Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Spirit Doth Burst!

We had our first rain here in England today! The buildings changed color and it smells wonderful- especiall the gardens.
Yesterday, I sketched a flower. It actually turned out quite acceptable. I spied it while watching a bee. It is pink and looks like it is bursting; so, since i have sonnets on my mind i thought of the the line, "My spirit doth burst" (i have the poem in my blog june 15). Drawing petals is more like drawing around them than actually drawing them because the lines are made by the light which means you have to fill in the surrounding shadow instead. I sat on the walk for aobut an hour doing that on brown paper and then i painted around the flower with a sort of tarnished pink watercolor and wrote the poem-line below it. I hung it up along with some post cards in my bare-walled room.

Oh Oh! I went to michaelhouse today! We set up a table in the middle of the chapel (which is more like a mini cathedral) and 14 sat around it. A Dutch couple, a young Parisian man who looked like orlando bloom, a Completely Irish man who looked like the australian shepherd in Babe (that pig movie), and the rest are from here. So there were 5 different accents in the room. And save the parisian, the dutch couple and myself everyone was over 50 and two must have been 85! Everyone of them amazing people. The leader reminded me so much of Louise from St. Lukes! And John, the man sitting next to me was one of C.S. Lewis' students here in Cambridge (Lewis attended Magdalene College down the street and later was a professor and tutor here). John had studied Latin for years and we translated some notes I had made from the Trinity Chapel wall together. Anyway, it is a church of england church and we read some readings not unlike those I have read in traditional methodist services and then we read a segment from Genesis when Joseph makes his identity known to his brothers that's 44:18-21,23-29, & 45:1-5 and Matthew 10:7-15. We took holy communion together. it was "informal" as opposed to "formal" so it was briefer and all in English. They have formal communion twice a week so I will go to that later! It was neat, we all stayed seated and passed a torn wheat roll around the circle each person placing it in the next persons hand, saying "the body of christ borken for you" and looking right into your eyes and then we passed the cup of wine and each of us took a sip and dabbed the edge where are lips were with a cloth that we passed with it saying "this is the blood of Christ shed for you." I'd never drank directly after people quite like that before. After we had each of us had a drink, he passed the bread again for us to finish then the minister drank all that was left from the cup (which took him several gulps) then he did something i have never seen a minister do. he washed all the crumbs off of the plate into the cup with a pitcher of water so that there were no crumbs left and drank the water too. I have heard that you are supposed to consume it all but i have never seen it done like this. When we read the Lord's prayer and other lines out loud, they read it much slower than I am used to and I kept trying to speed the lines but had to hold back "holy...holy...holy Lord God of power and might..." They really took their time. Anyway, the conversation was wonderful and deep we talked about hospitality and compared the city of sodom and gomorrah to the town that would "not welcome you or listen to your words" in Mt. 10 and about each's lack of hospitality and how as a church we are called to be hospitable and we need to treat incoming strangers so more than we do. It was interesting to learn about the typical English congregation and see that it does not differ much from here except that the unchristian community's view of Christianity is somewhat different than that of American agnostics. and we talked also about judgement and how in the scripture it says that God will judge that town like he did sodom but it does not say that it is ours to judge them and we compared that to how Joseph did not judge his brothers but rather offered forgiveness and hopitality (well other than when he put one in jail but that doesn't count). More like Jonah and Nineveh than Sodom. I will go there regularly!

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