… of God’s absence, and atheistic thoughts are in my mind.’. Gerald Hughes, in ‘God in All Things’, recommends this sentence as one to say to oneself when feeling what Ignatius called ‘desolation’: a lack of any sense of God’s presence. And it well describes my ‘default state’ lately: a sense of hope disappearing, a sense that I am alone on a grey sea, miles from land, adrift.
And yet… the leaves of the cherry trees are ablaze with autumn fire, and the copper beech has put its bronze lamé evening dress on, and the leaves of the tree in my neighbours’ garden (some sort of fruit tree?) are just turning, a pink blush suffusing the edges of the green; and the hills in the distance as I drive back from taking a friend to a cancer therapy session, are touched with the slightest of mists, that turns them from suburbia to a hint of rurality – and somehow a tinge of hope, a tiny bell-like sound, reaches through the cotton wool of my brain and stops me from giving up.
And in the last few days I have reduced the two-foot high pile of magazines on my coffee table to a six-inch high pile, and done lots of washing, and tidied clothes in my bedroom, and perhaps life is livable after all. In spite of the fact that I just had a call from son’s school asking if I’d remembered that today was a half day and that he was coming home right now. D’oh!