A Fitting Quotation

Friday 7 February, 2003

Yesterday, I welcomed Michelle and we chatted about what has made the difference to her life: reading the newsletters and appraisals thoroughly, and knowing that if she doesn’t move forward she is wasting her life. I then sat in on her session with Serena and Karaj. I sat quietly and watched Michelle make life difficult for herself – creating isolation by not bringing her agenda items here, and confusion by not taking control or being straight. I was aware of the ‘opportunity’ to get cocky and so remained calm. Don’t get cocky.

Today Simran was with us and Karaj challenged him. He has no presence, did not announce his arrival, left the secetars out and Shona’s cooker is now blocked after he cleaned it. He did not check to make sure the gas worked afterwards. We installed two 8-foot panels in the bay. At one point Simran had what I wanted in his pocket (a long bolt) but said nothing. He never says anything.

Calvin called to report on his son. The school is messing about with the transport. I advised him to note it all down and we can write a letter together. Talked to Simran. He has no presence or energy when he is reporting what he has done. Leon arrived and I chatted with him about Simran. It was good to get it out of my system. Leon listened and at one point I sounded as if I was going overboard so I calmed down and kept quiet. I had said enough.

Before the men’s group started, I challenged Simran with Dev. Dev was too nice. This was about Simran showing presence and talking in the men’s group or else he is out. There was no response from Simran. Karaj challenged him in my presence and Simran showed emotion by saying ‘Who the fuck wants to know?’ This reminded me of Kuldip’s words, What right do I have to sort myself out?. I got angry with Simran, but at least he was talking and showing some life.

I addressed the other men, saying they are not challenging each other, they have no presence here, there is no ownership of this place and until all that changes we are going nowhere. I also challenged Simran. He seems to focus on giving the correct answers rather than on sorting himself out. Michelle contributed here and she was spot on.

She then explained that she had thought I might be leaving when Karaj talked yesterday about me going to Australia next month. This inspired her to write a few words to me about my contribution to her life. Her words were lovely and the passage she took at random from her bible was perfect:

I thought more about Karaj’s comments regarding Jonathan last night and I would miss Jonathan because he has managed to be an anchor at the house. I regard him as someone for support for myself. He is good at his job, knows how to have a laugh and is easy to talk to. These are the qualities that Karaj has in abundance and I feel that is why Jonathan and Karaj get on so well.

I am not suggesting they do not have the usual ups and downs but my gut feeling is that their relationship is solid and what a great pity it is to break up. Maybe I’m being selfish, but I feel that Jonathan is an integral part of the team and he inspires me and others with his sheer hard work and encouragement at the times when you need a positive word. I see him as a great support for Karaj too and, with this in mind, I prayed to God to let Jonathan make the right choice, and picked up my Bible. This is the page it fell open to:

Jesus chooses Levi (Luke Ch.5)
Later Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the place for paying taxes. Jesus said to him, ‘Come with me.’ Levi left everything and went with Jesus.


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