Thin People

I gave a talk to the Igniting the Flame course students at St. Cuthbert's Centre, Lindisfarne on Thin People.  What are they? you ask.  Here is a clue.  The eight deadly vices make us too big for our boots. The eight delightful virtues make us lithe and fit-for-purpose. 

Course member Rick Gariepi of Ottawa took his First Vows.  He has written a book about thin 20th century Christian entrepeneurs such as Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker, Thomas Merton and John Stott.

Berwick Literary Festival, which has just ended, included a number of thick and thin people.  Polly Toynbee was asked why she was against religion.  A life-long Guardian newspaper reader said he had given up that paper because religion was the only force that could turn selfish people into upholders of justice and Polly Toynbee was its most prolific writer!

Rowan Williams signed  copies of his commentary on 100 poems from  people of varied religions. A common theme is that just as nature flourishes when plants and trees co-operate with the fragility and death which pregnates all of life, so do human beings - whether it was the lamb in the tree that Abraham killed or the Eternal Lamb of God.  

Rachel Joyce, author of the popular film and book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was good value. Although Harold connected with unresolved inner conflicts - the land, the sea, his wife, the journey, heaven …his wife Maureen’s self-centered filter (played magnificently by Penelope Wilton of Downton Abbey fame)   made it more difficult for her to ‘see’ anyone else.  But eventually she allows the dormant love at the heart of their marriage to break through. The film ends with little white blobs of light passing through the windows of Tweed View Care Home, Berwick,  as Harold’s long-ago friend Queenie, who had begged him to see her before she died, passed away.  I asked Rachel whether these represented angels, and whether, with the angels that accompanied local saints such as Aidan at their death in mind, she had experience of angels at death.   She indeed drew a connection with her own experience. The angels are thin.  The space between earth and heaven is thin.  Only thin people can traverse that space.

So many thin people, thank goodness.


Posted at 16:01pm on 16th October 2023
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