And now I am back in the Big Smoke,unpacked, and almost tidied up (well, not really tidied up at all…. Beloved Other comes home tomorrow, and all gets back to normal life on Wednesday…
It has been a lovely few days, and I bring home many happy memories, and a feeling of being much refreshed in body and soul.
And some scratches.
They will heal soon, and I don’t regret them at all. Scratchy Cat was only doing what Scratchy Cat does. I know she was not intending to hurt me, but rather was doing what she felt she needed to do to be safe – if she was slipping off my knee, the obvious thing is to anchor herself. Scratching me was an unintended side effect.
Which has started me thinking about nettle stings, and the way in which, even – perhaps especially – in church, we hurt each other. Yes, I know sometimes it is intentional. But surely, more often, it is accidental – a result of trying to be ok.
Scratchy Cat did not have the best start in life. Now she is in a safe and loving home and can relax and flourish.
But she still grabs on with her claws when she feels herself slip. We talked about soft-paws. She got lots of love and positive reinforcement when she played gently. But still, she grabs with her claws.
And she was not blamed.
I just wonder what it would be like not to blame or be blamed when we grab or are grabbed by sharp claws, because that is how I react, somebody reacts to me. All of us have our wounds and need for safety – and sometimes, we claw.
And in church, we get cross about it, because we think we ought to be better than that.
But maybe, that’s the place where what we need is the loving assurance and reinforcement that soft paws are ok – and the recognition that we are going to forget, or not even know what we are doing.
There’s a familiar phrase….
It’s been a good holiday.
For this, and for so much, deep thanks