a pair

•January 22, 2021 • Leave a Comment

swans circling

the puddle – playground flooded

they stay close

Bernie Sanders

•January 22, 2021 • Leave a Comment

marvellous – for me a picture of love for life, not pomp: immediately understood and appropriated by many; love for life – sprouting tenderly, even in self-isolation. The other way of reading it: He had to be somewhere after also valid – we all do.

not yet

•January 17, 2021 • Leave a Comment

not yet dawn

birds outside compete –

pandemic still

for Rose Auslander

•January 12, 2021 • Leave a Comment


sitzt mit mir – ganz



joining the new year: Living with Purpose

•January 2, 2021 • Leave a Comment

my start returning

put on hold – no electricity at home

banished to a hotel: reprieve


As I have said, after 2 months away, it has given me time to get my bearings back on the small island I call home after two months of researching my European roots and outlook – to have my traveller state inadvertently extended by 4 days/nights to be spent in the cocoon of a budget hotel, happy to be suspended in limbo. Or perhaps I just needed to give my soul some time to catch up, after all the travelling. Further work involving travel is already being planned.

This time no coach driver said: ‘… me duck’ when I came back. But a black border control officer welcomed me back, me and my burgundy passport.

I have joined a journaling challenge for 10 days. So watch this space. Happy New Year…


Today’s prompt for the Journal: Living with Purpose

Immediately, I am reminded of the book I bought a few years ago – about living with chronic pain. It had not taken me long to realise, the kernel of the books’ message for me at that point was exactly that: Live your life according to what is meaningful to you. I certainly don’t always maintain that clarity, but I never quite slipped back into the state before I received that impulse. I had expected from myself to be clear about that ‘living with purpose’ – instead I found myself in denial even of my lack thereof.

And now, beyond my mid-60s, there is something else coming to the fore: The Meaning is in the Being, or it is not.



hold on

•November 15, 2020 • 1 Comment

brightest moment

flow  before beyond –

my life

virtuosity August 2020

•September 10, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A friend asked me recently, how does leadership from experience come about, what characterises it – thinking of her experience of trauma. which I see her already uses with virtuosity, I replied:

What comes to mind is a situation recently where I was asked to advise someone dealing with pain, confusion and a labyrinth of legal pitfalls of applying for Continuing Healthcare for an aging parent (in the UK). There is a sense of life in its complexity – pain and beauty is in front of me, at the same time I am in the middle of it, with a sense of clarity. Funny, I have called it virtuosity, even for myself – being tone deaf I am not sure how I came to choose a term from music…

life singing

in a broken –


open to the horizon

•July 15, 2020 • Leave a Comment

tonight I read a beautiful blog post by Sr Ilia Delio, a Franciscan Sr and modern academic theologian (and in my eagerness to reply got her name wrong). This is my favourite paragraph:

“…every event has an ultimate horizon, an absolute center of infinite possibilities held open for a particular response in this particular moment.  The ultimate horizon of each life-event is God.   There is no other God than the God of the eternal now.  God is not simply the ultimate horizon of life; God is the ultimacy of life in this moment. How I live in this moment, therefore, makes a difference to my eternal existence, to the final definition of my life, and what my life means for the world, since the final decision of my life—in this moment–is my irreversible contribution to the world…”

While I wish her well for her recovery, for me this piece of writing shows the embodiment of the insight others have had before – namely that healing (or recovery) is not necessarily the full restoration of physical health… – but the openness to Presence in everything. Thank you.


•June 15, 2020 • 1 Comment

a brief

moment listen

adds to my time


citizens assembly?

