Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Still dews of quietness

Dear lord and father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence praise.

O sabbath rest by Galilee!
Oh calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity
interpreted by love!

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm.

Remarkably, when I came down, the electricity was not only still on, but the cooker clock wasn't flashing, so there had been no power cut at all. I think the worst of the storm was last night while we were watching '2001' on a DVD. The forks and flashes of bruise colour lightning, the sound of rain and hail, hailstones the size of peas, or petit pois anyway, played out a strange counterpoint to the lurid colours, the beautiful but inscrutable changing sunset eye of HAL, the wheezings and whistlings and sussurations that form more a part of the soundtrack than dialogue does. The double glazing is good, and the wind direction unusual, beating at the back of the house so not on our bedroom Velux, and I slept.

I woke from muddled dreams of tenderness and danger; opening the door for Moll, it was foggy, no birds sang, only a solitary frog, a sound I love, brave and dauntless, but the air was mild and still, and I knew the birds wouldn't be long. There was a tiny shred of cellophane in the hymn book, but no, it wasn't my place but Tom's:'Lead Kindly Light', good, but not what I was looking for. I know the words anyway, I sing it often to myself, but I don't like making mistakes, no, I don't like making mistakes.

If all I had to believe in was ' Dear Lord and Father of mankind' I could be a proper Christian. I want it at my funeral, and no, that's not morbid, and doesn't indicate I'm in a perilous mental state, everyone does it. But I want the 'Sabbath rest by Galilee' verse, which is almost always omitted.

And I put on 'Spem in Alium', Hope in all things. I don't know if there is really hope in all things, but there's certainly plenty for me, and on the same disc ( the wonderful Tallis Scholars 'Renaissance Giants'), Taverner's Western Wind Mass:

'Blow, blow thou western wind,
The small rain down can rain...'

I breathed in the scent on lily-of-the-valley, muguet which someone had left on the table in front of the house for Fete de Travail, unfortunately I don't know who to thank for it, thank the wrong person and they'll be embarrassed...

And I went to the blog, and the kindness I found there made me cry, and realise how very minor and unimportant my happily rare but generally self-induced and self-inflicted bouts of lowness really are.

The birds are all up and about now; sadly the double glazing which holds the fearful weather at bay also mutes the birdsong, I'm sure there's a metaphor there.

I've a date to go walking with my friend B. whose husband's away fixing the world, or a small corner of it in the Balkans anyway. I had though it hopeless last night, but I think we'll keep it, and see if she'll mind driving to the lake at Bosmeleac; the mist lifting from the surface of the water might be a treat. Seven o'clock and all's well. Bonne fete de travail, everyone.


Brother Dave said...

Dearest Loot,
Though many "Christians" of the world would disagree, there are no "proper Christians", we all find God in our own ways, through our own unique experiences. We are all unique.

Jan said...

This is wonderful writing...
It's alert yet soothing ( not an easy combination).
And "Dear Lord" , we sang for my mother and I love it..the peace , the promised calm of it.
Hoping you have a lovely day walking with your friend.

Catalyst said...

Lucy, when you're feeling down . . . just raise your voice and say that word "sussurations" five times rapidly. Should have you laughing in no time.

herhimnbryn said...

L. Beautiful writing. Have a good day in the company of your friend out in the Spring sunshine.

Anonymous said...

I'm a day late, so all I can say now is that I hope you had a wonderful May Day! Really enjoyed your writing here... and catalyst's comment made me laugh.

Lucy said...

Thanks all for reassurance and encouragement, and Dave for your gentle faith.
We did a woods and water walk, the weather was nice for walking, cool and a bit damp but quite bright, and later I went on a surprise visit to a chateau!
Marja-Leena, thanks for coming, yes, Catalyst is a funny chap and no mistake!(And a very dear one!)