Happy New Year to you all…
I offer this to those of us (lets be honest, ALL of us) who struggle with persistent habits and compulsions that life seems to lock us into. Some of you may be tempted to try to address these through the application of NY resolutions.
Just stop it.
Michaela bought me a present- a book I had loved in a former life and then lost/loaned.
It is this tiny book by Michael Leunig, written back in 1991;
It contains one of the few poems that I can recite by heart- “When the heart is cut or cracked or broken, don’t clutch it, let the wound lie open….” I have quoted this previously here.
Today, with thanks to Mr Leunig, (and my lovely wife) I offer you this;
God help us to live slowly
To move simply
To look softly
To allow emptiness
To let the heart create for us
And for those whose heart is not quite ready to create, perhaps this will help you realise that you are not alone;
Here is proof, in the form of our Christmas cake;
As a vegetarian I thought it was appropriate to share this.
Make room at your table for a turkey.
This might suggest otherwise;
A few years ago Aoradh set up a prayer room/Labyrinth in an old Shop. It was as ever a wonderful mix of manic busyness, stress, significant conversations and deep moments of grace. In the middle of all of this, I looked over to see one of my friends being prodded in the chest by a local Pastor who obviously had some problem with what we were doing. He was shouting something about ‘You people think you are the only people doing anything in this town’. My friend dealt with it really well (ie he did not smack him between the eyes in the name of Jesus) but most of us were rather shocked and upset by his nonsensical outburst.
The fact that people whose only perspective of who God might be is viewed through a very narrow Conservative Evangelical set of goggles might have theological issues with what we do is a not a surprise of course. This perspective sees the duty of all Christians as saving people from eternal torment in the fires of hell. This has always included most other ‘Christians’, who are not really saved as they do not hold the same views.
A couple of years later I (reluctantly) attended a churches together Carol singing session at the middle of my small town. I was rather dreading it- standing in the middle of the central street next to speakers relaying music being played by a fiddly group inside a church. The aforementioned Pastor was there too, along with great handfuls of tracts and books intended to spread a particularly strenuous version of the ‘Good News’.
He strode over towards me, and I cringed. Was he going to challenge me over some other Aoradh unBiblical error? What he did was to thrust a tract in my hand, and say “Here you go, you need one of these.”
I was reminded of this by this story, posted by a friend on Facebook.
Anyone fancy joining us on the Friday the 13th Fin Air flight number 666 to Hel?
It is lovely there this time of year.
You can never be too ready for Armageddon.
Or perhaps you can.
Check this out- you could not make it up…
For the record, I expect to be dead after a couple of weeks. (Assuming I have not already been raptured.)
What is it about rich western societies that constantly need to invent some dark hidden enemy to fear in order to give life meaning? Why not live in the light? It is much easier to read books.
My friend Andrew Hill posted this on FB today, and it made me laugh out loud. Given the rather worthy tone of this blog of late, I thought it worth re-posting!
Also seemed relevant following a conversation yesterday with another friend who told me he had been at a wedding recently which featured an unhealthy smattering of 80’s worship songs, including the one about the trees of the field clapping their hands. He bet £5 that someone would shout ‘HOY’ at the end (if you do not know what I am talking about then be grateful.)
He won the bet however…
I am a recent convert to the music of The Duckworth Lewis Method.
Made up of Irishman Neil Hannon (he of The Divine Comedy fame) and Thomas Walsh, they make melodic, strangely addictive pop music themed around- cricket! I had more or less left them alone previously as I have never really enjoyed comic songs- the music I like is usually introspective (some would say miserable.)
Tomorrow we are heading down to London for a few days, thanks to the hospitality of Alison and Malcolm. Emily is spending some time with Malcolm in his work as an Anesthetist at Kings Hospital, and William and I are going to visit some museums. He has never been to London, and the last time I was there was some time around 1987.
Will and I also have tickets to go to watch cricket at The Oval- so I thought I would share a little DLM music with you…
Some of you might need a little background to fully appreciate the song; it concerns a moment in the history of crickets greatest rivalry, between Australia and England, who play regular series of Test Matches for a tiny urn called ‘The Ashes.’ England are in the ascendancy at the moment, but for decades we always came second best in a two horse race. Much of this was down to a bleached blonde cocky Aussie called Shane Warne, whose ability to impart spin on a cricket ball mesmerised the hapless English batsman time and time again. He burst onto the scene in 1993, bowling what came to be called ‘The Ball of the Century.’ This was the first ball he ever bowled in England, to the rotund senior pro Mike Gatting. Gatting represented the old way- and Warne made him look like a dinosaur.
For the years before Warne, spin bowling was a junior cousin to fast bowling- all those tall West Indians who hurled the ball down at terrifying pace. Warne took what was a sedate largely toothless skill and turned it into something sexy, dangerous and full of spit and venom.
There is a beautifully written account of the impact of the ball here.
Or you could just watch it yourself;
Or just set all that aside and chuckle to the DLM version of the story;