Sunday, March 26, 2006

Porridge, West Coast Style

I decided to cut myself some slack for Sunday morning, so for five days have been fantasising about porridge. Oat bran, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, cream - with ground flax seeds and wheat germ. It was heavenly, and it met the need. Aaah.

Oh, bliss! just heard Tennessee Ernie Ford on XM singing "Sixteen Tons". I have taught that to so many children, and it's one of my all time greats for long car trips. In particular, trying to drive back to camp in Guernsey with a busload of blithe little boys on lanes so tight the hedges brushed both sides. Of course their favourite was always "If you see me coming better step aside/A lot of men didn't, a lot of men died/I got one fist of iron, the other of steel/If the right don't get you then the left one weel."

This is going to be a great morning, what's left of it.

Disappointed in Gilead overall, and have been trying to work out why. Was she trying to do a Nabokov? The antagonist is exactly the kind of bad boy women love, and jealousy makes fools of the best of men, but to be hostile to a baby??!! Need to talk with Zany about this, since she lent me the book in the first place.

It did return me to my theological days, formal and informal. Two practices most fruitful: fifteen years ago I spent a summer on the Lord's Prayer, always as I walked into work along the Regent's Canal - just about the only time I had to myself in those days. The blossom was out while I contemplated it straight. I then went through it angry -walked faster!- which art in heaven - all right for you! Mellowed as the days got warmer, through a benign father, then spent a long time on a benign mother, six weeks or so. Finally, as the summer became frail and the air crisp and golden I prayed to a divine child, and it opened up before me the very prospect of heaven.

The other is yoga, physical emotional prayer, more trustworthy than words. It tells me exactly where I am, posture by posture. Can I relax into child's pose? trust. Do I burst into flame in Triangle? that is openness. Getting a little flashy? Ego! Sometimes it is hard and I have to accommodate that, sometimes it flies along, and I let it. I always do the same sequence, a Grand Salute twice through, to ground me for the day.

So I don't go to church, and I don't go to classes. I will visit cathedrals this summer, and St Catherine's chapel, go to concerts but I don't think I can arrange to sing in any. That is how I named Suscipe, years before I found her. We were singing Gounod's Mass, and the tenors bellow "Suscipe! Suscipe!", then I thought, that is the perfect name for my cat, my little white queen.


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