Sunday, March 08, 2009

Lent 2, Anne 1

Welcome to the second Sunday in Lent. I trust your times of fasting and prayer are progressing adequately well at this stage in the game, ho ho ... Ah well. Hmm. No, me neither really. I'm a tad behind on my planned Lenten reading (hold on, Archbish, I'm getting there - the spirit is willing, etc etc ...) and really must finish the second half of my current chapter today before I need to start the first half of the next. Otherwise I will meet myself coming back and be in imminent danger of disappearing up my own behind. Scary thought.

Before that happens, here's this morning's poem:

Meditation 84

The light shines forward,
patterning the hammered gold
with the sevenfold shapes
of bulls, flour, oil.

The light is not
like the darkness
that grows ever deeper
the more you turn away.

Hear its faint whisper,
speaking to you
of the silvered dreams
you left behind.

Meanwhile, back at the theology front, church today was quite good, all in all. The rector has decided that during Lent (apart from Mothering Sunday of course), he's going to give the sermon, then walk up and down amongst the pews asking questions and talking about it. Just my kind of event really - I'm all for interactive religion. As long as everyone realises I'm right, of course ... Anyway, today's theme was the lurking danger of possessions and whether they hold us back from really knowing ourselves. My personal take on it (for what it's worth) is they do, as it's easier to think about things than the inner meanderings of one's own heart, but on the other hand that may not be all bad. After all, a little self-knowledge can be a dangerous thing in itself, even (in my case) terrifying in the extreme - and surely God wouldn't want us to get too depressed by how terrible we might be, at least without the overarching potential of grace. Lordy, am I disappearing up my own arse already?? It may be so - someone switch a light on and I'll try to work my way out. Anyway, what I mean is that if possessions stop us flaying ourselves with whips and wearing hair shirts (something I've always rather fancied, myself, hey ho), then that can only be a Good Thing, and something surely God wouldn't begrudge. In moderation.

And so, while the vicar was circumnavigating the pews, we were asked to think about which three possessions we would save out of a house fire. Instantly, BigMouth here piped up with (a) my wedding photos; (b) my wedding dress; (c) my memory stick. Yes, as you can tell, it is something I've considered quite fully in the past ... Easy-peasy then. However, as my fellow pew-sitters opted for (a) nothing as long as their loved ones were okay, (b) their dog; (c) their spouse, it is evident that I am now viewed as the possession-obsessed sinner of this parish. Ah well, same old, same old, I fear ... I was only partially mollified when whilst driving back home Lord H added that, in the event of fire, and once I'd grabbed hold of my three items, he'd probably opt for his wallet and my handbag, and then we'd be fine. Hmm, he may well be right.

Other religious news is that the vicar is holding a weekly Lenten bible study group on Wednesday early evenings and I quite fancy going, as it's much easier to talk to people when you have another focus than it is when your mind goes blank over the ritualistic hell of post-service coffee. Small talk tends to set my teeth on edge, a phenomenon which appears to have worsened with age. I feel I was much more reasonable and pleasant at a surface level in my twenties - ah you should have known me when I was young. Bad luck, eh. I'm also delighted to find that there is a parish envelope stuffing event on Wednesday week when I'm actually on a holiday day - so I have signed up, as I can never resist group envelope stuffing. It's so meditative and yet cheery. One of my favourite tasks indeed. Apart from the nightmare of Christmas cards, that is ...

For the rest of today, I've been fiddling away with Hallsfoot's Battle and am now at over 97,000 words. With an inkling of what the next few paragraphs might be, thank the Lord. There's a novelty for sure. Later, I think I might turn my hand to a few puzzles, with maybe a sudoku or two. And then it's the joys of Lark Rise to Candleford, and The Victorians. Talking of TV, I'm delighted to say that the adorable Lewis is apparently coming back imminently, and it's not a moment too soon in my opinion. I can't wait.

This week's haikus (two for the price of one, though they're unrelated):

Night waits expectant
in a city of sparrows
for the call to prayer.

On the cool river
a giant puff-ball of swan
sails through blue sunlight.

Today's nice things:

1. Poetry
2. Church
3. Hallsfoot
4. Puzzles
5. TV.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - puzzling her way through Lent


Anonymous said...

I would save my memory stick too, but definitely I'd grab my laptop along with it. :)

Anne Brooke said...

Yes, I probably would - if I had a laptop!



Anonymous said...

How about that! I always maintained that church was impossibly frustrating because you never got to tackle the vicar on the parts of his sermon that clearly lacked logic. I like the thought of a vicar who lets the congregation talk back. In the event of a fire, I'd be trying to save several thousand books from the flames - they don't have legs like my husband, son and cats. So I am well, well behind you on the ladder to spiritual purity. And I know I buy myself books when I'm feeling down and in need of a treat, but then I think about how much the publishing industry needs to be kept afloat in order to sustain huge spiritual wealth in terms of writers and works and, and... and I wonder how it can be wrong? ;-)

Big hugs!

Anne Brooke said...

Ooh the books - you're so right!!! Though I suspect you're hugely wrong about the spiritual purity issues ...



Anonymous said...

Laptop and handbag definitely... after the family, of course!

Anne Brooke said...

Good choice, Wendy!