For days I have tried to come up with something interesting to write about. Sometimes ideas come to me and I can’t wait to hit the keyboard. This week I have drafted a couple but I was not at all inspired. Even so, I am at it once again, hoping that once I make a start the words will come! Waiting, waiting, waiting….
This is a story about Father Jeffery, a Catholic Priest that encouraged a group of young students (Young Christian Students) to form a youth group in those heady days of the late 1960’s. The Beatles were BIG and we were in awe of them. Father Jeffery had led a very sheltered life and had no idea of how to deal with our outlandish ideas and aspirations. He did, however, organise us to take part in a regional get together with other YSC groups in our part of the State. I have vague memories of a attending a big meeting of students and somehow coming away from the meeting having achieved the position of President of our region. How did that happen?
In some ways I thought it was pretty cool. The next event was a joint social for all the students in the Region. We had to travel 40 miles to attend and fortunately one of group had a car and a driver’s licence so we all went in his car. The events are a bit foggy (you will soon realise why) but I remember going to a Chinese Restaurant for a meal before the social. I had been separated from the group for some reason but joined them a bit later.
To my surprise they had all been getting stuck into a bottle of whiskey. I was the only sober one there. I very quickly gave in to peer pressure and finished what was left in the bottle. I was about 14 or 15 then. Before long I was feeling violently ill and was in a bad way. I haven’t eaten Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork since that evening!
We still thought we could carry off the evening without being noticed. Mmm… that was a BIG ask! The rest of the night was a blur that was to leave me with a great sense of shame for many years to come. And Father Jeffery wasn’t too impressed either ;-). In fact he didn’t want anything to do with us after that event.
Just this week I was thinking about some of the defining moments in my life and revisited the memory of that night. For a long time I believed that I couldn’t be trusted to take a position of leadership as a direct result of my actions on that night. With hindsight and compassion gained over the years I can see I was only a child, thrown into a situation that I was ill prepared for. This event should have NO power over my life today. My interpretation of that event has had a negative impact on my life in the past. Today I can choose to interpret things from a different perspective.
So, it works! Start writing and the ideas will come. That is why my tagline says that “If one wants to write, then one must write today”.