You can tell it is summer because the PS Waverley is slapping up and down on the Clyde and I am playing cricket again…
Here I just survived an attempt to attack that went through everything…
Cricket this year is a little strange, as Will and I are playing for different teams in different leagues. It was always going to happen I suppose as he is a lot better than me now as a bowler and a batsman. Yesterday I inched my way to 28 for Bute against Kilmarnock before getting out flailing at the death of the innings. He hit 56 for Greenock against Irvine including a six.
However there is something of worth in preserving the remaining small sports clubs that used to be scattered throughout Scotland. My home team (Innellan Cricket Club) has struggled of late for all sorts of reasons, and so we have arranged a ‘soft merger’ with Bute Cricket Club. We will support their league fixtures and they will play for us in our Sunday friendly fixtures. This meant that I had to register to play for Bute in the League, and so I can no longer play with Will.
Small club life is demanding but in this time when we are all increasingly isolated behind our many screens and gated patches of shrubbery, I value cricket more than ever.
I am in awe of this performance on so many levels. Mostly however, I am reminded of how much we need our poets and prophets, but also how difficult it is for their voices to be heard above all the electronic noise.
Here is a thought. Each an every passing year for the past 10 years or so, we have stored more electronic images in that year than we have in previous history. Quantity has replaced…
Well, what has it replaced?
I simply am not sure any more. Which is why we need to hear the outside view. Step forward Kate;
I have been playing with some images and an old poem recently. Pentecost is the day to share it I think; the festival of not walking alone. The festival of believing that when we come together to share our lives in love, something rests in the middle of us and exults.
Last weekend saw us away out into the western sea once more, searching for a place to rest and find some big sky to shelter beneath. This year we headed to Lunga- a first for all of us. (There are two Lunga’s- we went to the less famous one, next to Scarba in the inner Hebrides.)
What shall I say about last weekend? These things spring to mind;
My son Will came this time- it is hard to describe how lovely it is to adventure with your son and share with him the tradition of the island
We had lovely sunshine
We had a force 8 gale
it is impossible to sleep in a tent during a force 8 gale
Mark and Barry are rather astonishing chefs, cooking the poshest food on an open fire and in a home made oven
Andy has too many gadgets, but having said that, he puts them to brilliant use
Phil suffered most (collapsed tent, explosive digestive tract) but bore it all with a smile and good humour. Deep respect
Graham somehow combines deep suspicion of all things wild with a child like wonder for the same. His constant flow of puns and bad jokes are a phenomenon to behold
Tigger had more space to bounce in this year and still had energy left to look after everyone else. If there is ever a disaster zone that needs to be sorted, parachute him in
Paul made best use of the silence and isolation, but still managed to contribute richly to the gathering too
Crawford knows each animal by name- he speaks to them and they listen
Neil is the smartest man I know, but also the most selfless and lovely. He carves a mean spoon
What a lovely bunch of blokes to spend time with. All of them are either long term friends or becoming so- and although there were others whose presence was missed, the chance to linger in conversation that varied from deepest secrets to the pleasure all men make out of crude toilet humour was exactly what I needed.
Thanks to you who traveled with me- I am truly grateful.
As part of our fireside discussions this year I used the idea of Anam Cara, or ‘Soul Friendship’ in which we take time to share something of our spiritual journey, or what meaning we are currently finding. Our faith perspectives varied from professionals of the cloth, to those who have lost faith all together in the existence of God. I would have it no other way- the point of these trips for me is not to convince or convert, but to provide an open space for encounter, with your deep self and with that rich, half percieved transcendent other, whatever language you use to make sense of this.
The Anam Cara Questions we used are as follows;
How is your soul?
What is draining your soul lately?
What is feeding your soul lately?
How and where have you felt the presence of God?
What has been your spiritual high point? Low Point?
How have you been able to serve the elderly, the poor, the young, the needy, the rejected?
What challenges are you facing in these coming days?
Andy ‘six cameras’ Prosser made this lovely video that tells the story of the weekend rather better than me;