Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Andromeda galaxy

If it were dark I would take you outside and with the aid of some optics, show you the heavens. Stars, Nebulae and galaxies spread out to infinity, light displaying energy from the beginning of time, reaching us here and now. Andromeda galaxy is about two and a half million light years away and as we look at it, we are looking back to the age of the dinosaurs. Andromeda was formed out of the collision of two smaller galaxies between 5 and 9 billion years ago. These scales of measurement are often outside our natural thinking and take some understanding.

In the beginning was God and nothing had its being without Him, God in the brightness and God in the darkness; Gods presence in all things. We focus and see easily the brightest of these stars and in the density of the galaxies we see form and movement; God in the immense and God in the smallest of detail. To see into deep space, it is necessary to have the darkest of skies.

We see things in black and white, left or right, right or wrong. Our evolution has been a sequence of choices, one way or another. Our opinions and behaviour is decided by these choices, one way or another. Our human need is for direction, we create a structure for how things will be; this will suit some, but not all. Differences cause friction when they could produce harmony, an orchestra consists of many instruments, musicians, a composer and a conductor; a symphony could be likened to a galaxy. Many of these structures exist; cultural, political and religious.

To return to the beginning is like looking out to the many galaxies; to the reference point of Gods presence in all things. Our reference is unity not separation.

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Travel Chest

It was a windy afternoon and following Sunday lunch when all was put away, my Mother and Father would take an afternoon nap. I went upstairs to find a comic but that was not what I was looking for. From the top landing there are four doors, well actually there are five, the fifth, taking you up the back stairs to the attic rooms. All houses have an attic of sorts, a place to store the stuff you don’t use but don’t want to throw away; and that was where I found myself, that windy afternoon.

Grandfather’s wooden chest (that’s my great grandfather) was standing under the skylight. Grandfather had made it himself, an intricate piece of furniture with many drawers and compartments; this would have travelled with grandfather through Europe and across to Asia; father had told me many stories about grandfather’s expeditions.

The locks were strong but soon the great lid was lifted; I loved to poke around in the chest to see what I could find. Some old medals, a compass, a pocket knife, spare buttons and a dice. I played Kim’s game, closing the lid and trying to remember all I had just seen. Opening the drawers and lifting out each separate tray, a set of drawing pencils and an old notebook. I sat back with the notebook and read how grandfather had planned his expeditions down to the finest detail (there were no mobile phones in those days).

An old envelope had been caught between two drawers, upon which had been written a simple message – Tom, write on this paper your hopes and dreams; illustrate your imaginings. Tom would be grandfather’s son (my grandpa). I opened the envelope and took out a small piece of paper, still blank, not a mark on it; perhaps it had always been lost?
I took the paper and one of the pencils and began to write and draw. It was not long before I had filled the page and it was then that I noticed, the paper was unfolding; twice, as it became four times it’s original size and now the creases had vanished, I continued to write and draw.

After a number of days and more writing, again the page was full, and again it unfolded twice (without creases) to become sixteen times it’s original size; now this gave me something I could really explore on. I kept this to myself as no-one would believe me, I had no evidence and I could not reproduce this phenomena.

A weekend away at grandpa Tom’s house and we were busy with a jigsaw, just the two of us. I asked him if he remembered an envelope from his father, which referred to hopes, dreams and imaginings; he said he couldn't remember but grandfather had brought many things back from his travels. I explained how the paper, when full, opened twice with no sign of creases, and this happened twice. I now had a very large sheet of paper but didn't think it would open again.

Grandpa thought for a while and then went to his desk; he brought out a beautiful pen, polished wood with ornate carving. He said, I think that big sheet of paper was meant for you, and if ever you get round to filling it, then this pen will enable you to go off the page. You will write upon people’s lives with the things you have to say; that’s how change is brought about. I asked if the pen was magic; he laughed and said, no, the magic is inside you and it has already begun to unfold.