Sunday, 13 June 2010


This post will have most valency for those who know me personally. For the rest of you, you will have to trust me when I say that I am a little 'in yer face', no - really! I seem to have boundless energy, a healthy sense of fun, have been described as comedically quick, and rarely stand still for long. One the whole, I must be knackering to watch, but all of the above serves me well when I visit the school.

I survive on batteries, like anyone, that require a routine recharge. My energies, despite appearance, are not boundless - they are really rather bounded. I do flag eventually - and then what?

I retreat into myself. I love space and quiet, and even with the love that I have for my wife and beautiful children, I seek space from them too. The missus is the same, so that is helpful. 

This all said, I am energised by being among others - but only in the way that an 'override button' delivers a few percent extra to whatever is taking place. I am energised by Presiding over the Eucharist, by meetings (sometimes), social gatherings and so on. The thing with that 'override button' is that it drains me faster. After a exhilerating Eucharist (is there any other sort?) I am exhausted - physically and emotionally. I am discovering therefore, that I have to find things to do on Sunday afternoons, for example, that grant me inner space and quiet. I have a very clear sense that we all have a 'spiritual room' (cf Henri Nouwen), and it is to that place where I retreat. This may even be in the context of family life, with the kids by my side hollering at one another - so I dig flowerbeds, mow lawns, I vacuum, I cook food. I find inner peace and solitude there - well, at least the sort that allows me to recharge. Once I am lost in my thoughts I am seeing the dial rise once again towards 'full'.

I am not sure where I want to go with this post - the contents have been growing in my mind all the day (and seventy seedlings later). The England caught in the raptures of World Cup fever feels a little like the inside of my head at times; while the country watches its team avidly and the noise of the cheering echoes around, the silence on the streets is palpable. The increase in clamour and noise brings with a clear growth in silence elsewhere. One exists with the other.

What charges your batteries? What drains them most rapidly?


  1. I used to say that I had my best ideas in the loo - that being the only place in the house that I could be sure of a few minutes solitude and I absolutely REFUSED to hold conversations through the toilet door for that very reason.
    When the Old Man went into hospital in 2000 that was the first time I had EVER been in that house alone since we moved in in 1983 - but there is plenty of peace & quiet there now.
    The moral of this tale - be careful what you wish for!
    LL (or YY)

  2. I get to the maximum level before retreating. In practice this means I fill every hour and then get ill periodically where I have to stop as I'm not capable of doing anything. This cycle has been running for some years now so I really should have learnt my lesson... I am trying to learn it though and when I remember, I read, garden or play the guitar, somewhere well away from the kids, all of which provide blessed relief from the madness and chaos of life.



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