In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk

Fable 9 – The Ark One Hour Long


“The ark one hour long” explores the ubiquity in modern life of only partial and manipulative human contact, person to person. Most of our encounters through the day are with people who only see our outward edge, our mask, or just a passing glimpse, and anyway do not want to see us true ; we are just their object. By contrast, an hour each week given over to true attentiveness, one to other, without ulterior motive, has power, substance and preciousness. It can make the rest of the week survivable. It is like the ark.

“The ark one hour long” is Fable Number Nine  in a series called “Fables and Reflections” which consists of sixteen pieces in all. Each Fable takes just a few minutes to read. I am uploading them one at a time, every month or so.  The idea behind this approach is that people running all day just to keep up, are more likely to read them in short doses and at intervals.

But for those who prefer them all at once, here is a link to the sixteen together.

The series is a set of essays written after a working life in mental health social work. It thus records what I learned and saw while deployed for all those years at one of Society’s many fault-lines dividing Have from Have-not, Them from Us, I from Other. Above all, perhaps, the series explores the issue of what makes community, what secures connection, how are we to live in the world in such a way that neither our neighbour nor our world suffer that we may briefly thrive ?  In a sense you can say that, in exploring the constituents of community here, and at this time of strain and fragmentation, frantic materialism and crude zealotry,  the series asks and discusses what are the binding and redemptive skills of true human connection, the skills of being human, the skills of love.

All being well, the series will soon be published in book form, thanks to my friend the poet Mevlut Ceylan.

If you find value in “Fables and Reflections”, please send word of them to people you know who you think might want to read them. You could simply pass on this blog address, or, alternatively,  I am happy to e-mail them individually as attachments to people who would find that easier. I am already doing that for some people.  I would also be happy to send hard copy versions by surface mail.  If that is your preference, just send me your address.