I’ve been inexcusably quiet on the blog front. There was a reason though.
As If, is my next book. And I’m learning to tie it to the blog as a win-win for us all.
It is due late 2016 and I’m giving an early taster here for first readers….Next book- free chapter
Today I’m releasing the first publically available partial chapter for my readers. I look forward to conversation about the key theme RETROSPECTIVE FAITH.
With all its invaluable hindsight, we are visiting today from the future.
We would all love to reduce the likelihood of the really expensive mistakes we make in our lives. They are decisions of direction, withdrawal and investment. Be they decisions about our time, money or energy, we tend to approach these pressure points with heady delusion, imagined invincibility, fearful damage-limitation or potentially out-dated and irrelevant second-hand advice.
Here’s a thought.
What If you could look into your future with the benefit of hindsight?
Let’s do it.
Let’s zoom in now on a chat between me and my future great granddaughter Trea. This one took place in 2054-
“What are you Grami?” asks Trea, my seven -year old great-granddaughter.
(She is in complete ignorance of the enormity of this simple question).
We are sharing an ice-cream treat in the retro dairy creamery where historical narratives of the 20th Century rural and waterway industries are exhibited. Trea is wondering who I would choose to be, of any character in the whole world. I glance at her talented drawings of fantastic creatures and smile. Our leisurely setting and my characteristically philosophical interpretation of her question is an irresistible trigger for reflection.
Am I a product of what I did? Who I knew? Or where I went or what I desired? She has me thinking and whilst she entertains herself with animated drawings of Specio the morphing magician I ponder at the possible answers I might give.
I cast my mind back to the flurry of inspiration that was the time when I wrote my first book “Disentangling Genius”. Maybe this would be my last: a book end of the first? The start of my life as an author had been cathartic, an exciting and interactive process. Yet, I had always been a writer and had known this all along.
Three main strands were described in that book, in which I took stock of a frantically frustrated life.
A black, nightmare strand of fear had almost wrecked my sanity. Eventually it redeemed itself as strength, clarity and a just return of all my perseverance. Then there was the red strand of self-conscious embarrassment that I finally re-interpreted as blood-red boldness and daring. Thirdly, I unpicked the bright green of demanding and overwhelming responsibility.
By my mid-forties this tangled trio of colours had matted and caught on the spinning wheel of my life and I had had to cut loose, pay attention to the series of knots, gently coax, lean into and loosen the snags. The rest of my life had been a faithful and more selective design of these threads. Oh, and the green thread…it became the soft green element of recreation and playfulness. Surely this was the perfect complement to the courage of maturity!
Trea certainly thinks so.
Here I am in May, 2054. I am a re-created artefact of all of those things. The threads were essentially tangled unwise choices I made, based on presumption, imagination and even fear. Later, converting these knots more effectively into hope, faith and sometimes inspired risk, my patterns and rhythms changed.
Who does that make me?
It makes me the person I have become, at eighty-nine. Perhaps not who I thought I would be; perhaps someone better than I ever would have been. Certainly better than I fundamentally believed I was. So what beliefs did I hold about me for so many years that brought me here? What beliefs could sharp little Trea do well to uphold if she aspires to everything she can be?
“God is watching us, God is watching us,
God is watching us from a distance”.
She gently sings.as she concentrates on a scribbling a fantastical feathered headdress.
Never liked that song! I think.
Any developed sense I now cherish of an intimately familiar and loving God is not exactly helped by the thought of Him peering over the lip of a cloud bank with sniper-like binoculars trained on us. As if she can read my thoughts, Trea looks up earnestly and appeals “How can God be with us if He’s distant?”
hat is how this account began; how I explain God can be watching us from a distance and yet, with us. Intimately involved with us in the creation or re-creation of our lives.
And that leads us neatly to the three benefits of hindsight
- We get to realise what we are ultimately here for
- We then intuitively know which decisions take us there
- We will rapidly recognise exactly who is meant to be going with us
Now, here’s your chance to feedback on the concept of As If, my next book. Written with the benefit of hindsight, as if I am elderly, this is a pilgrimage imagined through the eyes of my future self as I remember my lessons in conversation with Trea.
I would love to test/crowd-source readers’ responses to this extract of the book that is coming out before Christmas 2016.
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