Sunday, June 08, 2008

Friday Five on Sunday :-)

You don't have to know me for very long to know that details are, by and large, something I struggle with...I am so busy gazing at the wonderful vistas opening out before me that I have absolutely no sense of how I might actually get there and while I may not do six impossible things before breakfast, I'll surely have the visions for them. Doing is always harder, because that's where the details begin to matter...
Anyway, all this means that Sally's Friday Five seemed tailor made for me...but I didn't manage to blog it on the day because, wouldn't you know, I was busy getting lost on a long long walk - a perfect example of why those who prefer the big picture really need the details team too!
This is what Sally posted

1. How important is the "big picture" to you, do you need a glimpse of the possibilities or are you a details person?
I guess I've already answered that quite let me tell you a story to illustrate.
Friday is my day off, and this week, for the first time since I've been here, I had a completely clear day. No friends visiting, no child at home on Study leave, and no huge and obvious household projects. So, I determined that Mufti and I would go on a voyage of exploration - or, as Polyphony is 2 hours drive away, a trek...I found a lovely website that listed lots of walks in and around Stroud, chose one that seemed to be about the right length, downloaded and printed it and set off to explore the Arlingham Horseshoe, a patch of land on the banks of the Severn.
We did fantastically to start with - wonderful views, beautiful weather, and I'd even remembered to take my iPod. That was quite interesting, actually...I rarely walk with it, and it did change the whole feel of the expedition - both inspiring me at times, and insulating me from the landscape at others. I reserve judgement as to whether or not it actually enhanced the walk overall..
For the first few miles, the walk followed the Severn Way, which is well signed, but it later struck off inland and things began to be more challenging. Finally, I followed instructions to cross a road and head over a stile, only to find myself confronted by a large and inpenetrable hedge with no hint of a path in any direction. At this point I really read the outline I'd downloaded
"You are advised to follow this route in conjunction with an Ordinance Survey landranger map, ref XXX..."
To cut a very long, muddy but still enjoyable story short, we ended up walking something like 3 times in the official distance, and only returned to the car by the most roundabout route possible.
Have I learned anything? Probably not. Details make me tired...even more tired than getting lost on a "guided" walk!

2. If the big picture is important to you how do you hold onto it in the nitty gritty details of life?
With huge difficulty. I try, I really do. I talk to myself about not despising the day of small things...but the reality is that when I engage with them, I very easily get bogged down. On the whole, I'm almost allergic to lists (though I do try - and feel a huge sense of accomlishment if I actually manage to use one successfully). Just before we moved from our family home to the Curate's house, I was in serious melt down. The move was a huge down-sizing operation, and the whole prospect of imminent ordination loomed large and alarming. On a Quiet Day with my vicar-school colleagues, I found myself walking through some beautiful grounds chuntering about all my worries. I stopped and sat down on a log...and as I sat, I noticed an ant doing what ants do best. Working. Very hard. Back and forth it toiled, intent on its own agenda of shifting pine needles from its path, completely oblivious to the glorious May morning, a symphony of blue skies, birdsong and hawthorn blossm which was unfolding around it. Then I heard God laugh. God laughs at me quite often, - usually when I'm taking myself a sight too seriously... I was indignant for a moment. After all, all the things on my list, all the plethora of worries and Things To Organise, were a result of my obedience to God's call. But when I went inside, I found myself drawing a (very bad) picture...of the ant, the grass stems that loomed in Andean proportion over head, and far above the sun, with the caption "God said to the ant "Look up! Try and see my bigger picture" " On the whole, I think I've learned that lesson (maybe too well sometimes)
3. Name a book, poem, psalm, piece of music that transports to to another dimension ( one....what am I thinking....)
Oooh....Bach B Minor Mass takes me straight to heaven.
Will that do?
Clearly, there are endless alternatives - most of them choral, probably Baroque or Classical...It's my route into the glory beyond, while I'm here.

4.Thinking of physical views, is there somewhere that inspires you, somewhere that you breathe more easily?
The sea, the downland around Beachy Head in my native Sussex...and those high open spaces around Gloucestershire that feel as if they might be cliffs just above the shore (if only the ocean had not unaccountably vanished). When things threaten to overwhelm I find that lifting up my eyes to the hills (or better yet, looking down from the hills) does indeed bring me help.

5. A picture opportunity....Here's one from Rodborough Common this very afternoon. Lots of head space, lots of perspective...exactly what I need to keep me afloat! I love it.


RevDrKate said...

Oh sweetie, this makes me MISS you! It's so inordinately you... love the ant story, what a good lesson in what is really important, yes?

Erin said...

I chuckled about your comments about lists. I too make them but have a real challenge actually using them. My mom is a huge list maker and I grew up thinking that they are a moral imperative.