Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Advent Thought 3 and Number 1

We went to the Wells Cathedral Advent Carol Service on Sunday afternoon. It was by candlelight. My favourite hymns of the year both feature minor-keyed Advent longing. Here, juxtaposing some new choral pieces based on the great Advent Magnificat antiphons with the words of poet Malcolm Guite, Name of Names gave me long gaps between the treasures to ponder my personal illumination.

A tapered white candle with a skirt to protect my precious fingers from wax,  once lit, became a slender angel at best and a danger to the flowing red locks of the woman in front of me at worst. When she sat down spectacularly and flamboyantly at the end of hymns I developed a knack of holding the candle over to the left ( I was on the end of a row). Be alert.

Because I was exposed to the draft my single candle burned fast. Whilst others in the row held their nine inches proudly above their service sheets my waxy extravagances went through various stages of silhouette.

First the angel developed arms; one raised and one lowered, beckoning me. Then the raised arm dripped down and joined the other. Maybe 'Angel with Backpack' will stir the creativity of a sculptor somewhere. Although 'Angel Attacked by Giant Caterpillar', the next morphosis, is a bit too sci-fi for church.

From there things proceeded quickly and my angel first reduced to the size of Yoda then disappeared into itself covering my thumb with hot wax through the central hole in the skirt just as mortal flesh was having silence suggested. I jerked and the last angelic drips deposited themselves on my right thigh.

'Don't rub it' said the knowledgeable Mrs Mustard. I expect she has seen Aladdin and didn't want an angel popping out of my trousers with clouds descending.

So I learnt (she has a degree-level qualification in domestic art) to place kitchen roll under the wax and brown paper over it and then a tea towel over that and to iron it.

Today's question. How do you occupy yourself when trapped in something you are not enjoying? Can you make plans for such occasions?

Conditions of a shared belief
Is it always binary?

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