Peter Volkofsky | Author & Life Coach

Peter Volkofsky is an author, spoken word poet and life coach. In 2017, Peter published his thriller Mia's Magic Wand. In 2015 he published Beautiful Quest as an Ark House imprint. Peter has been married to his wife Penelope for thirty-three years and together they have reared seven children.

Catalytic (cat•a•lyt•ic)

(adj.) a process that precipitates an event

The Vision

Individuals and teams reaching their goals.

PETE'S BLOG

0 Comments5 Minutes

A Delayed Lunch

 

It's lunch time and the father in his office, after much self-argument, has finished writing a poem. He prints it out, reads the text on paper and wants to feel happy with it but knows there are still two or three words that he will have to find to make it perfect. Then, simultaneously, he thinks of lunch; thinks of doing some more writing and wonders what is playing on his playlist.

At that exact moment he taps the volume control on his laptop, which has been playing, but with the volume off. A deep, sarcastic voice is in conversation with a small and timid voice.

Sarcastic voice: 'We very much want to make Christianity believed in as a means to an end… even social justice … for the good of society.'

Timid Voice: 'Surely not!'

'I don't mean as a reality but to value it as a thing the enemy wants … The enemy will not be used as a means to an end. Do you see?'

'No.'

'Aaah! “Believe this, not because it is true, but because it serves a purpose!” '

'Ah ...'

'Yes, that's the game. Now! Round up the other tempters.'

The track finishes and is immediately followed by the shrieking metallic of a Rage Against the Machine song: 'Wake Up!'

The father in his office turns off the playlist and wants to eat, but that previous thought is now 'tapping more loudly on the window of his mind'. He is not sure what the thought wants but it seems to be saying: 'We thoughts are delicate, like dandelion flowers that get blown away and lost forever. Remember that library and the panic felt by the Assigned Spirit when it saw a dangerous thought approaching the subject's mind and then the spirit's deviously suggested counter thought? “Yes,' it said, 'it is time for lunch and a thought such as that is far too important to be tackled on an empty stomach.” The subject fell for it and was on the street in moments where a shout from a paper boy and the roar of a noisy bus made it easy for another thought to assert itself: 'This is the real world.'

The father doubts that this moment here and now would be on the same level as that, but, out of a deep bloody-mindedness towards hell—filled with recollections of painstaking struggles for freedom from his own sins; the lies, wrecked families and suicides of others; and a hundred joyful faces expressing gratitude—he decides to heed the thought just in case, and to stay and to write, despite his appetite for XXXX Gold and fresh bread, anchovies and chilli.

 

 

0 Comments3 Minutes

Listening and Enjoying

     Here in a warm room the father and daughter make the most of their breakfasting and reading hour: Charles Williams, Christopher Paolini, porridge and rhubarb, and tea. The father sitting at a table of lace cloth set with a potted-plant of scarlet and white flowered tulips. The girl (not yet eleven, and his last daughter) next to a window—mesmerised by her fantasy novel—reclines in her dressing gown enjoying the sunlit-bathed part of the room. Morning is getting late.

     She, the exuberant daughter, begins to talk of her delight in reading, not by saying that, but by showing her father the thick slabs of pages she has already devoured whilst lying in bed. He himself resists listening at first, then is caught by her and remembers the age and the time of youthful sunshine, of fresh discovery and of exultation in books as one who has found a doorway to a secret chamber of dreams.

     In her book, men are enslaved by powerful and intelligent, bird-like creatures and have recently abducted a princess. In his book, another daughter has been hypnotised by a preacher and sent into the world of the dead to retrieve information. She looks at London and sees a beautiful city of lights and shadow. She is torn between the terrible work she has been sent to do and her deepening awareness of a surprise: the inexplicable approach of light-filled love, a love that has just now mysteriously enabled her to say what her mother has never allowed her to say.

     'I am not very good at explaining … I've been trying to explain something to my mother for a long time, but I've never got it over.' She spoke aloud, but not to anyone present.'

 

0 Comments7 Minutes

Surprised

 

Outside the day is long over, but in here the bright text-screen holds sway over the eyes and the tapping fingers, which would go on for hours more except that numbers in the top right hand corner of the monitor are telling the time and saying that it is in fact time for the walk, which is usually looked forward to and normally never far.

