Friday, November 01, 2013

7 Quick Takes: All Saints Day and Saint Trey + happy things that happened before we were sad.

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All Saints Day II, 1911
Wassily Kandinsky

Today is All Saints Day.   It is the day on our church calendar when we thank God for all saints, dead and living, for the community of the baptized and “the cloud of witnesses” that cheer us on to live our Christian identity. 

This year, All Saints Day is the day our friend Trey died.  This morning he went home, joined the cloud of witnesses.  But he was just here.  He and Brian were supposed to golf on Monday.  I hugged him in his blue shirt on Friday night.  I said "How're you doin', Trey?" And looked down at me and said, "Getting here was rough, but I'm doing alright now."

We are stunned.  And very, very sad to be  getting ready for a funeral.

In morning prayers today, Brian and I smiled and cried imagining Trey -- Saint Trey -- with all the others in Revelation 7.  In addition to being sad, we are also, quite frankly, jealous.  

Trey, I'm sad and stunned and jealous, but also really happy that you're doing alright now.

Malcolm Guite wrote a beautiful sonnet for this day in the liturgical year.

Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards
Each shard still shines with Christ’s reflected light,
It glances from the eyes, kindles the words
Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright
With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,
The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.
Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing
He weaves them with us in the web of being
They stand beside us even as we grieve,
The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,
Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above
The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,
To triumph where all saints are known and named;
The gathered glories of His wounded love.
Before we were sad, we enjoyed a fun retreat with our church family last weekend.

The man still can crank out a Top 10 list.  (Christ Church annual retreat talent show)

In which I continue to complain about the soil/weather/critters of Texas:  

At the retreat center, in the Hill Country of Texas, the sun was merciful, the air cool and breezy.  I began to relax and feel like I was no longer a stranger and alien in this southwest land.  UNTIL -- I had the audacity to frolic in flip-flops, upon green and dewy grass only to have several Texas-born matriarchs yell across the way simultaneous dire warnings:  "There's stickers in that grass!" and "Watch out for the fire ants.  The rain brought them all up from their nests!"  At which time, I stood paralyzed upon a limestone rock sticking up out of the earth and contemplated my predicament.

And wished -- once again -- for the human-friendlier pastures of my northeast home.

Although in the Northeast your front yard doesn't grow rosebushes in October:

My brother Ryan started a blog!  You're going to love visiting his imaginative and fun posts at Rocket Gent: The Imaginative Gentleman.

Good words other people wrote online this week:

  • Arcade Fire full album preview: Set to the 1959 film Black Orpheus, Arcade Fire has released their entire upcoming album Reflektor, available October 28th, for your listening pleasure.

Yes, this is fun.  So, so fun (especially if you are from New York. Or Canada.)


A beauty and grace-filled weekend for us all, dear ones.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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