•June 13, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I wished I was more optimistic about what ca can achieve. I attended one local once on social care and the facilitators chosen (by whom?) were clearly afraid to be open and honest about critical issues as perceived by service users. I saw one trembling as she had to take notes. She was an NHS employee, if I remember. Let’s hope I am wrong.

being with

•June 11, 2020 • Leave a Comment

… my response to someone asking how she should respond to her mother suffering from dementia asking ‘when can we go home’ even though she has lived in her present house for many years:  The changes of the mind with dementia are bewildering and can even be frightening. From what you are sharing, I’d like to reply with my 2ps worth… along the lines – with people not suffering from dementia, when dying, symbolic language can often be recognised..And I think and feel it is important to say yes to that from the heart if one can. I knew an old spinster once who when dying with a great beam of a smile told me she was getting married now. I congratulated her. An older nun bedridden in the last stage of cancer said ‘I am getting well again’ – I nodded with all my heart as she looked at me expectantly. So how do you translate that into dealing with your mum? I don’t know how you will do it. All I can think of is to say: “I’d love to take you home mum, let’s first…” and then go on to whatever is possible to do, give her a foot massage, ask her to dry and put away the dishes, cut some onions or fold laundry… or listen to music from her youth… whatever is closest to ‘home’ that springs to mind…


•June 11, 2020 • Leave a Comment

(delayed response to Nancy Hillis’ blog post from May 17:)

… have lost ‘my place’ for this, so it goes here – not completely unrelated: You said in/with creativity we are between order and chaos… or words to that effect. My instinct to disagree has not gone away, and, tentatively I put it into words like this: If there is an adjacent possible, there is potentially a new order (yet to be found). Isn’t that what every minor or major ‘aha’ moment signifies? Even if it points to Life as its own Symbol (Raimon Panikkar).


see: https://nancyhillis.com/creativity-chaos-theory/


small town pavement, Jul 2011

•June 7, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Was it a Thursday -? I had been to see a solicitor down the road who kindly gave me more than 2 hrs for a free half-hour consultation. Now at lunchtime I was walking towards the public library to access the internet and write a few emails, as I was stopped in my tracks.

dusty heat under blazing pale sky

small town pavement – I know

my passionate presence: needed

That moment, that certainty would go on to sustain years of campaigning against injustice… without any certainty.

I remember once doubting during the first five years – should I give up? And – the clarity returned immediately: I have to see this through. I am learning, slowly, and slowly, opportunities show up. Now I have to increase my energy levels, not just stubborn resilience….

Six months before the moment on the pavement while I was working for an NHS Mental Health Trust, a patient made allegations about sexual abuse by her father. I initiated a Safeguarding Enquiry in line with my ethical and statutory duties. As a Safeguarding Meeting was being prepared, a Senior Consultant told me in a group meeting: “This (sexual abuse of that patient by her father) has long been a suspicion. At one point (the patient) threw herself down a flight of stairs. This was seen by some as due to the (father) kissing her more in a boyfriend-girlfriend kind of manner. The allegation was put to him but denied and Social Services did not take it any further.”

At the Safeguarding Meeting a few days later, I disclosed this information, again in line with my ethical duties and – protected by law. However, the law did not protect me from the defamation that followed: An experienced social worker, acting as my lay advocate at one Court Hearing reflected: “The way they are discrediting you, one can’t help wondering what else is going on there.”

The ensuing court case (brought because of my financial losses) so far has been riddled with legal mistakes. – No one likes a traitor?

In the summer of 2018, the then Secretary of State for Health admitted when questioned by an MP there were systemic issues in the way Whistleblowers in the NHS were treated.





I played that scene

•May 18, 2020 • 5 Comments

I played that scene for all that was in it,

for all that was in me, and

for all the coloured kids in the audience –

who held their breath, they really did,

it was the unmistakable silence

in which you and the audience

recreate each other –

and for the vanished little Leo,

and for my mother and father,

and all the hope and pain that were in me.

For the very first time, the very first time,

I realized the fabulous extent of my luck:

I could, I could, if I kept the faith,

transform my sorrow into life and joy.

I might live in pain and sorrow forever,

but if I kept the faith,

I would never be useless. If I kept the faith,

I could do for others what I felt had not been done for me,

and if I could do that,

if I could give, I could live.

