Category Archives: Authentic

Taking it in my stride.

A blue grey sky and the sound of thunder remind me of my circumstance, the dusky smell of summer rain teases my nostrils, Continue reading


Feb the 1st

Feb 1 has come and gone, Feb 1 was my mums birthday, I thought about her as I often do and wonder how things might have been different if she were alive today.  She has been gone 23 years now and whilst I still miss her it is nowhere near the intensity of when she first passed away. Continue reading

You must be rich

said a small voice to me.  It came from a young boy maybe eight or nine.  I was siting in my car when I heard a small noise and saw this boy bent over my strawberries. Continue reading

My Son Josh

I am a blessed man, I have a number of young people in my life, some of them are my sons and daughters by birth, others related by blood, others are people that have come into my life, Continue reading

Faking it, not me….

I am not so good at it these days. A whole lot of reasons really, sometimes I think I am just too old for that crap these days, but am I? I gave my children some money to spend on clothes the other day, not a whole lot but enough for a few things and then I did something I haven’t often done, I stood back and left them to it and they went and bought clothes. My daughter, a beautiful young woman bought herself a pair of boyfriend jeans, similar to these but with a few more rips and frays etc.  I remember once saying to myself as a friend bought some “pre stressed jeans” bloody hell, paying extra for half worn out s..t!

Well my only instructions to my children were to consider the season, we are going into winter and she did that, they were not shorts! Well my daughter proudly showed me her loot and produced these jeans and then asked me if I liked them, and like George Washington and not Bill Clinton I could not tell a lie and said I didn’t, she was devastated.

I was at pains to assure her that actually it didn’t matter what I thought as it was her choice but she was still disappointed. Now should I have said something different? Well so it is with my life. I can paint on a grin for a while but when things are not so flash it is not hard to read me. I was reminded of this the other day when a student was really concerned about me, I re-plastered my grin and said I was fine when on the inside I was far from that. Most people who know me are not that easily fooled.

I have been told before that I wear my heart on my sleeve and I guess I do in a lot of ways, I can be very professional and have had to be at times when dealing with trauma and damaged children, with dealing with offenders who are repugnant to me I have remained relatively dispassionate and nearly always professional, rapists, killers, pedophiles I have worked with them all. I have had friends who are racist and bigots, although these days most of them are gone by the wayside as I am want to be truthful with them.But if you know me then you will know, if you ask a straight question you will get a straight answer.If you ask me how I am I will tell you, it may be the edited version but it will be authentic. Sometimes it may be warts and all, and sometimes that is not so pretty. But like I say often, never ask a question that you do not want to hear the answer to.

I read this little piece in Relevant magazine a few weeks ago it said that “authenticity begins with acknowledging, rather than hiding, that we have shadows in our souls” In some ways I count the ability to be truthful with others as a burden because to be truthful to others is to be truthful to yourself first.   In doing so we face our own shadows, our imperfections, foibles and frailties. On a personal level, authenticity begins with acknowledging, rather than hiding, that we have shadows in our souls.

Often in reply to being asked how I am I say that God is good and his mercy is everlasting because I am a terrible sinner at times. I try to be authentic as much as I can, as a teacher when I read a piece of work I look for something to say that is encouraging and truthful like hey that’s great so much better than last week, here is what we have to do to improve it. You won’t get bullshit from me however, if it doesn’t meet the mark I will tell you whether you are a student, a boss, a politician, lover or friend. It is a risky business at times because there are many people who cannot handle authenticity because I think that it exposes the shadows in their own souls, for some they are shadows that have not seen the light ever or for a very long time, and people can be very afraid that should those shadows see light they may consume them and shake their worlds beyond that which they can handle. They often remain crippled by doubt and making the same mistakes in life and love over and over again, and yet I am told it is that authenticity which makes my writing compelling and interesting, a reader wrote to me that they felt almost like a voyeur reading my writing, almost like looking in my lounge window yet they felt drawn to read more.


So for me being authentic remains at my core, it drives my belief in family, friendship and love. It would be so much easier to be less authentic and I am sure that I have paid what at times seems to be a high cost for authenticity and I may be about to pay the price again as I grapple with decisions I need to make but I know this for sure that authenticity is that which gives me hope for the future, it enables me to have relationship at all and to look in the mirror. Authenticity gives me integrity and without integrity I am nothing merely dust on the soles of a dirty pair of shoes.

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”

With Aroha,


Hope deferred Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire is fulfilled it is a tree of life.  I have been thinking about my next blog, and remembered that I was going to continue to write on the theme of rejection, I read the phrase as above, about hope deferred, and it triggered my thinking again. Some days I wish I didn’t think so much but that’s another story.

I guess that I was cognisant of being different from a reasonably early age, my memories of school for the most are pretty negative.  I was always on the outside, skinny dyspraxic and intelligent.  A sure-fire recipe for being marked out for bullying from an early age. Dyspraxia is also known as clumsy child syndrome, often associated with low upper body strength, poor co-ordination and terrible hand writing.

That was me, no gloves for me as I could not get my fingers into them, mittens only,  Shoe laces done up, hah fat chance!  Buttons correct, even less of a show.  I do remember thos things, I am not sure about being a messy eater then but today I can still be found feeding myself off my shirt at times.  With food smeared around my mouth.

I must have been a challenge to my mum (God bless her soul).  I remember her remonstrating once that our boarder ( a filthy paedophile) but that’s another story) who was blind could do up his buttons but I couldn’t.  Now I have talked about being bullied before by my classmates and peers so today I am not going there.  I was marked out by some teachers because of my terrible writing and my lack of co-ordination.  I was terribly un-organised and lost things often, one of the other things which go with dyspraxia is ADHD and whilst I have no formal diagnosis I know I meet all of the DSMV criteria for having this developmental disorder.

I was small and unco so when teams were picked I would be last to be picked, lumped in with the geeky girls it was like, well there is Cronin and three girls left you can have them and I will have the remaining boy.  To make it worse I was a better than average singer and was eloquent as well  A recipe for social disaster.  Now about here you are probably saying what the hey ho has this got to do with hope deferred.  Well essentially hope deferred means being without hope.

There are some times where I come to a point in my life where there seems to be no hope for the things that I wish to have in my life.  On reflection this is really around the issue of relationships and how I view them.  What I need to remember is that there are people whom have their hope deferred by being in a relationship.  Some of these people see the only way out of such a relationship is by death, either theirs or their partners.  There has been the odd time where I have thought it would be better if I simply did not wake up in the morning.  Not an active wish to be dead but certainly not wanting to be alive.

This is usually triggered for me by the emotional reserves being run down by extra occurrences.  I have been struggling with a lot of pain in my back over the last year and recently was told that I may need a hip replacement, their is some basis for a belief that it is my hip giving me the severe pain levels.  I have struggled with this as I am only 50 and frankly am not interested in having a hip replaced. In the end I may have no alternative but to get on with it but in the mean time I will see what I can do.

I got back on my bike the other day and did 10 kms (albeit on the flat) but still I felt good.  I need to crank a whole lot more kms. At the height of it all I just wanted to shut the doors and turn out the lights. The pain levels have been horrendous at times leaving me thinking about that other area of deferred hope, a relationship.  Well I haven’t given up yet on that. It has come close, I doubt my ability to love again, I chomp at my lack of free time.  However I have found I still have hope.

So on this Christmas Eve where the essential message is hope I want to wish you all the very best for a new year and my hope is that you will find a tree of life with desires being fulfilled, not the carnal desires that we all have ,but the very groans of our hearts and souls.