The Dawn Chorus
The Dawn Chorus:
Jean Vanier has died. What a wonderful man he was and such an inspiration. He helped us to see the simplicity and innocence of those with disability. Our controlled responses in life, too often cover up our fears. Their spontaneity can be an affront and even make us jealous. L’Arche spoke out of the heart of the Gospel. ‘Faith and Light’ challenged us to get over our religious arrogance and reach into the compassion of Christ. He saw Pope Francis – as starting ‘a Revolution of Tenderness.’ Whatever about Francis; Jean himself did . Forget about canonising the John Pauls of this world – here was our saint. He was real.
Gazza cried at Italia ’90 when he got a card and his World Cup was over. He made it possible for players to cry. Milner cried. Messi cried. Pochettino cried. The ‘new man’ can cry. Everyone will be at it shortly. Previously only women were allowed to cry! Liverpool deserved to cry with joy. Spurs deserved to cry with delight. Miracles can happen and do. I don’t know if Moura cried but he could be excused. I expect Roy Keane may have found that conviction and heart that he demanded from Man United in Liverpool and Spurs. I doubt if he would give in to cry…..
The Pope had got worked up some ago about Messi. He warned that people shouldn’t make Lionel Messi into a God. He was a human being. He had clay feet – though these were very fine feet. Messi failed at Anfield. Even the God-Lionel couldn’t do it. Miracles happen. Surprises occur. Enjoy them. Delight in them. Cry if you want to.
Prince Harry announced the birth of young Archie. He was ‘amazed.’ He was ‘over the moon.’ He was overwhelmed at what women go through and what Meghan went through. Men would never do that or so he said. Harry was a total blether. His words tumbled out. Everything was riddled with clichés. But there was something very ordinary and very beautiful about them. Every birth is such a miracle. If we can’t be startled by such moments as Mary Oliver says; we aren’t alive. “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” (Sometimes).
Judd Trump redeemed the name (Trump) by winning the World Championship at Sheffield. John Higgins was good and is very good but he couldn’t catch Judd. Ronnie had taken his leave in the first round. The name Trump stirs shock, disappointment, anger, ridicule, in me. How could the American people elect him? How could the Republican Party stay with him? He glamorises all the base instincts of human beings. Judd is a fine distraction.
Countrywide chatted about The Dawn Chorus – with Mooney goes wild, last Saturday. This was a lovely snippet: ‘The birds with the bigger eyes see the light first and then begin to sing.’ If only we all had bigger eyes. If only we could see. If only the Church became a celebration of Big Eyes. If only every Church moment opened up the eyes to see the light. If only. Surely that is Liturgy….
Jean Vanier had big eyes. He saw. Liverpool with Klopp; Spurs with Pochettino had big eyes – they saw and believed. Young Prince Harry had big eyes and saw and began to sing. Judd had big eyes – saw and believed. I see my cowslip each day – my eyes get bigger and I see the light. May all of us catch the light and begin our song. May the chorus of life – dawn on us daily. Let’s sing our song.
Seamus Ahearne osa
What a beautiful reflection, Seamus, on the happenings of the last week!!
I stopped watching Ajax and Spurs at half time, thinking it was all over. But, luckily, I returned just in time to see the 3rd goal. What an incredible moment! And, as for Liverpool, well what can you say about that—bordering on the miraculous? I was certain I wanted Liverpool to win the European Cup again but now I am not so sure.
This will be Tottenham’s first final –I think. Spurs were the great English team when I first began to become aware of these things.( We, of course have been in 2, Celtic, now on the verge of a quite miraculous Triple Treble). I remember seeing my first FA Cup Final on television in 1961- Tottenham and Burnley which Tottenham won 3-1. Spurs’ great captain, our compatriot, Danny Blanchflower, scored one of the goals from the penalty spot. I listened on the radio with my uncles the year before when they beat Leicester to win the Double.
Tottenham were, of course, the first British team to win a European title.
Following on their victory over Burnley they won the old Cup Winners Cup in 1963 beating Atletico Madrid in the final in Rotterdam. Jimmy Greaves tells a great story about that match in his book, “This One’s On Me”.
Before the match their great manager, Bill Nicholson -the first manager to achieve a Double for eons — gave a team talk which Danny thought showed too much respect to Atletico and which shattered the Spurs’players’ confidence. Danny then convened a secret team meeting and restored the players’ confidence. The rest is history –Spurs won 5-1.
I think I want Spurs to win the Final.!!
And, what a beautiful thing Jean Vanier said about Francis –“starting a revolution of tenderness”. God rest his soul! I never heard that before, Seamus, but we can now easily add it to our Francis’ accolades. And, you are right, forget about the John Pauls, Jean is what you call a saint. L’Arche is very well established here in Edinburgh. My friend Davie Gemmell — the late and greatly missed Mgr. David –once met Jean in a café adjacent to Notre Dame in Paris, just by chance. One of the L’Arche homes here is dedicated to Davie’s memory.
When I see the words, “Dawn Chorus”, Seamus, I always think of Emily Dickinson’s lovely, evocative poem, “At Half past Three, a single Bird.”
“At Half past Three, a single Bird, Unto a silent Sky
Propounded but a single term Of cautious melody.
At Half past Four, Experiment had subjugated test,
And, lo, Her silver Principle Supplanted all the rest.
At Half past Seven, Element Nor Implement be seen
And Place was where the Presence was Circumference between.”
Leaving Cert poetry and never to be forgotten.
I have on occasions heard that “single bird” when I should have been sound asleep.