Leo Proudhammer in: James Baldwin, Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone


Of course, I cannot claim to sense what James Baldwin’s young fictional actor might have felt during his breakthrough performance. All I can say is that his description seems breathtakingly apt for my life-changing experience when attending my second week-long psychodrama workshop in a residential feminist center in 1985. During the summer I had attended one that had opened my eyes when observing the workshop leader on stage: That’s what it is – coming alive.

Partly I felt taken back to my fascination as a 15-year old with the contemporary theatre in my home town of Stuttgart. Director at that time was Peter Palitzsch whose mission statement I would later read: Theatre simply has to change the world. – Without knowing of that sentence, theatre performances gave me at age 15 that much needed sense of the world being changeable.

Partly, as the psychodrama director improvised, I was taken back to my favourite painting, hung less than a mile from the theatre of my school days -. Caspar David Friedrich’s Bohemian Landscape, translucent with pre-dusk light. This picture had been a place holder for my own hope, my faith since primary school. An entirely anonymous faith – for which I had no name, no words. An elusive hope beyond hope.

Baldwin’s reference to faith offers rich material for reflection: Like his fictional protagonist, he had to shake off the abusive and bigoted ‘faith’ he grew up with. I found myself gently guided to an innate faith, without religion since primary school.



•May 7, 2020 • Leave a Comment

my heart held,

I reach out –

beyond world beyond me


•May 5, 2020 • Leave a Comment

an anchoress –

without enclosure or religion

even spitting out the word


editing some poems last night I came across a scrap note, a place holder – 10+ years ago someone, possibly a young Anglican clergyman, a chance encounter, when I described my social situation … replied: “Listening to what you are saying makes me think: of ‘anchoress.” Far behind, far beyond the religious label – there was a validation…. These would be some words that might show up if I were to turn the haiku into a haibun.





•April 15, 2020 • Leave a Comment

–  to the park on my bike, just before dusk. Doing my chi gong tree/freestyle exercise for 8′ – looking towards west, into the fading light behind the bushes and houses – I am reminded of CDF’s picture that saved my hope for me – when I could not quite enter into the space yet, but knew it was there – age 15, Stuttgart. – As I am turning…, suddenly the thought. Something has changed and then – the words: I am in the picture now.

art workshop

•April 15, 2020 • Leave a Comment

eyes wide open

I realise – truth

already known to my bones


•March 23, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Today a post about Viktor Frankl caught my eye in my facebook feed: Pain is to be avoided where possible but where this can’t be done – we need to find a meaning. I am not very familiar with Frankl’s writing and how it may have changed over the decades after his liberation from Auschwitz. From my experience, however, I’d like to add that ‘finding meaning’ can be misunderstood either as ‘making meaning’ or as ‘finding an authoritative meaning’ (as in: ‘God’s/biblical/religious decree’). My perspective is rather: To find the very individual meaning (and that is what Frankl started of with – the love for his wife that saw him through -), one needs to be open to let meaning arrive. Someone said, we all have an inner mystic. I prefer to speak of levels of consciousness – and the deepest one appears as insight or intuition arriving. That in my experience is the way meaning arrives, deeply personal insights that provide meaning – sometimes for a lifetime. I have in 15 years of looking for people with such an inner experience only met a handful in religious circles. Perhaps I did not recognise all I met. But it seems more likely that our inner mystic may show up, shine through at different points or aspects in our lives – love, a passion for science, a calling for a particular line of work or carrying forward a tradition… And this is where the annoying and frustrating inescapable lockdown at present can perhaps help – to dig a bit deeper into our respective personal sense of meaning – which we may have encountered before or it may have been with us only unconsciously. Now may be a time to ask: What is really important to me, what would I really want to live for – and it can arrive more deeply, more authentically in aloneness, that I am sure of. Even if it is a personal love for something or someone – it is personal and deep. So let it be. By all means, practice a new skill or renew a type of exercise – but don’t let’s amuse ourselves to death, as Neil Postman a generation ago warned. Let’s be real, let’s be fully alive, or as fully as we can. Human. Let the lockdown open us inside.

tenderness and co

•November 13, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I carry your tenderness

carry it in my arms –

carry it to an arms fair



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