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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fiction or fact?

Yesterday I posted about Dave Eggers novel The Circle. Today in reading the Spirituality and Practice newsletter I see that it features a report on what experts are predicting regarding the rise of technology. The two part Blog summarizes the report and then comments on the spiritual implications.
Well worth reading - especially in conjunction with the novel!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Uncannily on target book...

I've just finished reading an amazing (and somewhat scary) novel by Dave Eggers called The Circle. It is about what can happen when technology and social media become a 21st century "Big Brother" (as in George Orwell's 1984). Eggers always chooses a real issue of depth and his novels and non-fiction are definitely  worth reading. 

Watching the news last night, just after finishing reading this book, was uncanny! So many of the featured stories had something to do with internet scams, privacy breaches, social media issues, politicians sending inappropriate Tweets… 
Eggers is one small step ahead of where we are now with some salutary warnings. (And it's a page turning good read as well!)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

White Water Rafting

As I said in my last post I'm doing a bit of a "retrospective" look though past journals and poetry.
This is a poem I wrote in 1995 - but I still like it and identify with it!
As I think about the date I wrote this, I realize that it was just six months before my brain aneurysm so the "next challenge" was bigger than I anticipated when I wrote!


White water rafting in the caverns of my soul
terrifying, exhilarating -
this is no time to analyse
just hang on and go with it.

Hold the sides of the boat and lean into the curves.
No jumping out or going back now
No use trying to grab the solid looking rocks
that flash by - to hold onto them would mean
being wrenched out of the boat and left behind.

It's dark in these underground caves and
no way of knowing what is around the next bend.
Shooting the rapids one minute
Gliding calmly the next - the trick is
to be alert and fully aware of each moment.
All one's energy is focussed on just that -
Being alert for what each moment requires:
Holding on in the rough patches,
Relaxing and drawing breath when possible,
Ready then for the next challenge.

The river determines the route and the destination
This is no highway with multi choice exits.
The Guide gives instructions:
"Hold on, lean right, let go, bail..."
And I? I am committed to the river and the guide.
Trusting them, I will emerge into the light,
And in retrospect would not have missed the journey!

Sheila Pritchard
13 December 1995

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Then and now...

For a variety of reasons I've been looking back recently at earlier stages of my life. Maybe one day I'll write a memoir…? But for starters here are a couple of photos taken 40 years apart.
Left to right: Marie, Sheila, Bev. We all served as missionaries 
with SIM in West Africa.
This is taken in Nigeria at the SIM guest house in Miango where we came for conferences and holiday. Bev worked in Niger, Marie and I in different parts of Nigeria. Photo probably about 1974.
This one was taken this year (2014) as we celebrated a significant birthday for one of us! The waitress couldn't quite match the earlier photo to who was who now, so in case you are also wondering: 
(l to r) Bev, Marie, Sheila