Remember that night, when we walked through the forest, and the glow-worms were like a magical fairytale pathway that we skipped along? It was as though, for a moment we’d wandered into one of your cheesy poems. The glow-worms twinkled, the trees whispered, the forest rhymed.
I want to have those days all over again. Talk all night. Write sonnets. Wag school and drive around with J, plotting the next prank… just no letterbox blowing up in front of me, ok? Drink nectarine nectar at the garden centre. Get pissed off at how damn stubborn you can be. Fall in love, together, with everyone, with life.
In my mind you are sitting on a bridge, down behind the cottage, waiting for me. Playing pooh-sticks. Smiling at some private joke that you’ll never tell, no matter how much I plead. Smiling because the sun is shining, warm on your back… because the sun is always shining, somewhere, and you always find it.
I know you liked this poem. You always were the cheesiest guy I ever did meet. Today, on this anniversary, I need a bit of cheese.
I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an after glow
of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun
of happy memories
that I leave when life is done.
Yup, the after glow still keeps me warm, still makes me smile, even through the tears.
Miss you so much.
Love ya always.
Christopher James Stockdale Cowan (My Old Sock).
27/09/78 - 31/07/06
Went to see Amazing Grace the other night (enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Was expecting an earnest political movie – which it was, but also very funny). In the movie Thomas Clarkson, founder of the Committee for Abolition of the African Slave Trade, tells Wilberforce, "We understand you're having problems choosing whether to do the work of God or the work of a political activist." Hannah More, an activist for various humanitarian efforts, finishes Clarkson's thought: "We humbly suggest that you can do both."
I love that line, and find it inspiring. Unfortunately, at the moment, I don’t think I’m doing either. I’m not doing any sort of political activism. Unless you count indoctrinating the Sunday school class with eco-anarcha-feminist ideologies. Which I suppose qualifies as the work of God too. But that’s only 45 minutes a week. I don’t seem to be doing anything… else. The stuff I used to do. Painting. Marching to parliament. Writing poems. Writing submissions. Meditating. Planting trees. Praying. Reading books. Reading blogs. Writing blogs…
What am I doing? Struggling to work fulltime, which feels like I am constantly running to keep ahead of an avalanche. Doing the bare minimum of housework, exercise, various medical appointments, eating. Every day there’s at least a dozen things I forgot or didn’t get around to. Then I fall into bed, too late to get enough sleep before I have to get up and start all over again.
How do other people do it? Work AND have lives. And still find time and energy to blog about it.
I think it’s partly that the job I am doing is particularly draining and stressful (especially right now). I am actively seeking employment that has nothing to do with spreadsheets, invoices, or The Church.
But, before I start moaning about work (because that could go on and on…) I’ll say that those 45 minutes a week of God and Political still have moments of awesomeness. Today we read a bunch of creation stories from around the world (amazing how many start with the sky and ocean, or darkness and ocean, or just the ocean… or start with a voice or word).
Then we wrote our own creation stories. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I want to keep teaching the Rainbow Room. I’m getting pretty tired of it. But every time I make up my mind to quit, they come up with something utterly beautiful, and I think, if I quit, I’ll miss out on all this!
In the beginning…
Creation stories as told by the Rainbow Room kids.
In the beginning there was nothing. No sky, no ocean, no air, no colour, not even white. It was nothing, just stillness. God was sick of nothing. God decided after millions of years – it gets boring. God made light and dark – day and night. It was happy. On the second day it made sky. It made blue – the first colour. It was dry, the sky, so it made oceans, and rivers, by creating cirrocumulating clouds to rain down water. It was happy.
On the third day it made land to balance the sea. It made mountains that bit the sky and made green waves of nature. It created glade air freshener in forest, sea and plant smells.
On the fourth day it created electricity to give the electrons something to do. One day a few months later it was lonely. It went into the pet shop (it created) and took a tortoise and 5 elephants, put the 5 elephants on the tortoise, and put the world on the elephants. It wanted to give the world a name; Earth he thought. God discovered: He has a gender!!! So he painted himself blue and started a race called “nac mac feegles”… CRIVENS!!!
- Pese age 9.
(The fact it was time to pack up and I told her she had two minutes to finish may have something to do with the blatently plagiarized ending of this one…)
Before the world there was nothing but land, but then someone called Camron, he comes and is the only person who has power and the one who used it to make water over the world and that was the first time they had ever seen water. He made the sea. Then one day he said to them “here, taste it” they said back “no! it’s disgusting” then they said “ok” that’s how they got water, how the world got water.
- Ursula, 6.
In the beginning everything was nothing. Then Outomy the great inventor made a very powerful stick and wherever you point it there shall be excitement. Then one day she pointed the powerful stick at the grand pit and water fell in. She called it the great sea. God gave her much thanks for giving his/her world more excitement and life, and from that day on people swam and had fun at and all around the world and the great sea.
- Savannah, 12.
Hunter was bored. It had been fun at first having power beyond everyone’s belief but it got boring because nothing else had belief. He today had planned that he would fly into the atmosphere, so he did. Once he got there he decided to muddle up Matus and Satras (they’re planets) so he put Satras on top of Matus causing a chemical explosion. When it cleared he saw a new planet which he named Earth. He flew into earth and it had life.
- Matthew, 8