Back from holidays today, feeling terribly sad at the news of the death of an old friend – it wasn’t unexpected, there had been warning, but even so it is impossible to believe that someone so alive, and with so much to live for, could have died.

There is such cruelty in being human, where the will to live and all the love in the world doesn’t heal.

After a hard year – and the hardness of my year is nothing compared to many – i think i’d rework the traditional themes of advent, and instead use vulnerability, courage, fear and desperation. they seem the four ‘human’ poses in the biblical story of the nativity, and i think they’re the four most human responses to life – they’re at the core of our being, but we don’t know how to live with them. it’s into that space that the divine is born – naming the space, and opening it up, might let the divine do what the divine can.

I’m back in the prison for the next few weeks, doing advent and christmas. I think that’s what we’ll go with. It’s a different group of men this year, many of the old regulars have moved on, who knows what will work with them this year… i like that I can’t know until i get in there. It’s harder, but it feels more honest.

It’s good to be back. there are going to be some changes around here over the next couple of months. more about them soon.