Whatever the reasons for the block that has prevented me for a long time from publishing here - or elsewhere for that matter - it feels like time to start again.
The reasons for stopping and restarting are both mysterious: if it was self-doubt, fear of not being read or - if read - being misunderstood and misquoted, depression, anxiety, none of these have changed. If anything, the wanton way Pope Francis is being interpreted, and his apparent PR blunders would tempt me to further caution and silence.
Perhaps the benign interpretation of the Pope's baffling policy - or absence thereof - is a twist on the hackneyed phrase "publish and be damned"; for there may be a blessing in "just being yourself" and having a healthy disregard for what the hack pack will do with your words: no matter how shrewdly crafted your words, there will always be an abundance of knaves who twist your words to make a trap for fools (pace Kipling) and a vast ready audience of fools.
Perhaps the blessing in not being too careful about expression is that the truth will always transpire no matter how it is kacked: in the process it becomes possible to discern which members of the pack are trustworthy and led by honest principles; a fool remains a fool no matter how much we bend over backwards to help him, so why waste our own resources beyond a reasonable caution and a quick prayer for all those who, like the dwarves in C.S. Lewis's The Last Battle, will not see the feast so generously laid before them?
Death often leads to a flow of inspiration, and yesterday my friend Stratford Caldecott died. More than a friend, he has had a really fatherly role over the thirteen years since we met at a time of huge upheaval in my life. In so many ways I would be far worse off today without his inspired, generous but discreet support.
[This post is in development: I will add to it as inspiration comes.]