Ping Pong

A former Roman Catholic colleague began his sermon: 'I have a confession. I love TV wrestling'. Now I, whose Way of Life commits me to rhythm, and who have just co-led a retreat on Wisdom, have a confession: 'I have lost both Rhythm and Wisdom' - which is why this blog is late. My confession goes as follows.

Saturday. I finished my 45 minute keynote address to Edinburgh Festival of Prayer 5 minutes early before coffee was served. If only I had timed it I would have included, under the section 'All ways of praying', new forms of rosary as well as praying in tongues and with ikons. Then duplicate workshops on Celtic Styles of Prayer. Since I forgot to bring a packed lunch as the blurb directed I dashed to a Subway sandwich Bar before setting these up. Matt Lamont arrived in a taxi from the airport, jet-lagged from Australia. I hosted him until The Open Gate (closed for the week-end) re-opened. He has gluten free. No matter. He wished to become acquainted with Whitby.

Sunday. We drove the three hours each way to this jewel of a town, visited Hilda's well on the beach, climbed the 199 steps to the abbey, drew inspiration from Caedmon's Cross, endured the dreadful advertisement of the power and possessiveness of the post-Saxon abbey by English Heritage audio, walked Caedmon's Trod. hoped that some Christian would rent a large allotment and create a simple 'Caedmon Hut' where the early spirituality of Hilda, simple and close to the earth could be connected with, enjoyed the famed Whitby fish and chips, called in at Sneaton Castle where Matt photographed the magnificent wall paintings of Hilda's life and returned.

Monday- Friday - The Journey Into Wisdom Retreat. Barb and Bob Hudspith from Canada were among the retreatants. Matt introduced us to Mandala, Quaker, Aboriginal and Silence aspects of the Wisdom tradition. I spoke of biblical and Celtic aspects. In between I had a spiritual direction session with a visiting Explorer, and dealt with many matters with the help of Brenda in the garden shed office. Both Ellie and Carol had times off with sickness. Penny James volunteered to assist in in the kitchen. Retreatants put Wisdom Sayings on a flip chart. They included

Knowledge helps us make a living: wisdom helps us make a life

The key to wisdom is to be at home in your skin, the earth and God.

Stay in the present and don’t go back to ‘If only..’ and ‘What if…?’

Friday-Saturday: I drove Matt to Edinburgh Airport. The tide was closed. Took a B&B, collapsed into bed. After a late breakfast I stumbled into the beautiful garden of the National Museum of Modern Art opposite. Wisdom suggested I linger and become present to the exhibition of Louise Bourgeois. I stare at her spiral and her words 'To unravel torment you must begin somewhere'. I buy a book that influenced Louise: Melanie Klein's 'Love, Guilt and Reparation'. Childhood repression ... a paragraph for my Memoir becomes clear. The drive home. A who dunnit. Bed. An extra hour. To sleep, perchance to dream. And repent.

Posted at 01:43am on 27th October 2013
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