‘Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket.’
The leaves. The colour. The deep pile carpet. The Fall. Words can be such a distraction. They can tempt us, tease us and even taunt us. The Fall? Is it Adam and Eve? Is it Albert Camus? Is it American for Autumn? Camus took us on a journey of Reflection. A monologue with a stranger. A Review of life. That is a suggestive version of these days. I don’t like the memory of the ‘angst.’ Or even the ‘eenui’ which was such a legacy of the writers and philosophers of that era. (Existentialism and Absurdism). There is more than a hint of such a dis-ease at present. A heavy weight on the shoulders of life. When there is little structure and in many ways very little to do; every small decision takes a disproportionate amount of energy. It isn’t a tiredness but it is a weariness. The reflective aspect or even the contemplative idea, demands of us, a prayerfulness that might have been very submerged in our previous busy lives. Proposal: Be careful. Don’t waste the gift of time and space.
Off the pedestal:
There is also a Fall from Grace; we have become very insignificant in the conventional social story. We (Church as a sociological phenomenon) didn’t even merit a mention in the recent political statements (Stage 5). I’m not convinced that this in tune with psychological needs of the wider community. I think our Archbishops weren’t making some special pleading (out of entitlement) but rather were asking for a sensible scrutiny on the value of Church life to so many. It was quite remarkable that Funerals were down to 10 (Level 5) which then had to be revised. An afterthought? So back to the Fall: We often reach for the apple or become the pear/pair on the ground. There is a real hunger for something new and more and different. Society can forget or neglect the deeper needs/values for the immediate. The deep recesses of our humanity won’t disappear. We have to let the beautiful leaves (the familiar) of our lives fade away for the moment. All of us have to. But we cannot lose the depths of humanity. The ‘letting-go’ is nature’s message and a message from Covid 19. How amusing to hear that Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and AOC have no problem speaking of God and Faith. It would be very politically incorrect for an Irish politician to do that. Proposal: Let the leaves fall, let go, let God.
“It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.”
Stanley Kramer and Spencer Tracy are characters of our past. Who could ask for anything more? We may not be chasing that money or even laughing hysterically when everyone appears to be accident prone. (The Film). But quite often we are chasing shadows. The film is rather stupid but it is wonderful. How do we tap into the humour of this moment? If we haven’t an eye/ear for humour; we aren’t graced or Godly. The comedy sketches on US TV are quite brilliant. The WhatsApp videos are marvellous. What will the comedians do, if Trump is beaten? But then he cannot be beaten, because he got Covid from God, which was a blessing. God won’t let him down. And now he is so powerful that he wants to share ‘big fat kisses with everyone’ other than Sleepy Joe and his companions. Comedy? Fun. Humour. Madness. There is a certain comeuppance in several scenarios. The virus playing tricks with the border as if the Island of Ireland was divided. Boris bluffing his way through every scene but snared by the virus when his only task was to ‘get Brexit done.’ Teresa May saying: “What?” Official Church getting uptight about Tony Flannery’s stray thoughts when now every church is closed except for funerals and weddings. We have reached a time when our neat and tidy God (of church) is lost in the fog and swamp of the virus and now life is totally out of control (as we used to know it). We can’t fix a little virus, and we are so powerful! Invincible. Villanova University is doing a course to excise the received view of history which was written by the winners; the colonialists. The world is in a state of chassis. Indeed. Proposal: The challenge of each day is to squeeze the fun out of every moment.
Make a difference:
‘Mad Sunday.’ ‘Make a difference.’ Nature makes a difference. The swans appear in the distance. On the Tolka. Like a mirage. The herons refuse to get out of bed and tell me it is too early. The starlings swarm. A murmuration! The trees put on a show. The geese are returning for the winter. The extent of migration is intriguing. Without a Sat-Nav? In the absence of the usual folk our hearts reminisce on how precious and inspirational they are to us. We need them. The laughter of faith. The kindness. The banter. The honesty. The sheer goodness of so many. The heroines and heroes of our community. The ones who always naturally spin a positive outlook on everything. The ageless personalities who keep us abreast of what is going on; who is sick or who is sad. The helpers. The volunteers. The givers. The old ones who still go around doing collections. The ones who always ring up or drop a note or simply say thank you. Who needs all Saints? We have them. They are everywhere. These days refresh/alert our hearts to note them. The God of everyday, lives brightly among us. Conclusion: Eucharist is daily life – with or without church and is never dull or dreary. How could it be? Our worship is teeming with wonder-people. God is ever so good to us. When we notice. Proposal: Everyone arrives as a package from God. Discover the intention and ambition of God for each one of us.
