Monday, October 01, 2012

Beyond the box

So what can a snowy-haired bicycle repairman and his ancient eccentric lodger teach me about life?

In Penelope Wilcock’s novel The Clear Light of Day, Jabez Farrall is a kind of heterodox sage who helps the heroine, a harried Methodist minister, to find what is truly true. In summary:
‘Simplify; small is beautiful; cherish the living earth; bless the community where you live; think globally, act locally; watch your boundaries; choose what is handmade with love.’
And his feisty lodger, Seer Ember (who I suspect is Pen Wilcock’s means of expressing her own heterodox truths) adds:
‘Don’t eat food you don’t like; don’t be deprived of firelight; don’t take anything too seriously; don’t let people get you down.’
Penelope Wilcock has provided many members of my church with spiritual sustenance through her Hawk and the Dove books. The Clear Light of Day is less well-known, but has the same earthy spirituality. And she has written non-fiction such as The Road of Blessing, which I recently read and found perceptive, original – ah! an original Christian book! – and refreshing.

Last May I was privileged to meet Pen and talk through silence, solitude, celibacy (among other things). We also laughed a very great deal. You can read that interview here.

We need those who see – and help us see – beyond our boxes. I think Pen Wilcock is one such seer.

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