October 24th (yes Thor)

I had to go to morning prayers this morning, having unwittingly agreed to lead them: yay. With a broken piano and guitar, someone really didn’t want worship to happen, but he spirit prevailed. Then a talk about dealing with negative emotion, featuring a few obscure bible verses and half-baked theology to prop up my political agenda.

After cleaning, I said an unexpected hello to the sun, before heading to Costa again to continue my expedition into Lamentations. Normally in the Old Testament, God’s busy killing nations opposed to the Israelites, but this time there’s no racial discrimination; strange. Then the long-awaited conversation with Gethin, about psychology, intelligence, and the overarching wisdom of anime.

Double cinema time, first with Thor: Ragnarok. Please can I spend my life running around, trailblazing lightning? If the vacancy of hammer god is open, I’ll gladly take it. Hephaestus may contend that, but don’t know if I can supporting merging mythologies. Broke my year long Subway fast. Waiting for the twelve-year old buzz to return, but think it’s gone forever. Then watched The Party. Cillian Murphy has been intoxicating in every role I’ve seen.

October 23rd (embrace your humanity)

Monday’s are the only day at the moment when I can lie in, but are also designated as my Chi Kung and Pilates, pre-breakfast killer combo. This means I go from my highest state of lethargy to intense exercise within the space of an hour. I never stop breaking limits, with breakfast and lunch merges intonation unbelievably short time. There is no limit to my time efficiency, provider I’m allowed a ten minute leeway to any appointments.

Yet again, certain piano lessons concluded with surreal, improvised prayer songs; the best kind. And then followed by the coffee trip, where I balance my aversion to chain organisations with my need to sit quietly for an indeterminate length of time. Thinking about being a real person, and dealing with problems. When God created us, he said, “His is very good.” That statement covered our potential for success, but also unlimited failure. So why do we often act as if Jesus is hampered by our difficulties, like they need to be dealt with before “progress” can be made? He’s not as squeamish as we think.

October 21st (extremes)

Enjoyed observing the aesthetic on the walk to work. The placement of every tree, underpass, building and pavement is very fascinating. There is a strange comfort in the predictability that when I turn a corner, the same journey lies ahead as the day before.

Work was surprisingly manageable, with only a sustainable level of kitchen madness reached. Although my meditative, outdoor break time was defiled by a guy from the café next door talking to me. The walk back was like a mystical, ritual cleansing. When it’s raining heavily, it’s really fulfilling to get drenched when it doesn’t matter. These are the extremes I live; sweat in front of a grill, drown in a deluge.

October 18th (episodes)

Really appreciated Chi King this morning. Focused less on the timings and more on being; felt much more beneficial. The legacy of coronation chicken was carried into today’s sandwiches, and shall certainly endure for several more days, leading to a double intake of raisins. Also resentfully assumed the responsibility of bailiff for my personal finances. I hope one day I will have a clear idea of my cash flow.

Work was refreshingly quite today. The kitchen playlist dabbled in Thelonious Monk, before submitting to the inevitable Michael Jackson. My bladder mastered the hidden art of needing to be emptied just before a rush of orders came in. Completely unintentional, but great for a little selfish respite from not very much stress.

I had low-level, irrational anxiety about my hair’s cleanliness, so had to wash it, breaking my weekly cycle. Sorry Mother Earth for needlessly releasing chemicals into your belly. Then the evening took an episodic turn, with a music rehearsal that was uncannily similar to the last one.

October 16th (what rules)

After my weekly, Monday lie-in, I occupied myself with a mixture of exercising, watching Cowboy Bebop, and eating food at such times that didn’t fall under the labels of breakfast, brunch or lunch. Such dissolution of structure. Then headed off to teach piano. One lesson contained improvised songs, which were simultaneously dissonant, hilarious and profound.

In between all this was the traditional Costa trip, now appearing on a Monday time slot instead of Wednesday. The dishwasher was broken, so automatically decided to purchase a reusable mug instead of using a disposable one, in an irresistible reflex against environmental destruction. Didn’t reach any new, spiritual highs, but dealt with a lot of life admin. 

