The Squad. Eoin Morgan. Pavarotti:
Wild, Wild Women:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley are called The Squad. They have riled the Donald which is hardly difficult. They have upset Nancy Pelosi. They are loud and very awkward. Trump’s response was typically robust. He zoomed in and caught the harmonies of the racist-past which was never dead: ‘Go Home…… ‘ Gerard Baker (former Editor of the Wall Street Journal) wrote that Trump is riding a powerful wave of white resentment. He sees the Donald as harnessing the seething undercurrents of being-left-behind by the Establishment. Even though Trump himself represents the moneyed-class, his outsider- status appeals. He also expresses what so many want to say. The Presidency of Barrack Obama irked (irritated) rather than healed the sores of the past in the resentment of the poor white population. Or so it is said.
The Mother of Parliament:
I met a lovely couple from the US recently. The husband was Mexican. They were both ardent supporters of Trump. When I threw in the leaked words from Kim Dorroch (UK Ambassador to the US), it made no impression. I didn’t get a chance to sprinkle around Donald’s words for the Squad but I expect the response would be the same. I can’t grasp how these very warm and genuine people could support him…… The fault must be mine. Something similar appeared to have happened in the North of England with Brexit. The poor had become poorer. Immigrants were felt to be taken over their jobs and getting everything that they weren’t getting. John Bright in 1865 said that ‘England is the mother of parliaments.’ It is presently a very shoddy mother and a mother that should be charged with dereliction of duty! It can’t decide anything.
The Captain of England from Rush:
Eoin Morgan is Captain of England – and has led the winners of the World Cup ODC (50 overs). Eoin and Kane Williamson (cricketer of the Series and Captain of New Zealand) are constantly in touch. Neither can make sense of ‘the greatest cricket game ever’! How did anyone win? How did anyone lose? That Super Over. The boundaries. That Six instead of a Five. The regard for each other. The concern for each other. The acceptance of defeat. The uneasy victory. Eoin didn’t have much time for Rees-Mogg’s tweet: “We clearly didn’t need Europe to win.” ‘There are six or seven of the guys who weren’t born in England and that sums up the country. “ Of course he himself is Irish and Rush. He comes across as a gentleman. Even that particular game comes across as ‘cricket.’ Eoin isn’t keen on Brexit or keen on Jeremy or Boris. Surely they are not the best that could be produced….
There is a new film on Pavarotti. He began in his parish choir. He was a good Italian Catholic! Whatever that means. He wandered whenever and wherever he wished. He received global status with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras at the World Cup 1990. Nessun Dorma rings in our ears still. Here is a review from Joanna Moorhead (The Tablet): ‘Nothing about Pavarotti was rehearsed, or calculated or gauged. He lived as all of us should, but few of us do. He was unguarded; from the heart. He was a one-off but in truth he was only as one-off, as each of us is. The difference with him was, he revelled in it, celebrated it, paraded it. His life was a lesson in how to live. ‘
Wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could get some people akin to the Awkward Squad as ministers in our Church or someone like Eoin as a leader or Captain in our Ministry or a Pavarotti who could be so free and wild and wonderful and musical. What a breath of fresh air that could be. The sane. The sensible. The reasonable. The predictable. The tidy ones. We don’t need them. They have suffocated us. We must break the mould. We must shatter the certainties. We must allow the God of the mess, to spread the manure of fun, difference, newness, surprise and poetry. As Mary Oliver says in HUM – ‘I see nothing that I don’t admire.’ Stop. Look. Listen.
The poetry of faith:
Our world screams out for poetry even if it can’t cope with it. Faith can only exist in a world of poetry. God is always big and bigger. Little minds have nothing worthwhile to say of God or faith. The rigids and the dogmatics and the absolutes live in the world of machines or robotic faith, and not in God’s world or among real and true humans. We need to rewind and revisit Buzz Aldrin some 50 years ago: Pause, contemplate, give thanks and enter into real Communion. Allow the unexpected to happen. Believe that Shane Lowry can win the Open. Believe that the broken Tiger can win the Masters. Believe that Simona Halep can beat Serena Williams. Believe that anything can happen and that we can reach out beyond the confines of our present thinking and celebrate with a new heart. Oh yes. And why not – believe in miracles.
Seamus Ahearne osa