Thursday, November 17, 2011

A hasty post

Because I got sidetracked looking up Psalm 15, after reading BB's post on friendship and then quoting 'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills'.  This reminded me of how my mum liked to recite it, along with the other one said to be the definition of a gentleman, the only bit I could remember of which was about not putting his money out to usury.  So I looked it up and it turned out to be no 15   It kind of tickled me that it commends

He that backbiteth not with his tongue,       
nor doeth evil to his neighbor,
nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor

since my mother could not have been said to have been entirely free of these faults, any more than I am: she fell out with just about every neighbour we ever had and wasn't always very kind about my father's family when they weren't there.  However, I still remember with pride how she shut up our very loquacious aunt, my father's sister, a Franciscan nun and a terrible snob, by reciting all of Psalm 15 to her when said aunt was wittering on about social status and their antecedents being gentlemen farmers or something.

Whatever my mother's faults, I shall always appreciate the grounding she gave me in classics of English poetry.  Not quite enough to equip me to hold my own but gets me somewhere with Heather, who e-mailed me today thanking me for the postcard I'd sent her of the Ravilious painting of Two Women in a Garden, which she said wafted her out of constructed space, and I am delighted and somewhat amazed that I can count among my friends a formidable octogenarian grande-dame of letters who e-mails me to say something like that.

A recent friend, it's true, not of the five years standing that BB says he tends to feel is necessary for certainty of amity.  I pondered this, as I had been feeling a little melancholic about friends and friendship, but then I remembered my really old friends. Which kind of tied in with the psalm thing.  Along with them I went to a very strange educational establishment where, even in the 1970s, we all had a psalter as well as our red and blue hymn books, and we were required to know how to chant psalms, observing the single and double pauses, and sing the gloria.  I can't say this experience left as much trace as my mother's learning by heart did her, but I'm pretty sure that Fire Bird and I could get to the end of our lives and we could still make each other laugh by intoning ' his tabernacle... from one generation to another'.  And we'd probably find something new to talk about as well.


Saving seeds.   Actually got out in the garden for a bit today.


I got sidetracked too talking to my sister, who is also my friend, and who says she has blackbird coffee cosies in stock, so another newer friend can have one.  And I'm also in haste because I am hoping to get third time lucky with my life-drawing class: the first time the model failed to show so we had to draw each other - with our clothes ON, it was rescheduled so I turned up but no one else did (I hadn't left a contact no), but perhaps tonight will work out.  So I must be off.


Fire Bird said...

it's true - I laughed out loud again...haven't thought about that for ages.

Rouchswalwe said...

♫ Happiness abounds! ♪♫

Roderick Robinson said...

In a moderately long response (Lord, how prolix I am becoming) to Lucy's rather gloomy reflections on friendship at Works Well I explain about the significant differences between a friend and friendship and amplify what I meant about the five-year period which tests the mettle of a friend. This absolves anyone reading this comment from feeling any obligation to visit Works Well where received wisdom says that the cupboard is becoming barer and barer.

Far more important: "I will lift up my eyes..." is Psalm 121.

Lucy said...

Thanks all,

FB :~)

BB - yes, that is 121, no 15 is the one with the definition of a gentleman who doesn't do usury. My mother recited both at the drop of a hat!