The irony of it all!
It is ironic. Isn’t it? Some of us never had a moment. Never took time off. Never had time to be bored. Never had everything done or everyone seen, or cleared the to-do a list. Now we have time with little to do. And yet somehow it is almost impossible to get around to the most mundane things. To tidy the house. To eliminate the clutter. To read all the books that we meant to read. To do some serious research. To catch up on the letters/emails. To make those phone calls. To try out new recipes. To investigate local hidden gems. To renew and refresh the life of prayer. To look anew, as if for the first time, at the world of worship. To awaken the eagerness of revelation where God walks. To open the treasure box of memory and savour the wonder and inspiration of many people. To profile our own living and dead saints. And yet where there is time; there seems to be a lethargy which curtails and distorts this crisis moment. An opportunity is wasting away. Proposal: Focus on a few simple things. Do something important today however simple.
Indi speaks sense:
Indi is seven months old today. She wanted to celebrate her birthday last evening on the phone. She is perplexed. What is all the fuss? She wants to know. Is it 3 or 4 or 5? She doesn’t care really. She was born into Covid 19 time. It is all she knows. She is very concerned about Fungie the Dingle Dolphin. She has a theory. She doesn’t care whether it makes sense or not. She thinks that Fungie got fed up with the nonsense of everyone. People are so sad and negative. She thinks that Fungie could take no-more. Her view is that Fungie turned on the Radio/TV and was shattered with all the blethering. It was rotten with moaners and groaners. Everyone was so sad and serious. It would almost tempt you to fold your arms and die. And Fungie took off. Fungie had enough. That is Indi’s theory.
Indi says that life is very simple. Stop. Look. Listen. She has arrived. She wakes up. She looks around. She dances. She sings. She shouts. She smiles. She discovers. She is thrilled with the natural changes of everyday. She loves life. She is thrilled to be alive. Everything is a revelation. She sometimes doesn’t want to go asleep in case she misses anything. She can wake up at night simply to see what night looks like and feels like. She shouts then to wake up her mother and father in case they might sleep through the wonders of the night. They don’t seem to be as happy as she is, when she wants to play at night.
She hesitates to say this but she feels she has to get it out. Why do adults wear such long faces? Why do they love talking about their problems or their ailments? Do they create problems to have something to say? Why do they talk about the weather as if a day has become bad, because it rains? Something beautiful waits to be discovered in all weather. If it rains, she says, put on a coat. If you are cold, get something warm. If you need a hat; get one. Go out. Her latest fascination is concerned with a tree. Yes. A tree. She heard that England’s ‘Tree of the Year’ for 2015 was a 250 year- old Pear Tree. It has been knocked down to make way for HS2. Her problem was: How could anyone ever kill something? That tree had a story to tell. It had been around longer than any of us. Who murdered this tree? She has funny ideas. She loves watching the trees and the leaves whirling around in the wind. She likes kicking off her own clothes – like the trees and the leaves. She loves to dance, like the trees. She is thrilled to watch the birds. She is mesmerised. Dolphins. Trees. Birds. Air. Sky. People. Song. Music. Toys. Colour. Smells. Colours. Moon. Stars. Sun. Every day is a gift. Every day is a grace. She even makes a prayer. Her words are: “Never let me, on any new day, be sad or negative or dull. I want to say always. Thank you God. You love me. I love you. You give me everything. I will never stop discovering the treasures of life. Keep me grateful and appreciative. “
Seamus Ahearne osa