Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Today is Valentines Day and it took me to Bristo Square in Edinburgh where there was a march for equality... for equal marriage. The march began there and made it's way along George IV bridge, down the Royal Mile and to the Scottish Parliament. When we arrived at the Scottish Parliament building there were a few wee talks by various folks from the organisations supporting the event, including politicians and ministers. There were over 1000 people there and it was nice to see such a range of folks there. Everyone including LGBTQ people, straight people, small children, older folks, dressed up people, first time marchers, experienced campaigners... People from all walks of life coming together to march for equality.

I realise that this issue is a big topic in the world right now, and a lot of folk are likely fed up of hearing about it. So, the sooner it's over the better! But, then again, I realise that this isn't the view of everybody. For me, it being 'over' (in Scotland anyway) is for equal marriage to be passed by the Scottish Parliament (and straight civil partnerships too please), yet for others it being 'over' is quite the opposite. Can we ever really all agree? I'm not so sure. If it were a little issue, maybe we could, but it is a big issue in the world and one in which the majority of people will have their own personal stance on. So, allowing for the fact that not 100% of the population will just agree or disagree, can we compromise? If this law is passed then same sex marriages are legal in Scotland. What about in places of religion? That, for me, is one of the bigger debates. I think that the law should allow same sex marriages to be taken place in places of religion but it is up to each individual demonination/minister etc if they are willing to do this. That way, they don't have to if they don't want to. Nobody can force you in to doing something you don't want to do. I reckon I could have a wee rant about this for quite some time, but as I said it has been shoved in peoples faces enough lately and I just wanted to state my point of view roughly.

Choice. That's what it's all about. Choice of how you live your individual life. Choice of how I live mine. Choice.

There are people in my life who do not agree with this, my view point, and that is (within my friend groups) mainly because of their religious stand point. And, you know what? I'm ok with that! I understand why you take the stance you take, and I am appreciative of your openness to talking about it and embracing the issue. Yes, I have dated both girls and guys. Yes, this may come as a shock to some of you out there, but I am open about this because it is who I am. Yes, I want equal marriage rights. Yes, I love everyone. Yes, I would call myself a Christian.

Iona has taught me a lot over the last couple of years, and one of those things that is very important to me is to stand up for who I am. I am someone who is loved by God no matter what I do. I am someone who can stand firm on my own two feet. I am someone who loves the people in my life more than anything else. I am someone who is introverted and that is ok. I am someone who likes to be in nature because it is what makes sense to me and where I feel most connected to the world. I am who I am, and that is the way I will continue to be.

I am not someone who will push my opinions in your face, certainly not on these big issues, and I am not someone who generally starts up such conversations. But that isn't because I don't want to talk to you about them, it's because I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable about anything. So, if this is something you want to talk about, you know where I am.

In the meantime, I am going to continue to support the equal marriage equality movement both here in Scotland and elsewhere in the world, I am going to continue to love every individual person for who they are, I am going to continue to be a Christian and I am going to live, love, laugh and comtemplate.

Blessings to you all xx

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


I have decided today that everything runs on inspiration. What is inspiration? Well, I don't think it's a word that I could ever fully understand, but I know it changes a lot about my life. At least twice a day this week I have found myself using the words 'inspired', 'inspiration', 'inspirational'. Why? Well, because there are a lot of changes in my life and each one if spurred on by another, or so it feels.
"Don't know what time it is, I've been up for way too long and I'm too tired to sleep"
The Wailin Jennys album and I have become good friends in the last few weeks. Sadly I only own one, and so this will soon have to change. But I have found that a lot of their lyrics just make sense. Life beyond Iona is a funny thing, one I won't understand for a long time. It's exhausting. That's the main thing I've noticed. I knew that I was very tired on Iona, after two years of physical work and mental stress. But I never quite expected to be this exhausted trying to 'recover'. I also knew that it would be difficult to adjust to live outside of community, not being surrounded by people all of the time, not eating with everyone. But, again, I never quite expected it to be this exhausting. I find myself exhausting myself trying to meet up with people because it feels very lonely out here in the real world sometimes, and although that isn't a bad thing, it just takes some time to get used to. My patience runs low, my energy goes away quickly, my enthusiam disappears half way through a task, my ability to write job applications gets smaller, my likelihood of doing the things on my to-do list shrinks, the washing piles up, my emotions can be slightly tapped and they explode... Who warned me of this?! Oh yeah, everyone who has left Iona before me that I know! But, really, did I ever trully believe them? I thought I did. But now I know that I didn't. My, oh my. However, alongside all of this, I feel fine overall and am enjoying being back in Edinburgh!

Anyway, this rant was not what was meant to happen on this blog - it's about inspiration! But, then again, a lot of the above rant is related to inspiration in some ways. The things in life that have kept me going lately have been inspirational... nature, music, friends, lights, singing, bass vibrations, lyrics, sunshine, country driving, re-discovering, guitar, old friendships, excercise, memories, painting, conversations, gardening, diy, cake, concerts, fire, trees, skype chats, motorway driving, graveyards, photography, emails, reading, meals out, feeling alive... etc, etc. What in life is not inspirational? I have no idea. The main thing for me has been music. But to save me writing a bit of an explanation, just look here: http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/1728962  The most amazing, musical related, inspirational moments for me have been at concerts when the music just fits so well that you get a shiver up your spine. I didn't understand that feeling for a long time, but I am so glad that I do now. I think live (especially folk music) will do that for me forever, but lately it has meant more to me than anything. Good ol' Celtic Connections has given me that in the last few weeks, and for that I am very thankful. Thoughts that were previously muddled suddenly made sense.
And the sun, the stars, the trees, the ice, the bogs, the cows, the leaves... nature. I have taken so many pictures lately of nature, nature in many forms. It's everywhere and never looks the same twice. Every time I walk my local walk I see something different, and I love that. Every time I walk my local walk I feel something different, and I love that. Every time I walk my local walk something else in my life suddenly makes more sense or I start to process some other part of life that needs processed.
And now that it is 1.05am and I started with a quite about being too tired to sleep and then a wee rant about being exhausted... I think it is time to stop typing nonsense and go to bed.
World: thank you for being an inspiration.
Friends: thank you for all that you are.
Blog: goodnight.