The Tall Wall

Hope deferred, it is said, maketh the heart sick

So also with blogging.  It maketh my heart sick week by week when my blogdeadline passeth without post.  I miss the community of readers, and I miss the clarity of thought that emerges when writing for others to read. I’ve long felt that you, reader, keep me honest.

So for this week, just as an appetiser, an attempt to jump-start my former habit, a toe in cold water, a leg over a wall; I have four quick thoughts:

Nigh on disaster for The Family From Paradise today on our first appearance after Christmas and Holidays.  My nerve failed and I allowed apprehension about the size of my nose* to drive me from the front row of church, where we customarily perch beside our pastors, to the very back of the back-most room.  I regretted my decision to hide as soon as I was hidden; but as with other temptations the deed was fairly irreversible once committed. Right now I am seated at our outdoor bench under its wide umbrella, itself under a cloudless blue sky.  A cool breeze carries the distant conversation of long-lived cicadas lazily recalling a rapidly waning Christmas, with satisfying antiphonal comments from Mozart through an adjacent open window.  In the security and peace of this position I can hardly comprehend the childish posture I assumed just a few hours ago: parked face-first into the narrowest corner of the back room. Meanwhile back on the front row a strange facial expression from someone up on stage had alerted my Favourite Wife to the highly inappropriate acts being committed by our 12 year old (I will say no more). Soon after I was summoned by SMS to the car: Favourite Wife anxious to beat a retreat home, and Little One loudly lamenting the forfeit of her weekly ‘church-strawberry-milkshake’.

An utter delight.  I can’t recall enjoying Christmas Tall Wallmore in all the years since I was a little boy, only slightly older than the three infinitely precious grand children who came to our home.  We had sixteen of our family here for a week-long feast of food and fun, life and love.  Amongst the numerous Christmas Improvements we made around our home is the Tall Wall.  It now bears the imprint of the youngsters (and of the old-sters, who insisted on having their heights recorded also); permanent proof that THEY WERE HERE! I drive Bugger past this spot often in a day, and honestly something of their presence lingers there still.  Once upon a time I would have let my theology interfere with an assertion like that; but nowadays I can’t be bothered. Life is too blessed to be spent in fernicketyness. 

You may have seen her name amongst the comments at the bottom of these pages from week to week.  Sharon never failed to respond to anything I wrote, either here or more often with a thought-provoking email.  Sharon was a Catholic Nun on the other side of the globe, and she passed away in January.  She was one of numerous people that befriended me through an online forum, back when I briefly shared their mutual diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease.  I became close to a dozen or so people this way, extraordinary friendships that grew in a clarity afforded by dire circumstance.  Our conversations were nourishing and deep, sometimes practical, sometimes comic.  Sharon was the last one to pass away and I pause now to remember her; and Ann, and David, and Joel, and Dianne, and Pam, and others. 

I have lived too many of my (slightly more than 50) years worrying.  I was once preoccupied; which is a dreadful way of life.  I pre-occupied the future, mentally taking residence in imagined difficulties long before they arrived, and even when the feared moment finally proved itself harmless I could rarely enjoy it, because by then I had occupied some other concern way up ahead.  I don’t do that so much now, even though there are a variety of rather legitimate concerns at hand.  I probably should be worried; but oddly enough I rarely am.  Especially not in the clear light of a few hours spent writing; at long, long last. 

I hope to see you next week.




*  regarding nose size, see Does my Nose look Big in This?

21 thoughts on “The Tall Wall

  1. Carla Bakes

    Absolutely rapt to have you back posting to your followers!
    All I can say is…if Sunday passes…post mon, tues, wed, thurs or even Friday, Saturday…we won’t mind at all – we just want to hear, read and glean some of your honesty and infinite wisdom..
    Good on you Ps Rod for rising up yet again…love to yr fave wife from me!

  2. Sonia Pavey

    Hi Rod, Great to read your latest blog, which has, indeed, been missed.

    Love to Karen and the kids, Sonia.

