But I will go.