Dramatic windy times on Bole Hills with mixed feelings: should I have exercised my right to the last possible shorts day in 2017? I’ll have to wait fifty years to find out if I’ve caused damage to my kneecaps. The pizza fast was broken at the evening work social, and then cocktails for the first time in my life; I love alcohol.

October 14th (hello, it’s me)

All I can say is this life is probably very entertaining for a spectator, but looks like a car crash from my point of view. Actually, not really sure what I think or feel. My self-awareness has reached an all time low, which is strangely liberating. So completely unaware of my own desires; what I want, and what I think I should want. Time to step out of the introspective and selfish spiral.

All I know is that I was sorely tempted to have a second cup of coffee today, and only an enormous amount of self-control, and the disinclination towards an extra five toilet trips stopped me. For the first time in my life, wine seemed like the solution, but my descent into alcoholism has been reserved for another day. Ran from my confusion into a glory cloud, which inadvertently generated more confusion.

October 13th (patterns)

Lately, Fridays have assumed the structure of spending almost all my waking hours in a kitchen, and today was no exception. It felt like I’d lived a lifetime at work; then I checked my watch, and it was only two o’clock. How? Why? By what reasoning? Such fundamental questions as to who doles out the passage of time.

My digestive system has become quite reliant on curry, and is in disarray when without it, instead of the usual opposite. I enjoy starting and completing the entire process of cooking, listening to my own music, and with no interruptions. Carried on with the glory soundtracks afterwards. I don’t know if the music teaches me what to think, gives my mind permission to realise itself, or both. Was lying on my bed with the Father, trying to work out where I’m going wrong, and ended up receiving his loving embrace.

October 12th (morning has broken)

The morning routine has reached unprecedented heights; I managed to do Chi Kung, Pilates, and purchase milk for breakfast, all before 9:15. The back tension doesn’t know what to do. I can barely hold on under such an onslaught. Victories were slightly dampened by a cancelled driving lesson. Put my spare time to good use watching abortion and Friends. So much drama, so much laughter.
After writing a talk at church with Hyland, and an exceptional Tuscan bean soup, it was time for meaningful reflections on Ecclesall Road. I always visit this area when I need a good few hours of thought, as it reminds me of my time at uni, a period of constant flux. Listened to Halcyon Days by Ellie Goulding, the original glory soundtrack. Some crazy brain connections were made, which may need to forethought the political correctness sieve before sharing. Then curry wars at the Williams’. I’m sorry, but jar flavouring can never supersede the organic.

October 11th (no common theme)

Worked today, fairly standard. It brings me great peace when table 5 is available for my lunch break, although a screaming child didn’t nurture the initial atmosphere. The mysterious afternoon upset stomach retuned for a second day, with no identifiable stimuli. I thought my mind and body were totally in sync? Apparently not.

Relaxed after a shower listening to Muse; heavy space rock is always great for the nerves. Then randomly invented a worship song on piano while playing. Just finishing some lyrics, with as much Exodus imagery as possible. Then went to Restore prayer thing, which I found surprisingly engaging. Yay prayer.

October 9th (working and waiting)

It was time for Pilates to be resurrected into my normal routine. Since starting Chi Kung, I’ve fallen into exercise snobbery, believing it to be the final word on all things core strength. But I think this dynamic duo is the way to release random, morning back ache. Cue a mission into the loft to reattain my Pilates ring, an operation involving many risky manoeuvres. After risking lifelong spine damage for short term benefits, I later realised I didn’t even need to use it. But I live for that buzz.

Usual Monday floating ensued, drifting between piano lessons and extended coffee stops. Wondering if it’s possible to build a spirituality based entirely on encounter, without the need to behave, manage time, or “live well”. Jesus is definitely there, in the deep and shallow, with or without people, in eternal, defining moments, and everyday working and waiting. “For from him and through him and for him are all things.”