I know. I always get all “Christmas is too commercial” at this time of year. Then I plug a book. Let me explain myself….
A few years ago, I got a call from my mate Si Smith, who had an idea for an Advent collaboration. He brought together photographer Steve Broadway, meditation-maker Ian Adams and poetry from yours truly to make a book entitled We who still wait. The book offers photographs, a poem and a meditation for each day of advent, and is intended to allow us to reflect on the unfolding season.
These blokes should have a bit more of an introduction;
Steve is based down in Bristol. We have never met, despite collaborating on a couple of different things, via ‘tinternet and through mutual friendship with Si. He is a man of huge talents, with both pen and lens. You can see his prodigious daily output on his blog here.
Ian is poet of national reputation, who works to support people developing their own spiritual practices, via a whole range of lovely creative methods. He writes a daily meditation called ‘Morning Bell’, accessed via social media. You can find out about him via his Beloved Life site.
In the end, Si Smith contented himself with curating the book rather than employing his own considerable talents as an artist, illustrator and graphic novelist. Increasingly he seems to spend a lot of time encouraging other artists, making spaces for them, but you really should check out some of Si’s own work here. I would give special mention to the fantastic How to disappear completely.
Exalted company. Male company too- which is strange in my line of work. Most of the creative people I work with are women. I am not sure how this ‘maleness’ shaped the project, but it seems important to me, not for any exclusive paternalism, but because I found myself in the company of men like me. Men whose lives had meandered but continued to be driven by a creative search for something deeper.
Anyway, why am I banging on about this now?
Because Proost have a new edition out. It is now in A4 size, giving much more space for the pictures to come alive. It was a total surprise to me as I only found out about the new edition via twitter, communication not being a Proost strong point. I ordered a copy and it is lovely.
Of course, as I re read poems I wrote quickly a few years ago, there are things I would change, but still the words I wrote move me. This is as much as I can ask. My poetry is rarely technical, it is emotional.
So, in a totally non-commercial kind of way, I wondered if you might like to order your own?
I do so in humility, but at the same time, confident in the company I keep.
You can order it as a download, or as a physical copy, here. (There are lots of other advent resources available from Proost, including other work by Si and Ian, here.)
May the words, the images and the emotions stay with you as another Christmas approaches.
“Look! It’s there!
Can’t you see it?
Wings like thunderclouds
Eyes like searchlights
Robes spun from the last rays of the summer sun
It is either a fairy pumped up on steroids
Or a feckin’ Angel
Not an allegorical one either.”
So it was that the living God
Sent a mighty Angel
To play hide and seek with a Donkey
So that a pagan sorcerer
Could speak out holy words
To confound all Israel.
And a whole sky-choir
Of heavenly creatures
FROM ‘wE WHO STILL WAIT’