"A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living."
— Luke, 15:13
It is, perhaps, because of my own tangled life, my walk through briars and thorns, along cracked sidewalks, wandering vaguely, lacking direction and attention, attracted to the lost, the lonely and the crazy, prey to addiction and other mental monsters, bowed but not broken, seeking faith, always seeking, that today I can consider myself an untangler, a listener, an integrator.
Life is inherently messy, and my journey has shown me how to navigate, over, under, around and sometimes right through the tangles and obstacles, learning as I go. There were times, also, when I simply embraced the chaos, dwelt there for a while and accepted what is. It is not by any divine providence that I find myself where I am today, in Sheffield, in love, inspired, but rather by a series of accidents that felt like choices, and choices that felt like accidents. Sometimes it's impossible to discern one from the other, and to even try is to lose the sense of mystery.
As expressed in self, I draw on my experiences in many different fields of employment to inform what I do today. Inevitably I am influenced in equal measure by those experiences in my adult life when I was unemployed or unemployable, the shadow days, the darker adventures where I met the more surprising people, the alcoholics, the drug addicts, the mad, the wild, the dreamers, the anorexics, the caetextics, the street walkers, the poets, the fallen angels. Everything connects, every past experience informs the present moment, and carves a pathway to the future. I am what I have lived, and I bring it all to bear in the work that I do today. This is my wholeness, my homecoming, my presence.
"So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him." — Luke, 15:20