An excellent book covering issues of "true self/false self". What I particularly liked was the way Pitchford, as a sociologist, came at these issues from a slightly different perspective. I also enjoyed her very honest and down to earth illustrations from her own life. I would definitely lend this book to anyone struggling with the "who am I" questions - especially if they have had hurtful and difficult past experiences that cloud their sense of self.
Pitchford is a third order Franciscan and quotes people like Richard Rohr and Ilia Delio - who are perhaps better known contemporary Franciscans.
This is an
intriguing story linkingWorld War 1 to the present day. The thread is a
valuable painting and the circumstances in which it disappeared during the
German invasion of a Parisian town. The heart of the story
addresses what happens when it is discovered in the 21st Century, in
an era of "restitution of stolen art works". In typical Jojo Moyes
style she brings all the characters alive and weaves in the historical setting
in a way that certainly kept me reading right through the final twists and
turns to a very satisfying ending. (The version I borrowed from the library has
a different cover.)
have seen the movie Woman in Gold, this book has an interestingly
similar plot. Woman Gold had a WW2 setting whereas The Girl You
Left Behind begins in WW1.)
As I was walking around the lake this morning a man and his toddler daughter were walking towards me. When the little girl saw me she starting running towards me holding out her arms to be picked up! I caught her in full flight and scooped her up, asking her Dad if that was OK. He was fine with that and we stopped and chatted of course. The little girl was snuggling into my arms and pointing out the ducks and dogs (calling them all bow wow!) Dad told me she probably thought I was someone else - but that didn't spoil my enjoyment! He and his wife and daughter are from India and go to a church near here where an older woman has befriended them. Apparently I look like her. After I passed Elis back to her Daddy she reached back towards me and wanted one more cuddle. Elis was wearing a hand knitted cardigan and matching cap - obviously a much loved child who is secure enough to give and receive love freely. A beautiful start to my day!
Did you know that most Monarch butterflies only live from 2-6 weeks after they emerge from the chrysalis? Just long enough to mate, lay eggs and begin a new generation. However, the fourth generation of Monarchs "winters over" in some convenient location. One of these places is a tree in a park near where I live. I discovered it a few weeks ago and visit regularly as more and more butterflies find their way there. Here's photo of part of the large gathering, plus a closer view of just one Monarch warming itself in the sun. (You'll have to look closely at the "gathering" to see that many of the Monarchs have their wings closed. It is very hard to get a good close up when they are so high up in the tree!) If you want an excellent eBook with the full story of the Monarch including excellent photos, videos and points of spiritual reflection click here.
A question: Where do you go to "winter over" in the cold, hard times that come at any time of the year? Maybe it is not an external place but a place of inner resources...
My normal way of meditating is on my prayer stool, in my bedroom with my eyes shut! But yesterday I found myself having a second time of meditation sitting on a grassy bank under a tree with my eyes wide open! Somehow the gently lapping waves and the autumn sunshine on a quiet beach invited me into a silence that was deeper than just "a pleasant walk on the beach". So for 20 minutes or so I just sat and opened myself to the sensory beauty of warmth, sounds, sights and stillness. Of course photos can't re-create the atmosphere but these two remind me of an unexpectedly grace-filled time.