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Showing posts from February, 2019


Jesus said look again. The Kingdom of God is as close to you as your own hand. God is never absent and never far away. What stops us seeing and living in the Kingdom is us. We see what we are habituated to see, and the effort required to get out of our own way is too much for most of us to bother with. So God's call to us is to want to see, and to give consent to Gods action in removing our preconceptions. Easily said, I know. The way past our own inner filters is to be still. To let the constant parade of our ideas and memories and emotions gradually settle, and for a brief time to be present to this elegant, bewildering, complex, overwhelmingly beautiful universe.  Photo: Clemency has roses growing around her vegetable plot, and this is one of them. I took this with a Nikon D750 and a Micro Nikkor 105/2.8. F8 to give a reasonable depth of field but not so much as to bring the background into focus, iso 200 to give as little noise as possible and 1/800 sec to make the numbe

Pictures from the long commute

Just before Christmas Bridget broke her ankle rather badly, so Clemency and I parked our caravan in her driveway in Rolleston and have been there ever since, pretty much, helping with the grandchildren. I've been back to Dunedin most weekends, leaving early in the morning and timing my setting out according to where I want to be when the sun rises. This time it was the Moeraki boulders. Once or twice it was Oamaru, with the old limestone buildings glowing in that early light which bounces golden under the clouds and leaves long strong shadows  Or sometimes it is the wetlands which space themselves conveniently along the route from Dunedin to Timaru   I know this road well, and its odd how familiarity shortens it. The four and a half hours is taking on the feel of normalcy.


Our self perception is shaped by the way we see ourselves reflected back in the reactions of others. They smile at us and speak to us and we know we are valued and wanted. They look hurriedly away or move hurriedly on and somewhere inside we note the sinking feeling that accompanies a diminishment in our selves. Of course when we are mature and robust in our self perceptions these things matter less, but we are never unaffected. This is why the most important skills we can teach children are  social. This is why isolation exacts such a toll. This is why the Western fetish of individualism is such a destructive idea, and why we need each other: our very sense of self depends on it. Of course reflections are not always accurate. In fact they are not usually accurate and have as much to do with the current inner state of the other as they have to do with us. Which is why discernment and the ability to reflect on ourselves are right up there with social skills as necessary human tool