I apologise now for another bleak letter - it's winter so I thought you would understand.
Rat blood in the chicken house - blood blister on my lip having been headbutted by my enthusiastic whippet, and a son with a sore throat who is now unable to take enthusiastic whippet for a walk....and we are supposed to be going to Hereford to meet my daughter and son-in-law for lunch. Do you believe in purpose? I am lost to the footsteps of God.
I often question why we are here in this Welsh valley which is sometimes as black as coal. What is there for us in these hills and stones? Where is the harvest - the first fruits ? I remember sitting in the ICA cafe in London in the early eighties hearing a voice that said there would be a harvest...then I thought it would be to do with being who I am ...an artist with an artists mind on the world. God knows. Instead I got a job which at times has nearly killed any sense of living/being alive in me - but I realise that this is the case for so many people living in this age.
I am who I am despite being known as Paul the 'Nurse' by most people in this community. There is however a voice which still speaks - it is still alive despite being drowned every now and then.
We did make it to Hereford and had our lunch in a church where we talked of being real - being the failing people that we are and celebrating those who do the real things of life - work - get tired - look after family - look after their environment - walk the dog - make gardens, music, art, money ? argh how I hate the stuff...bring back bartering.
Monty I confess to you now that I crave attention, love and acceptance - it shouldn't surprise me that I do so, perhaps it is something peculiar to all of us even if we find it difficult to admit. Writing a blog, 'speaking engagements' making paintings - all symptoms. I love to be needed and wanted, to be useful to have a purpose. There is so much made of 'fulfilling your purpose' today that if you get it wrong you feel such a complete failure. Life is simpler than that. It's not about chasing things. The 'Guru' books question whether you are fulfilling your destiny - it makes me laugh because my ultimate destiny is death along with everyone else in this life. But eternity, that is another matter all together.
I now realise that I am not going to be the great speaker, artist, teacher that I thought I was destined to be ! Instead I am fulfilled by the sound of a robin singing, even on a damp dark morning, or by seeing the sun between the trees on a frosty morning - knowing everything will pass away all effort, striving, all fame and fortune. When the sun lights up a garden none of these things matter.
Paul (I will have to stop reading Ecclesiastes)