Since my sabbatical earlier this year it has been understandably quite difficult to maintain any time of regular rhythm of reading. I am keen to want to harvest the privilege of those days spent in Washington and Chicago libraries absorbing and reflecting on narrative.
But some of this has practical implications for my work amongst older people here in Temple Balsall. I am intrigued to know how might glimpse something of a person’s life – it’s shape and wonder. Do we allow enough time to reflect together on the shape of who we are, where we have come from, and what we aspire to?
I am helped in all of this by those writers who have narrated their self. Here is one writer, close to the end of his life, who looks back and comments:
“It has been said that life must be lived forward, but understood backwards. So it must be for me. My life has been like a jigsaw puzzle where it has often been impossible to see how this piece or that contributed to the picture, but as the whole has come together the purpose has been made clear”. Robert Llewellyn: Memories and Reflections)
I wonder what pieces of the jigsaw still remain to be put into place for your? But most importantly, how do we help one another to construct the picture in such a way so that it comes together and some clarity is broken open?