Diary of a Sunflower: 2 May, year 4

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

I don’t know where I am with Sedation. I got upset with him tonight. He was talking about money and stuff and resenting doing things around the house. What’s the point? Sometimes I wonder. I think he’s pushing me too hard. He’s trying to get things all settled here – perhaps the way he wants them – and I’m feeling that he’s asserting control over me that I don’t want. I don’t want a man to control my life, to tell me what I can and can’t do – no matter how subtlely! Maybe that’s the problem. In trying to find his place, he’s pushing and that has implications for me. Maybe I can cope/tolerate/accept what those implications might be but the pushing I can’t accept. I’m not prepared to accept being told what’s not good enough in my own home. I have a very tight knot in my stomach after our discussion tonight. God, what do I do with this? 

Diary of a Sunflower: 17 April, year 4

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

Sedation has given up the course he was doing to become a teacher and is much lighter for it. With her own school inspection over, the pressure has also been taken off Sunflower a bit at work. Things are a bit more relaxed. 

I feel really close to him at the moment. There’s a warm intensity there. It’s a feeling that we fit together. He compliments me in so many ways. 

I’m getting more into tai chi. I’m ready to be more disciplined with it now – and that’s what I need to do. I’m going on a retreat with Sedation in the summer – looking forward to that. 

I also talked to my ex today about applying for an annulment. He said he would comply for my benefit, but his view would be that it’s the way the church twists it to justify divorce. I can live with that. I wanted to check to ensure that it wouldn’t hurt him, and to make sure he knew that I didn’t regret marrying him. I may well apply for it after the divorce comes through. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 1 February, year 4

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

Don’t believe in the longevity of this relationship anymore. I have trust issues and Sedation is not convincing me that letting go of them is the right thing. He doesn’t listen when I try to express any feelings of dissatisfaction with the way it is and he goes off on his little martyr, poor me trip. I’m fed up with it to be honest and it’s pretty boring. I don’t know if and when we’ll split up, but I don’t see myself throwing my lot in with him. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 18 January, year 4

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

I am powerless – my life has become unmanageable.

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 

Step 1: and Step 2 Alcoholics Anonymous

The problem – and a signpost to find the answer. I feel that my life is beyond my control at the moment. What I would like is impossible – or feels it, even though I tell myself it should be reasonable and not difficult to achieve. But then, maybe to achieve it, I would have to live my life by formula and not take account of how I feel at any particular moment – there would be no room for spontaneity. I want to excel at my work, I would like the house to be reasonably clean and tidy all the time, I want to get fit and maintain it, and I would like to do things that keep me in touch with me – I need to do those things – tai chi, meditate, reflect on and evaluate my life more often – daily in fact, via this diary. I feel tired and weary, and I lack energy. I would like this to change. Start today…little steps

Diary of a Sunflower: 1 January, year 4

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

Weird time at the moment. I’m not feeling well and things have not gotten much better with Sedation. He is staying out a lot and not coming back until late. I don’t know where to go from here. I ought to let it go, but it’s not so easy. It’s like I’ve lost faith in the longevity of, not only this relationship, but in any relationship. There’s a seed of mistrust growing in me. I feel like I’ve given him a lot over this term and that somehow it will never be enough. His negativity at the start of the holidays was difficult to deal with. I don’t really know what is wrong with me. I feel angry and moody. I don’t know whether it’s him or me. Part of me thinks that relationships with men are just impossible. It’s like they start off thinking you’re great, then after a while all they can see is what they think is wrong with you. Even the things they originally liked about you become faults in their eyes, and it’s all downhill from there. I can’t really see a way forward for us

Diary of a Sunflower: 27 December, year 3

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

I’ve just done a three times disturbed meditation on the five foolish and five wise wedding attendants, and on wisdom. I was one of the five wise ones, thankfully. 

Instead of telling the foolish ones to go and buy oil I suggested – long before the bridegroom arrived – that we only keep two lamps burning at a time, instead of all ten. That way we would save the oil and share it so that we could have all ten burning when He arrived. We were in the desert and it was cold and dark. When He (JC) arrived, I was at the front and we did have enough for all ten lamps. He knew what I’d done, and He held my cheek, looked into my eyes and smiled. He might have said:

Well done.  

But I don’t remember exactly. We piled inside, all of us, to follow Him into the wedding. No-one was shut out because we shared. We who had the oil let go of the idea that it was rightfully ours, we let go of the fear that we would be left without, so that everyone could be included. As a wise virgin with a bottle of oil, I understood that fear. I’m not sure it’s so easy to let it go though. 

There are aspects of Sedation that I don’t quite trust. When we come onto conflict he has a hard edge and he could prolong the quarrel for much longer than I could. For it to end, it needs to be me to cave, to be weak. Trouble is, if I cry and make the move to fix it, it gives him the chance not to apologise or acknowledge his wrong. And while we might be okay superficially, there is a residue. That is where we are now. I know things are not right between us. I feel threatened by him – emotionally and materially. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 29 October, year 3

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

Things have been quite difficult between me and Sedation over the past week. I’ve felt quite hurt and it’s probably got a lot to do with me being tired and stressed. I know I need to give myself a regular time that is sacrosanct. So, I’ve decided that every Friday I will have a long bath with music and candles, and I will meditate and write in my diary. This is a need for me. I’ve been neglecting my prayers and ultimately, it’s me that suffers. I need to protect myself and maintain my emotional independence. I feel very distant from him at the moment and I know I need to take my own space. How much do I trust him? I’m not sure sometimes. I can get withdrawn at times – as I have been recently – and I’m not always sure if it’s me that’s being twisted and unreasonable. The idea that things are great as long as I am strong has come into my head again. The relationship gets difficult when I can’t cope with things in general. He stays away and gets stoned too. These last few days are the loneliest I’ve had since I was married. I’ve been worrying about money, about getting M.E. and I’m conscious of the fact that my dad died a year ago on Saturday. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 13 October, Year 3

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

The relationship with Sedation, work and home are all settled and going well for Sunflower. 