Making a move now for the door where there's just the slightest hesitation: is this to be a going outside night, a straight to bed night or just a quiet port and a candle inside? Outside, definitely, out there with the trees: Weeping, Happy and Laughing Trees where the stories of the world are told and made. An invisible space in the glaring flatness of naive daylight, but quiet and brooding after sundown, when—in preparation for a great ebb and flow of prayers and songs—she dresses in the silk mantle of after-dark and then waits in the same way that an old cat might curl up and wait by a fire on the coldest of nights and purr even more loudly when the tears of a child begin to flow, or—when the walk has been long and far and late—a curious old dog might sidle up to and snuffle a lost and lonely hand.

Tonight the entire sky is a rolling billow of grey and black. The moon is losing her battle to be seen. In the name of Calvary and of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the time and space is sanctified and the ebb and flow begins.

'See that moon?'

'Yes.'

'It's disappearing right?'

'It is, and it's losing the fight, the darkness is too strong. It would be nice if it was to at least be given a chance and I could see it shining again.'

'But it is not lost.'

'It is, there is no hope in such a sky—blind, grey and billowing as far as the eye can see. No moon now.'

'You are impossible.'

'Impossible?'

'Yes. On the other side of those clouds the light is shining bright on that face.'

'OK. I'll pay that. It's just that I wanted to see it for myself so I could be be sure.'

'A fact is a fact whether you are sure about it or not and I happen to be able to see what you cannot.'

'Thank you. Can we talk about some others now?'

'Go right ahead…'

The ebb and flow takes a different turn and the sky is forgotten. Then, not much later, the subject of the sky is brought back into the conversation.

'Look at that! Clear as far as you can see and the moon free as a bird!'

'Wooah! It is. How did that happen?'

'Doesn't matter. I got you on both counts didn't I?'

'Indeed: the light on the face … and free as a bird. Still don't know how that happened. You did it while my back was turned.'

'Don't you mean “while we talked”?'

'Yes, you distracted me the way a magician does. Amen.'

 

0 Comments1 Minutes

A New Day

Darkness is fading and the sweet chirping of a tiny bird is announcing pale dawn, coolness, freshness and colours. Not that the colours are visible when the eyes are closed and most of the man is buried under blankets. Still, he waits, enjoying all the textures and variations of newness, like a happy member of an audience listening in on an orchestra as it tunes up for a much-anticipated performance. Here comes the percussion, fittingly layered in between the random song-bursts of that tiny bundle of feathers. First, a rhythmic brushing, then a dull but regular clunking of iron on fabric accompanied by a hissing of steam and finally—in soft lilted soprano—a never before heard worship song coming from the lips of the beloved who is unwittingly joining her orchestra in with that of the birds whilst preparing her hair, her clothes and her body to meet this new day.

 

0 Comments2 Minutes

Beautiful Night

Today, the wounded father is on an evening drive along a highway, the start of a longish journey of a thousand kays or two. Then—in the fading light, and out of the corner of his eye as he  adjusts a playlist—he notices the shadow of a man waving. He stops the car on the side of the road, just ahead of the shadow, and reverses slowly as the man walks towards him, looking eager.

'Shane,' mumbles the hitchhiker as the father reaches over and opens the door to let him in.

The father introduces himself and shakes a rough and curled over hand, which is surprisingly soft and gentle. It reminds him of the wilted hand of a rag doll.

'No use stayin around,' Shane whispers loudly as the father eases the car back out onto the road. 'The missus don't know I'm doin this.'

'Trouble?'

'No good goin to jail again. No use hurtin her. Might as well get out before somethin happens.'

'Yeah.'

But even as the father says 'Yeah' he feels a great sorrow coming, the way a quiet flow of air might have once come through the bedroom window of his old home when he was a boy on a sleepless summer night. Back then he would have been talking softly with his brothers before they all drifted off to sleep, accompanied by the flutterings and coo-ings of night owls, and it would have been a breeze of happiness. But tonight it's the approaching sorrow of lost boyhood and of weeping ... in the dark, warmth and intimacy of a vehicle hissing along bitumen at night.

'Thank you,' the father says—speaking to his god as he is falling asleep that night—'for Shane. Thank you for being with us inside our cloak of black. Thank you that "the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness." '