Monday, 24 January 2011

I done wrote a blog

My good friend Mr Clive Parnell (@Parney on twitter and formerly known as Cliff Parcel, but that's another story) asked me to write a wee post for his blog. It's on create here.

What do you think - am I a blubbering idiot?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Access no areas

At 7.30 one morning last year, I arrived at work and pressed my ID badge up against the reader. Nothing strange there.

Except, nothing happened. No green light, no revolving door. Nothing. The thin red light shone as bright as before.

I did the usual human trick of trying the same thing again (but turned the badge over). That was bound to work.

Nothing happened again. Same little red stripe of light looking at me dispassionately. (This was the right building, thanks for asking). And I wasn't made redundant the previous working day. Was I?

Something was clearly wrong. So I tried two other doors and the same thing.

On the way to the security guard I got to thinking. Have I been "deleted"? If the events of the previous two weeks are anything to go by, then anything is possible. There were a load of people put at risk of redundancy, but I wasn't one of them.

The experience got me thinking about what it means to have access.

And what it means to give access. Who has access to you? Who do I give access to my inner thoughts. My wife, my friends, my parents?

Should just
anyone have access to me? Is it better to isolate and avoid all the hassle? Probably not.

Aren't we born for relationship? We thrive in community settings - particularly when those are spaces of grace and make room for diversity.

It's either that or isolated introversion (is there any other kind?). That often leads to a calloused heart. Which we could all do without, I'm sure.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

water works.

I've found myself much more likely to cry recently. It's not an easy thing to say, but it's the truth. I'm sure I won't be the first person to say that, but there you are.

What points me towards precipitation? More often than not, it's stories. Stories about life, allegories intended to teach, hopeless and hopeful stories.

Our traditions of storytelling are many and varied, and the ones I connect with most obviously are probably films. But books do it for me too. In fact some recent songs have brought me to tears.

It's usually tales of reconciliation that get me the most. Of estranged family members reconciling. Of the lost child coming home. Of the proud parent realising that love is more important.

But it's the reality of the story that makes it all the more compelling for me. That doesn't mean it has to be in what we'd call the "real world", or in the present. But it has to be *real*. Which is something else, isn't it.

So it's good to weep. It helpful to admit that we aren't that pillar of strength - a rock that cannot be shifted. We are human, after all.

If it's great news or something devastatingly harsh, tears are alright.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Eight Thirty

After a few people suggesting I should get involved, I started to blip on my birthday.

I intend to post pictures taken at or as close to 8:30 each day (am or pm). I'm hoping it will be one way to express my three words for the year and also to get my thinking about photos more.

The blip journal is imaginatively entitled eightthirty. Such creativity...

Do you blip?

Monday, 10 January 2011

(The Meaning of Life - 10) = today

I have been blessed with many gifts today.

Air in my lungs, for a start. A beautiful family. A warm, dry place to live and a fun pace to work too.

Loads of Birthday greetings on my Facebook page. Thank you for each and everyone of them.

I got to spend some time with Henry today, for the first time in years. It was great to see him and share stories.

Life is always better with stories.

Some friends sent some fertiliser to South America on my behalf today too. Which was nice. But Oxfam told me where the gift was being given and the impact it had. Through the farmer's story.

Mrs theWeir made some glorious cake (though, technically, I have had that for a couple of days now). Sharing the cake with some folks has led to sharing stories. (Sorry, Mum, it may be all gone by the end of the night).

I got a wide array of gifts too. They made it into my first Blipfoto entry today.

But what really struck me today was Henry saying "wow, I didn't recognise you". It was a bit of a gift.


I don't want to be a carbon copy of myself year after year. I want to grow. I want to mature. If I don't then perhaps I'm not fully alive.

Being alive is really important.

Liam reminded me of these words last night:

"This is your life, are you who you want to be?". I think that today, I am more of the person I want to be than I was yesterday. How about you?

(here's the band playing the track in session)

Happy Birthday to me!

Mrs theWeir made me a cake.

Lemon cake, topped with pomegranate and pistachio. Yum.

Posted via email from theweir's posterous

Sunday, 2 January 2011

it'll only take a minute (and other excuses we tell ourselves)

When out doing a workshop at a local High School in December, I sat down at the computer workstation to perform a short series of simple tasks:

Insert USB memory stick;
Locate specific slideshow;
Launch that file;
Display the slideshow.

Easy. Quick. Done in a few seconds. Then I noticed the workstation. It looked like the picture above.

Other than when in the office at work, or working at home, most casual computing (searching for something, connecting on Twitter or Facebook, playing an online game) is done in an iPhone or iPad. So, I would usually only sit down at a computer to do a longer list of tasks. I would also make sure I was in a good sitting position.

But it wasn't always like that. I used to open the Powerbook just to check something and then still be there an hour later, locked in the same position. How many of us have thought "I'll just go on and do this wee thing and find ourselves off on a Google rabbit trail, or remembering there were 7 other things we *needing* to do on the computer. Funny that.

So it struck me looking at this workstation in a school classroom that when I next sit down to do anything for anytime, make sure you are sitting comfortably. Then you can begin. And have any hope of getting up again without a chiropractor...

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Three Words

I love you. (mostly)

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. (please do)

Drink TAB Clear* (eh?).

But this isn't about any of those sets of three.

Nope, this is about 2011. It's the first day of a new year and I'm not making resolutions, or rules I want to stick to in the year ahead. Rules for the sake of it aren't very life-giving. Inspired by what Chris wrote, here's my three:

Alive - Moments of life often slip by without noticing. Perhaps it's been the recent weather, holiday from work and Christmas season that's seen my watch more TV, do very little exercise and generally become a little passive. I'll be deleting a couple of games from my iPhone and hoping to be far more present - more alive in THIS moment. I owe it to people to be present and fully alive.

Growth - It's time to get some growing done again. 2010 felt like a season of pruning and maintenance. This will impact all of life, it's time to fail fast, learn and GROW. I'm hopeful there will be a physical sign of this in the garden at home too.

Proactive - Reacting is cool. Being flexible and helpful is great. I love it. But it's time to lead a little more. Not because I think I'm all that. Or that I've earned some right to do it, but it's just time for being more forward and less wait-and-see.

And that's me. Now to get some SMART goals and see what happens next.

What are your three words? Can you help me develop these three?

Grace and Peace for the journey.


* This is a reference to a claim that if you played the 1976 hit Combine Harvester by The Wurzels backwards, it said those three words...