Jonny and The Fog is published in paperback today. I first published this via my website as 50 short chapters. I originally had the idea a few years ago, back then it was known to me as Welcome to Dreamland because the story all takes place in Jonny’s dream one night.
A few years ago a friend of mine said to me ‘Try talking about God without naming God’ and so that’s what I’ve attempted with this book. If Jonny bears any resemblance to any member of the Trinity at any time then it’s purely intentional! I have found that trying to explore life and its meaning via parables is quite liberating. Story gives you room to manoeuvre. But you have to let go too. In a sermon you clearly nail your colours to the pulpit. In a parable you begin with your very important point and then move outwards. Risking that some will miss the point entirely, while others may never forget it.
The Bible is of course full of parables, dreams, visions, stories and adventures. Think of Ezekiel’s epic valley of death and dry bones, or John’s big screen apocalypse. I was listening to Darren Aronofsky just yesterday describing the story of Noah (his new film) in terms of mystical mythology. A powerful story with a powerful message. We may or may not agree with Mr A in his view of Noah, but there’s no doubt that the tale of a people being caught in a storm is a very timely one. I found myself wondering not long ago whether the judgement sent on the planet was as a result of Noah’s generation misusing their environment in some way. There’s nothing to say that the sins (or some of them) that brought judgement didn’t involve a selfish attitude towards the earth’s resources. But I digress. (Movie critic Mark Kermode made the point that in the poster for Noah Russell Crowe looks awfully reminiscent of an earlier movie. Is he Gladiator with a big boat?)
Jesus loved story as a way of exploring reality. The Old Testament prophets too. I recently discovered the little known parable of the thornbush king, as told by Jotham in Judges 9 vv 9-15. A strange, cartoon of a story where trees talk and bramble bushes wear crowns. So I’ve had my own poor stab at the genre with Jonny and The Fog. If you read it, or parts of it, I hope you enjoy it. And maybe it’ll take you to another place in some way? Who knows?