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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life - Page 2

  • Online Word Games

    First it was Wordle.  Then came Byrdle (choir and musicians version) Bardle (Shakespeare) and Prayerdle (Bible/prayer).  Whilst I never post my coloured squares online, most days I solve all four of these, and am left with four words.  My own extra game is to arrange them in to a sentence or rhyme - surprisingly this often works out, and is a bit of harmless fun.

    I also sometimes play Quordle (four words to solve simultaneously) Nerdle (a number puzzle) and even Absurdle (a bit of extra jeopardy as it changes the word after each guess (must be a clever algorithm as correct letters are retained))

    It's a phase, a bit like sudoku a few years back, or baking banana bread and quizzes on Zoom during lockdown.  But it's fun for a few minutes of 'downtime' each day.

  • Kyrie Eleison

    We hear the news about the Ukraine and we are dumb-struck (or I am anyway).

    What on earth do we pray?  Lots of wiser people than I, like archbishops and denominational leaders, are offering forms of words, and they help a bit.

    But I want to name and note the sense of helplessness and the uncomfortable truth that however hard I pray, events continue to unfold.

    So

    I pray for the people of Ukraine - Lord have mercy

    I pray for the people of Russia - Lord have mercy

    I pray for leaders of powerful western nations - Lord have mercy

    I pray for people of peace and goodwill everywhere, lost for words, and powerless to act - Lord have mercy

     

    To be clear 'Lord have mercy' is my prayer - Kyrie Eleison - may God have mercy on all people, may God's Christ redeem all things, may God's Sophia Wisdom bring peace, wisdom and order amidst the chaos.

     

    Kyrie Eleison

    Christe Eleison

    Kyrie Eleison

    Amen

  • Remembering

    Today would have been my parents' diamond wedding anniversary.  I am not sure quite why this thought struck me yesterday, but it did.

    This photo was taken at my brother's wedding in 1985, and is one of the few I have with the two of them together. 

    There were never any photos of their wedding, which took place on a Friday in a London registry office, so far as I can recall accompanied only by their witnesses, Terry and Julie, the latter apparently inspiring my third name.

    Theirs was no idyllic marriage, but they brought up their children to the very best of their ability: I always knew they loved me, and that they wanted the best for me, which is really all anyone can ask. 

    My Mum was widowed as long as she was married, and missed my Dad all that time.  They stuck together for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health until they were parted by death - that in itself is worth recalling.

    Thank you Mum and Dad for giving me the gift of life, for the ways that you shaped my thinking and being, and for the memories that surprise and delight me in their recollection.

     

  • Endings...

    This week has been characterised by no less than three endings... two following deaths of people I have known for many years, and one the end of a professional relationship.

    Tuesday was the 'direct cremation' or 'cremation without ceremony' of someone I have know almost a decade.  This was their wish, and it was honoured.  It left others in a community of which we were part feeling the need for some kind of ritual - which we found in synchronised candle lighting.

    Tuesday was also the day on which my Spiritual Director and I reached a 'parting of the ways' after a couple of years.  It had been good and helpful for a season but was no longer fruitful - it was time to move on, which we did, praying for one another as we parted.

    Thursday was the funeral of a long-standing, if not close, friend, that took place in a rural chapel hundred of miles away, yet to which I was able to attend via Zoom.  In the context of Christian worship, and in rhythmic ritual I know, understand and cherish, this felt like a good ending.

    Three endings in a week is quite a lot.  Three very different endings gives me much to ponder.

    Sometimes endings will be carefully planned and sometimes they catch us unawares.  Some I will exercise some control, others I won't.  Some will satisfy my desires and meet my needs, others will not.

    This week I find myself more than ever convinced of the importance of ritual in marking significant life events.  On Tuesday that need was met in the lighting of candles, on Thursday in the familiar patterns of scripture, story, song and prayer.  It's not true that to  one is inherently better, and I am glad people no longer feel pressured into religious ceremonies where none is desired.  However, I think in a post religious age, there is as great a need as ever for appropriate rituals to mark significant endings.

    Having a pre-paid funeral plan, and having recorded some desires, I hope that when my time eventually comes both that those making arrangements can be assured they have honoured my wishes, and that their needs have also been considered and provided for.

  • A psalm for women of a certain age...

    I came across this in a book of liturgies and prayers.  I found it helpful.  Others may too.

     

    O Divine One,

    Source of the feminine live-force,

    I thank you this day

    For your life-energy within my body,

    For the order of its rhythms and cycles.

     

    Even though I no longer have

    My blood time to mark my cycles,

    Teach me to listen with my inner ear

    To the other cycles and patterns

    Of my body.

     

    As I listen with attentiveness and respect,

    May I daily grow in understanding

    Of how to care for my body

    With gentleness and love.

     

    May I always remember

    That my femininity

    Is an integral part of me,

    Regardless of whether I am fertile or not.

     

    And, as I listen with greater reverence

    To that rhythm of your gifts within me,

    May I allow the special gifts

    Of this stage of my life to emerge

    Creating space for the wise woman within me

    To find fuller expression in my life.

     

    Abigail Rian Evans, Healing Liturgies for the Seasons of Life, Westminster John Knox, 2004, page 88