Bit slow this morning, so had to dash to get to my counselling session (http://www.castlestreetclinic.com/). Must say that Kunu had a lovely summer skirt on - I was really impressed, but didn't dare say anything in case she thought I was being more weird than normal. Or maybe she's just used to that by now? Anyway, we had a good session, better than last week, I think. We talked about my weekend of silence, and how Lord H and I communicate differently and want very different things. Well, that's something I've known for a while but it's good to talk about it to someone else.
We also talked about faith, how I felt about possibly going to the Quakers and whether I thought that I might not go anywhere for a while in fact. Again, all subjects I've mulled over myself, but it's great to get them into the open. She asked me what I thought my faith actually was, and I tried to say that really it's what it isn't and what it might be that helps me most. Sometimes it feels as if my beliefs are a huge shadowy thing lurking underneath or to the side which I can occasionally glimpse, but if you try to grasp it or label it, it simply vanishes. It's only by not looking that you sometimes see, I think.
Funnily enough, (and bear with me, because it does make sense in the end ...) I think "Foyle's War" on Sunday was helpful - the police station spent two hours trying to solve a card trick where they had to form a swastika (or fylfot in its original 15th century Christian form, before the Nazis ruined it) with only four cards. They failed. Then Foyle told them to look at the background behind the shape of the cards rather than the cards themselves, and the problem was solved. That's what I feel about faith, I think - it's not the words which count, but what's behind them. I've spent long hours in churches over the years saying the words and doing the actions, but all the time the phrase, "this isn't what I believe or at least how I best express it" is jangling through my head. Trying to express my beliefs in words is like trying to put an elephant into a suit made for a mouse. It's just not bloody possible.
Also, it's similar to what I feel about facts and the truth. For me, the two things are very different, and truth isn't found in whatever facts are flying around at the time. I've tried to explain my opinion on this to people once or twice and always received the brush-off, but I still believe it. The truth of a person, the real truth, isn't found in the facts. People are more important than that. Which is why, I think, that when people - or I - lie about myself or lie in some other area (and I do - don't we all?), the lie may not be the facts, but it might well be the truth. In a deeper sense. We're all bigger than the sum of our parts. That, for me, is what faith is. Anyway, I think Kunu got my meaning, but God knows how she's going to write all that up ...
Back home, and armed with the Radio Times and a fresh wad of much-needed cash, I've been sorting out this month's competition entries, which include my poetry and novel entries for this year's Writers' Conference (http://www.writersconference.co.uk) - the brochure arrived yesterday, and I've had fun choosing my seminars and trying for a couple of one-to-ones with editors also. Ye gods, there's always hope. I'm putting both Thorn in the Flesh and The Gifting into the novel competition, but highly doubt Piatkus Press will be that into either. Way too violent in the former case for them, and way too much gay fantasy in the latter. I fear it's a waste of £7 (£7!!! Those entry fees get higher every year, I swear!). But there you go.
That done, I popped over to see Gladys, who is very frail and confused today, but did at least know who I am. Ye gods, she's one up on me then. We spent a pleasant hour finding the Radio Times (again!) and her trusty calendar to see if we could work out what day it was, and then I showed her how to turn on her television, as she'd forgotten. Can't say I blame her on either count, to be honest. Besides they don't make TVs simple these days. The remote control has way too many buttons on for normal folk. They should make something easier to operate - what is wrong with these companies!?
Tonight, I must try to do some more to The Gifting, as I'm beginning to get that pull. Like a long wire being drawn in from my chest towards my pad of paper. God, maybe I am weird. No wonder nobody (except Julia - thanks, Julia (http://www.myspace.com/juleswalker!) answers my emails. Oh, and there's "Sea of Souls" later on TV, so Lord H and I will have to watch that. He's always so hopeful it will end happily, and always so let down when it doesn't. Ah well.
Today's nice things:
2. Browsing through the conference brochure
3. Watching TV.