  3. Trish

    Great to read your 4 short blogs….how sad it must be for you Roderick to farewell your friends…would love to know what small one was up to…

  4. Kate

    Oh, so glad to see another blog!
    I certainly hope that retreating to the back-room business is sorted. By all means, do whatever you really need to do, but I hope you never again feel the need to hide. You are so loved and admired, and a blessing to so many.

    “mentally taking residence in imagined difficulties long before they arrived”…. sigh…Sometimes I think I am getting better at this, other times I am not so sure.
    (Your Christmas sounds lovely, my first grandchild is officially due in 9 days. A whole new season is on its way!)
    I hope to see you next week too. Blessings to you all. 🙂

  5. Beth

    Good to hear your thoughts whenever you can manage . Sorry to hear of those in your early support group. God bless.

  6. Rod, we don’t know each other, yet as brothers in ALS/MND, we know the intimacy of disease. I too am learning to blog with the energy and not the deadline. It is just part of the journey.

    Blessings my brother.

  7. Anne Marie Jonas

    It was lovely to read your beautifully crafted words again, Rod! Always inspirational. Don’t worry about things that may never happen or that you can’t control; that’s too exhausting. With every best wish, Anne Marie xo

  8. Andrew

    I was reading through pointless facebook comments, then out of the corner of my eye I noticed you were back!!! (Opps sorry I just remembered you dont like to many !!! of these) 😉 Love you good buddy See you same time same place next week. (No pressure 😉

  9. Sue

    Welcome back Rod, always inspirational. I love the Tall Wall. We will be welcoming our grandchild this year, we are looking forward to meeting him/her! Love to you both, Sue

  10. Nadia Humphries

    Just love love reading all your honest inspirational blogs Rod! You may not have earthly wealth but to have three beautiful grandchildren and all of your kids with you for a week is priceless, momentous time for you all

  11. The Handscombs

    Nice to hear from you again Rod .. Glad you had a nice Christmas with the family.. quite a large bunch of you now. We had a quiet Christmas with our family and enjoyed enormously. The little ones still young enough to add lots of excitement .. Kim has moved back to Newcastle now and it is is so lovely to have them close after being apart for so many years.. Keep writing , you have a gift..Love to you from all of us.. Jodi

  12. Robin Nance

    Rod – AMEN to what the others have said. Great that you have written again, well crafted words only bettered by honest reflections – putting into words what we feel but haven’t conceptualised.Thanks Rod and karen.

  13. Kevin

    Dear Brother Rod,
    Your words always inspire me to think of others. When I start to feel sorry for myself, (thankfully not too often) your words remind me that I have nothing to complain about. There are children who do not have enough to eat, their parents have been killed in wars and they survive from one day to the next. Your comments about the Catholic Nun reminded me of my father’s passing on 10th January from MND and Lung Cancer. He was of the mind that he did not want to bother me with the worry that he had Lung Cancer and so never told me until 2 days before he died. Although it seems strange I do understand his decision. I don’t always agree with the decisions of others but I do have to respect them. Keep writing. You will never know the effects your words have on others. God bless.

  14. christmasriver ~ It's a lifestyle not a season!

    Hi Rod, Love what you wrote about worry. I too have been caught up in worry – worrying about the sad state of affairs of many christian churches today, worried about my children, worried about worrying it seems! haha….thank you for reminding me of the hands-breadth of life, and to seek after so much more. Bless you, Shani

  15. Bruce,
    I am replying, finally, some 10 months after you posted a comment. Forgive me, and if you receive this, would you be good enough to make contact – otherwise ill try and reach you through your blog (which I dip into with pleasure). Typing is quite a challenge; but in neglecting to communicate I’m forfeiting too much.

    My cousin in Wisconsin sent me your link just over a year ago. she said that you were on radio from time to time, and I thought she may have communicated with you – but i am not sure. Very sadly she passed away not too long after that. We were in a small way companions on a journey; different paths, and yet we all tread common ground, don’t we.

    Wishing you a Happy and Holy Christmas Bruce,
    I’m going back now to finish your most recent post.

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