Thursday, September 03, 2009

Standing in the Long Now 2 - Stillness

The long now is, of course, the very best place to engage with God.

There were many many opportunities across the weekend – some obvious, some completely unexpected (but for the fact that Greenbelt is such a thin place, encountering God is never really unexpected).
God-filled moments for me included

sitting in Centaur on Friday night listening to Christopher Norton (Mr Microjazz – just think of that! - I used that with many a piano pupil once upon a time) and Robin Thompson-Clarke playing Arvo Part's Spiegel im spiegel

a window opening in my soul as +Gene Robinson reflected on Jesus words to the disciples
“There is so much I would like to tell you but you are not able to bear it…But when the Holy Spirit comes she will lead you into all truth”...a reminder that the sometimes unbearably slow learning processes of the Church have been expected from her beginnings

much of the Sunday worship, where I was surprised by tears as each member of our small group, among the thousands took it in turns to use olive oil from the Holy Land to anoint the hand of their neighbour and to pray a blessing on them.

the peace and holiness that I characterised everything I attended in New Forms, (always a wonderful place to be) specially Blessed’s Mass of the Trinity (I could have spent far longer just sitting with God before that blue lit altar) and the Long Worship put together by emerging communities Dream, Grace, feig, and Safespace

I found 2 stations here particularly powerful.
One consisted of many many cards, each bearing a single word…This was liturgy, the work of the people – and we were invited to arrange the cards to express our own prayers, our own situations and post them on the wall.
Elsewhere, we could write a letter to our future selves, with hopes, dreams, reminders of wisdom encountered, moments to cherish from this year’s Festival. The letters will be posted on to us in early March. I was quite tough with myself – so can only hope it doesn’t arrive on a difficult day.
Being told off by oneself if everyone else is feeling fierce might not be the best thing, though the substance of my letter (the ongoing question of time, boundaries and space to be human) is something I undoubtedly need to work on...


Songbird said...

I want to go, too. I've got to figure out a way.

Michelle said...

Avro Part...I'm jealous!

Song in my Heart said...

There is an arrangement of Spiegel im spiegel for piano and horn.

The horn part is wickedly difficult... all those semibreves and they've got to be in tune, perfectly even tone, all the rest. I would be terrified to play it in public and I don't know whether I could record it, even with many many takes.

The piano part is easy enough to play but difficult to keep in tempo. We always want to rush, always want to have a sense of impetus to the next note, but that piece has to be slow and spacious.

What a wonderful piece for the Long Now!

(If the letter arrives on a day when everyone else is feeling fierce you need only say so: I am certain there are people who will, at the very least, offer virtual hugs.)

Anonymous said...

We had to write a letter to ourselves in the last week of theological college. It was timed to arrive just before our priesting. I remember being devastated by my lack of vision and how boring my hopes were. Being a priest was just so much more exciting than I had predicted. I'm wondering whether it would help me to imagine myself in 5 years time and to write a letter telling myself what to do to now to remain that person that was full of the spirit on the day I was priested. I suspect it would say, leave yourself space to be human, don't stop praying.

Lucy said...

I didn't end up going to New Forms at all this year...wish I had now! Too much time wandering around undecided (and, er, in the beer tent). Enjoying your reflections, thanks for posting :)

Rainbow dreams said...

New forms was something I wish now I had gone to.. there is always next year!! Thats why we have to keep going back - there is always going to be another treasure, another precious moment..