I’ve started doing tai chi with Sedation and I’m really enjoying it. It’s quite difficult and subtle, but it’s “meditation in motion” and it makes me feel calm and at peace. I need to practise more though. Life is sweet. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 19 August, Year 3.

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

Yesterday, after I’d been singing in the garden, I had a moment of realisation. Serenity is not just about an absence of turmoil; it is not just about being able to accept the things you cannot change and to let go of stuff; serenity is knowing consciously in your heart that God is there with you. There may be storms around you, but you know. It is serenity that I want more of in my life. When I meditated on the post resurrection story with the disciples in the room, I was serene.  

I was the one who had discovered Him earlier in the day. The room was like the Arches prayer room here, except bigger. There was a large section behind three arches that were hung with heavy curtains. Behind here was the sleeping area. In front of it were coffee tables and low comfortable chairs like we have in our staff room at school. There was the arch shaped door (wooden) at the head of this, some wooden benches in the corner and a kitchen unit down the side. The walls were white. To the back of this section, behind an arch covered in a red voile curtain was a gas cooker and a small table. I was there making coffee for everyone and taking some bread, that I’d just made, out of the oven. Fast was there. The others were discussing if I had gone mad again. Reliable came in and hugged me. She said she’d heard what had happened and was I okay? I said I was. I was serene – in my new understanding of the word. Fast said: 

They don’t believe you; you know.

I know, but they will. 

I said. We took the coffee and bread and jam through. The ten who were there were my brothers and sisters, Sedation, Compassion, Sceptical and Confident. I didn’t know who wasn’t there, but they were all my “doubting Thomas”, except Sedation and Compassion. When we came in with the coffee, First was saying: 

I’m not saying Sunflower’s wrong…

and Fourth replied: 

Yes, you are…

First looked at me and said :

No offence.

None taken.

I said. At that moment, Jesus was there, putting His coat and His staff in the corner. He said, looking at the coffee:

Is there one of those for me?

I’ll get You one.

I said and He thanked me, smiled and squeezed my hand. I patted Sedation’s shoulder and smiled on the way past. The others were speechless. Jesus squeezed in at the top and sat down saying: 

So, what plans are we making? 

I brought His coffee and sat to the side, listening and watching. He was arguing/discussing all their gripes with them and there was banter, laughter, heated argument: and a glow spread from Him through all of them. I felt serene all the time. 

I have become a little frustrated with my daily meditations book – I find it quite superficial and not spiritual enough for me. 

Diary of a Sunflower: 17 August, year 3.

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

I spent much of yesterday in pain or asleep. My companion gave me some pictures (I picked them out actually) of Peter denying Jesus three times and Peter getting out of the boat to try to walk on the water. Since I meditated on the latter last year, I chose the former to work with. There were several ways the scene seemed to play in my head, but they were to me contrived, intellectual, my brain working them out. The only one that wasn’t only got as far as the servant girl saying to me: 

You were with Him, you are with Him, aren’t you?

And I couldn’t reply to her. I said to Jesus: 

I want to say You are my Lord, You are my God. You are everything to me. You are my wisdom and my fire, the reason I am who I am, the reason I do what I do.

But I couldn’t. I was awkward, embarrassed, afraid. Anything other than the above would be a denial, I wouldn’t even have to say no. 

Today I contemplated the boat story again. This was, I think, the first time for a long time that I’ve been able to be in the story and let it take its own life. It feels like it anyway and I’ve missed that.  

Anyway, I was in a small rowing boat on my own, being tossed about all over the place. I was sick over the side and I lay on the bottom of the boat with my arms and legs braced on the sides. I felt like I just wanted to die. 

God help me!

I cried. the next thing I heard 

Sunflower.

and I sat up, feeling very woozy in the process. I could see Jesus in the distance, walking on top of the water. There was a fairly calm path to Him, but the storm was all around.  

Jesus, can I do that?

Come on then.

He replied. I stood up to step out and the boat wobbled. I put my hand out over the side (after sitting down again) and felt the black water giving way to me. 

I can’t.

I replied. 

Yes, you can, come on.

I can’t, I can’t.

and I started crying.

I’m not brave enough. I’m worthless. I have no courage and I have no faith.

He told the water to be calm and it became glassy smooth. He walked over and came into the boat with me. He held me and I cried. 

I’m sorry. I’m so useless.

He turned me round so He could cuddle me from behind. 

It’s okay; it’s okay.

He said, as He stroked my hair. 

Do you want to try again?

And we went back to the point where I cried out:

God help me!

It happened the same until the point where I stood up and the boat wobbled. This time I closed my eyes and stepped out. The water came above my ankles, but no further. 

You can do this.

He called to me and I walked towards Him. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes I would step in up to my knees and I would begin to be afraid, but He kept encouraging me. When I reached Him, He held me and helped me back into the boat. I was laughing and crying at the same time. 

I knew you could do it. You just have to believe in Me.

He said and He held me as before and stroked my hair and kissed the back of my head. He squeezed me tightly to Him and said:

Mine, and I’m yours.

The storm was all around us but in the eye of it was our calm, flat little bit of water with our still, safe boat.