August 12th (knowledge and experience)

I was feeling really impatient while doing Chi Kung this morning; at first I was really into it, then I wanted it to end. I started thinking of how the time spent doing it was extremely short in terms of the duration of my entire life, which helped. When I was walking to work, I suddenly had a massive appreciation of being alive. Spontaneous sprinting ensued, which also resulted in better punctuality.

After a day of constant verbal abuse in the kitchen, the Eastern theme continued with some wind-down Pilates. Then had an unexpectedly eventful worship session after tea.

I’m so used to the fact that Jesus is in everything, that I often forget there are times his presence is thick, in a way that defines a moment beyond the ordinary. Paul says in Philippians, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.” Traditionally I have a more experience-based approach. But after an encounter comes the ordinary, out of which is born knowledge of his goodness, which tends to be even more profound.

August 11th (mystical trees)

Most of today was spent experiencing a cultural revival, by which I mean a renaissance of all my pop music idols, idols being a positive term in this context, as all their music helps me chat with the Lord Almighty. Hello Lady Gaga, Macklemore and Justin Bieber. Offensive language needn’t get in the way of a spiritual rinsing.

On the way to Ben and Grace’s leaving party, I walked through the cemetery. I only found out about this place when I moved away from that area, but it’s really atmospheric. This evening, the combination of trees and misty rain sent me on a nature energy bender. I often think it’s beneficial to get slightly lost. Many hijinks ensued at the house, including deceptively strong punch, and erotic mirrors.

August 10th (goodbye mr gray)

Had an interview at the Department for Education today. Found it interesting that there was a collection point for a food bank our church helps with. Not that I agree with the Conservatives regimes, but they always get slandered for their poor approach to low-income people, but there is never any mention of clear acts of charity in a governmental building.

Went to Peace Gardens afterwards, and after a sustained effort, finally finished The Picture of Dorian Gray, and can confirm it isn’t a prequel to the Fifty Shades series. It has its elements of fantasy, but none are sexual. Also bought an amazing new pan; thirty centimetres of pure frying potential.

In the evening, I made the executive decision that watching anime would be more entertaining than reading the bible. This judgement was probably true, but now I’m feeling the Song of Songs vibes.

August 9th (service)

Started early at The Cabin today. I enjoyed setting my own morning vibe in the kitchen with music. It was a weird day, with a really late lunch rush. Working in a food establishment has really altered my perspective of what customer service is. Sometimes people can have unrealistic expectations, and not understand that problems sometimes occur, that the server doesn’t want to happen.

I have a flawless bag system, whereby I always keep my essentials in my rucksack, so that if I have that one item, I have everything. Where this falls down is on spontaneous occasions where I falsely believe my organisation skills supersede this structure. One such occasion was me going to Sainsbury’s to buy popcorn without my bag, so I could have the experience of walking without a heavy load. Unfortunately, I had the knock-on experience of forgetting my wallet.

Had tea tonight with some friends. I truly believe there is no limit to the amount of sauce I can eat, of any kind. We decided to watch The Wedding Ringer. I was crying with laughter, but it also had some meaningful themes about friendship.

August 8th (drifting)

I realised after watching a video on YouTube, that I’ve been doing one of the Chi Kung positions wrong. Now by the end, my body isn’t in total rebellion against my will. Excited for my chi networks to become more flowing.

I went down to church to have some random chats and print off some things, which should only have taken a few hours. But then the promise of free Nando’s chicken at lunch caused me huge delays, thus compounding the impossibility of me ever leaving that building on time. Then went to town to get some exciting purchases, including my next wave of female vocalists, and socks. Had a meeting with careers at uni, only to find out my understanding of geography hadn’t improved much since GCSE, and I was a mile away from the correct room, a minor problem overcome by the telephone.

Decided to have a coffee, as another questionable investment wouldn’t go amiss. Thinking about how I don’t want achieve success, such as earning loads of money, but self-realisation. Jesus asked me to read Psalm 37:

Commit everything you do to the LORD

Trust him, and he will help you.

Be still in the presence of the LORD,

and wait patiently for him to act

August 7th (artpop)

Sometimes when I listen to one of my favourite albums, I feel a sense of closure that means it’s finally fallen out of my current, most-played albums. Not that I don’t like the songs any more, but the message they carry is no longer relevant to me. This happened the last time I listened to A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay, and since then, I’ve been categorically listening to my other ones, in a bid to find out which themes of my life I need to hang on to, and which to leave behind. I listened to Artpop by Lady Gaga while cleaning, which is still a firm favourite. Obviously sexual offensiveness still needs to be high on the agenda.

After lunch, I helped Jayne with some DIY, although hindered is probably more the correct term. I spent the next few hours trying and failing to pinpoint where my frustrations lie. In the end, it was solely the lack of perfection that irritated me. But we have freedom to fail in this universe of forgiveness.

August 6th (city of a thousand planets)

Several activities managed to coalesce into one, coherent whole today, beginning with the delightful task of cleaning the Playtime Centre at church. This then allowed me to stay for the start of the service and worship, before ditching everyone for the boring part, and powering back up the hill for lunch with Gethin, Grace and her mum. I enjoy our conversations of tearing all beliefs and established modes of behaviour to shreds.

Then went to Cineworld to watch Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets with Luke. Totally absorbing, and with a surprisingly unconventional storyline. It was also quite stylistically similar to animes, being based on a graphic novel. I was planning on watching another film afterwards, but it wasn’t screening anymore, which threw my trajectory off course. I was probably better off with a break anyway.

Submitted to the overruling desire for sugar, and bought some cookies on the way back home. Was reflecting afterwards how my fixation on perfection alters how I view criticism, because it makes me feel I could have done better, even when the problem is abstractly, or not even, related to my performance.