Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mad priests and birthday lists

Went to church today in a fairly neutral frame of mind. Lord H was serving and doing prayers, so I was happily sitting in a pew on my own when our lay reader came to sit next to me. A lovely gesture on her part, no doubt, but actually I would have been happier alone. Still, they're not to know that. And I can honestly say that I did have every intention of going up to communion, but the really appalling sermon the Very Reverend Alex preached was just so bloody inhumane that I decided that no way on earth was I going to take communion from such a out-and-out tosser. Though I probably should have been warned when I saw it was him; I'm sure he's pissed me off with ridiculously narrow-minded and downright cruel sermons before. Anyway, today's effort was a jumbled journey through various terrible things which happen to people, culminating in a story about a young widow whose husband had dropped dead at the age of 31, and when she'd turned to help from the nearest priest, this piss-stupid individual had said that she should be comforted that her husband had been taken as God had work for him to do in heaven. Words fail me!! Apparently these were supposed to be words of comfort which brought hope and a changed attitude to the unfortunate widow in question, and inspiration for us all. Well, bollocks to that is what I say. If any damnfool cleric is ever stupid enough to say such arrant and cruel nonsense to me, I shall kick him in the goolies and stuff his pectoral cross down his throat. What the bloody hell is the church thinking of by giving us such inhumane idiots as the Very Reverend gentleman?? Mind you, perhaps they are trying to promote him out of harm's way where he can do the least damage? I say just stick a red-hot poker up his arse and have done with it. I'll be first in line. And no ambulances. Please God bring us normal priests who know that grief is grief and should be respected - and felt - as such, and not smoothed away (as if it bloody well could be!) with honeyed "christian" nonsense. Honestly, I am getting more and more fed up with the church - and if that's the way I'm supposed to believe and the kind of God I'm supposed to believe in, then frankly I'm not interested in either. Give me humanity any day. And, in my opinion, the Good Lord Himself would probably kick a few arses and feel the same.

However, there is some good news about today: Lord H has finally succumbed to marital pressure and given me a birthday list (his birthday is in February) so I can actually buy something he wants. Each year, I have to chip away with my special nagging tools until I get some kind of an answer, but this year he has surpassed himself; instead of leaving the list on the dining-room table without talking about it in the usual manner, he wrote two items on a post-it note and stuck it in the doorway of the spare room. I walked past it several times, thinking it was some theological note with a phone number of someone he needed to call - until taking a closer look revealed it as a list in his usual undecipherable handwriting with an ISBN number at the top. Marital communication is indeed a complete mystery to us both. As you can see. It also worries me that the second item he wants is an origami kit. Oh Lord, is he going to start making a model of St Paul's out of folded paper? I sincerely hope not ...

Have written a poem about our night out yesterday - obviously it's such a rare occurence that I was moved to verse. Nothing deep here - it's basically just what I saw while we were eating, but here it is anyway:

Night out, The Seahorse, January 2007

At the neighbouring table,
framed by wood and window,
a family browses through
an Eyewitness Guide
to somewhere.

The man gets drinks,
collates supper orders
while the woman smiles
at her children.
They do not notice:

the girl, long hair
flicked back,
writes slowly in a blue notebook,
perhaps describing her trip
or imagining the one to come;

meanwhile her younger brother,
frowning over his mini chess-set,
dark eyelashes quivering,
ponders the future
in black and white.

Another Saturday night
in Surrey,
a good weekend
this time.

Most of this afternoon, I've spent reading and finishing off Lisa Gardner's "Gone". Great thriller stuff. Firmly based within the genre, yes, but still a good read as the characters were very well drawn. And a great page-turner. I'd recommend it, and I'll look out for more of hers in the future. Have to admit also here that I had planned to watch "Swan Lake" on the TV this afternoon as it seemed an ideal Sunday activity, but when push came to shove it just seemed way too worthy and I couldn't be arsed. No changes there then. In the meantime, Lord H is burning incense in preparation for the jamboree next week when St Peter's welcomes its new vicar. Yes, sadly, we do have church incense in the house. The winter evenings fly by. God, I hope the new boy isn't another VR Alex. Lord preserve us all indeed ... but I'm not holding out much hope.

Tonight, we're going to slob in front of our video of "Midsomer Murders", whilst eating Gingerbread Men (bought of course). Bliss. Rubbish detectives kick ballet into touch any day.

And this week's haiku (in honour of my first dance class) is:

While we waltz, music
whispers to our skin, gentles
us into rhythm.

Today's nice things:

1. Coming home from bloody church
2. Reading
3. TV.

Anne Brooke


The Periodic Englishman said...

Hello. The starkly inhumane approach of your Very Reverend Alex is an example of just one of the many reasons I leave the church - and God - alone. It just doesn't seem credible to me that any god would be so lacking in empathy. A very human man with emotional issues and selfish unwilling to feel the pain of others, yes. But God? I doubt it.

These cruelly indifferent responses to human suffering make my stomach turn. There is just NO consolation there. And I am pretty certain that consolation of some sort is what many seek from the church and, by extension, God. I may be wrong - but that's what I believe.

Oh - "gentles us into rhythm". I like that a lot.

Kind regards etc

Anne Brooke said...

I entirely agree, TPE - well said! And I'm still angry at the stupidity of his comment ...

Glad you liked the line, btw. And hope you're well on what everyone is telling me is the most depressed day of the year. How do they work that one out???



Anonymous said...

So you like going to church then? :-)

I had to read it out loud to my husband who also laughed with me at your descriptions. I love that you say out loud what others purely think.

But you do have a point though Anne. They are not suitable words. People don't fall for that anymore do they?

Thought the poem was great.

Sue x x

Anne Brooke said...

"Like" isn't the word, Sue!!


And one would hope not, but unfortunately, I rather think that people think that's what they're meant to believe ...