Friday, November 6, 2015

All Saints ceremony, a picture of a picture of a thought, I'm functional

Country sourdough (Thom Leonard recipe)
The associate pastor at First Presbyterian sent a letter early last week inviting me to the All Saints Day service. She noted that the names of church members who had passed away in the past 12 months would be read. I went. Thank you, Wendy.
Let me stop to note that several years ago I stopped going to church (though I continued in weekly Bible study). And years before that, Leslie and I quit giving to the church because of a huge difference between us and the denomination. How did the church and clergy respond when Leslie passed away? They reached out – not unlike turning the other cheek.
The service was an All-Saints service, oriented to people who have passed on and those who mourn, including hymns, prayer, and sermon (there was a lovely thought about the “great cloud of saints” – you know, like Leslie and all the others through time). The names of members who passed away in the past 12 months were read. People in the congregation could then call out names of others, so I called out Tom's name – Tom, whose body I found a few weeks before Leslie passed away. And, we took communion (always, to me, the highest Christian ceremony I know of).
I don’t mean anything related to “high church” or high in the sense of high on a substance like alcohol or cannabis or whatever. I mean high as in exalted… numinous… elevated… unifying… beyond…
I don’t ordinarily associate the Presbyterian Church with high ceremony, but there it was, unmistakably so.
Welcome lights in front of our home
A thought
On the right is a photo of a picture of a thought – the person who gave the picture to me thought of giving it to me and then made the picture of that thought and gave it to me. That’s him at the bottom and me at the top. It’s on some book shelves in the front room.
From the rocking of the cradle
To the rolling of the hearse
The going up
Was worth the coming down
I’ve been baking, pruning roses, going places, hanging out, putting up welcome lights, being by doing (busy hands are happy hands), and doing better. Now, at eight months (yesterday), I’m not functioning at a high level, but I’m functioning. Ha! I’m a functional mourner.

Someone was saying that in some cultures they have shrines to people who have passed away, and that person thought it seems morbid or something like that. I showed her a photo of my shrine for/to Leslie (It’s for me, obviously.)
Shrine in front room (in left lower quadrant) 

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