Séamus Ahearne: The week that was…

“Once a computer was asked, “What is the truth?” It took a very long time before the reply came, “I will tell you a story…” ― Peter Brook, The Quality of Mercy

That was the week that was:

Ireland defeated the All Blacks. Those ‘cards’ were helpful but it was still a great victory. Rafael Nadal had to give up (Wimbledon) which was disappointing. Pogacar has moved into the lead in the Tour de France. But it is the cat at 10 Downing Street that covered the evolving political story in the UK, best. I expect that cat was concerned lest the wallpaper wouldn’t suit the new incumbent. Surely ‘the unkindest cut of all’ (I see some reporter copied me or rather Anthony on Brutus in Julius Caesar), was how some indulged in  the temptation, to highlight the similarities of Boris and Donald. Both do appear to lack self-awareness and insight. Sanctity is back in fashion; the halo on the F1 car saved Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone. Shinzo Abe was shot by a home-made gun in a land where guns are very tightly controlled. It is surprising how many candidates think themselves suitable for the PM job in the UK. Novak has done it again; Four in a row and seven times. Kerry have beaten Dublin despite the prayers of some at Mass. Hawkeye was sacked for the event. The Russians have bombed an apartment at Chasiv Yar. It is the indiscriminate nature of war. Sergey Lavrov justifies such action but the G20 weren’t accepting much of it. Sri Lanka is having a bad time. The PM’s house is on fire. The President’s palace has opened up the pool to the unwelcome visitors; it is very hot in Sri Lanka.

The Theatre of Liturgy (1):

Last weekend, I asked, which symbol should be staging the theatre of Mass from the  First Reading. Immediately we had the suggestion that we needed a breastfeeding mother sitting at the top of the Church; a rather wonderful depiction of God. I asked them also what local piece of sculpture would help us today. That too was supplied quickly – a mother stretching out to the heavens with a child. We then talked and saw ourselves as that child received from God and being thanked for, to God. And then today we had the ‘Word’ not being beyond our reach or beyond our strength. So we went rambling for the God of the ordinary in every day. The God of my herons (two flying together this morning and one landing beside the ducks – each quite nonchalant with one another and with me.) The God of the beautiful array of wild flowers up in the field. Though when I asked what stood out on the field – I got an answer, ‘grass’!  Or as Grey’s Elegy said: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air. What we sometimes don’t see is remarkable.

The Theatre of Liturgy (2)

The Samaritan story is powerful. I thought of my father in his Alzheimer’s getting lost up the woods and then being rescued by the local druggies. Or the cat worrying about the wallpaper in the frenzy of 10 Downing Street. Or the surprising story of the unlikely ones; the unexpected ones; the unusual characters in life or moments in life or places in life that wake up our innards. (Gratitude by Mary Oliver). The only answer to everything this weekend – was to create our own song of gratitude. (Colossians). We could even allow Jonathan Tulloch in The Tablet or on the London Times – to stir up our historical memory of those who made us who we are. We take the obvious and the everyday and the clan so much for granted. (The only discord – is those prayers of the Mass. They are ridiculous in content and stupid with their latinised construction.)  

Schools and interviews and our presence:

Could I describe myself as ecstatic or euphoric? No. That is more than my heart could take. Or the muscles of my emotions. However, after 25 years, at last I found a Chairperson for the Board of Management for one school. That was after a challenge to five people. Just after the appointment being ratified on the 1st July, a text arrived at 06.45 on the 6th July full of panic. Could I/Would I stand in on the Interview Board on Thursday for ten interviews. Two of the panel had dropped out with Covid. That didn’t make my day. For once, I was hoping for a funeral! After all those years of interviewing, I wanted to be finished. Many of the staff remember those interviews over the years. They smile a facial expression of wickedness! I appear to leave a mark. I am inclined to throw in a curve ball or a wobbler. Almost all the interviewees are good with the formalities but we need something of their personality and that something more. The interviews went well but I found them exhausting and I am certain the interviewees also felt wabbit. (Despite everything, those years of working with the schools and in the schools, have been marvellous. It is also a great service in the community and a great connection).


She has new problems. And she is a new problem. All she wants to do is to satisfy her curiosity. Every and any chance she gets, she is takes off. Every new road,; every new place; anything and everywhere has to be explored and investigated. She is not happy with restraints. She thinks adults are full of fear and are inclined to curtail her adventurous spirit. She knows that they want to mind her and to protect her. But freedom is her aspiration. The world waits to be discovered. She hasn’t time for imprisonment or protection. She could hardly be heard singing Redemption Song (Bob Marley). It isn’t possible!!!??? Is it?

She is stubborn and very convincing. She believes that God wants to play hide and seek with her. She loves her God. And this God sets clues all over the place. She doesn’t ever want to miss out on the wonder of the moment.  She doesn’t want to settle down to a quiet life or ever want to believe that she knows everything. Her new word is adventure and the birth of every day is a new map for that adventure. She is like that piece of sculpture in Finglas – a mother holding up a baby in gratitude; in mystery and in wonder. That is her story. She could shout out: ‘I came as a surprise and as a mystery; I won’t waste any time.’  

Seamus Ahearne osa

11th July 2022.

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