Sunday, 16 May 2010


So much, so much.
Saturday. The day started early, really early.
At 5.30 the sprayer plane was strafing the area again against Gypsy Moths.

At 7.00, we had to get up, had to be downtown by 8.30. Synod.
Someone joked that we are no longer the Conservative party at prayer. I think it was a joke. But of course we are, of course we bloody are, oh, for sure not one of us is a card-carrying Tory, many might even be card-carrying socialists, but we're the righteous wing of the Tories. When we pray, God fidgets from boredom.

I think we misunderstand the changeless quality of God.
We think that because we change and God doesn't, that what that means is that God has always been as we have always perceived God.
What it really means is that our perceptions of God need to change, because actually, we didn't get it right before. We saw God in our own image, but as out own image changed, we forgot to update.

A Rabbi came to Synod. He gave up his Sabbath to spend it with a bunch of Anglicans. And he was an interesting speaker. He is working on interfaith with the Vancouver School of Theology, who are top bananas on inclusive language, which he used and it sounded so natural.
Since he wasn't observing the Sabbath in his normal way, he forgot to turn his phone off, and thus received a call from a Muslim colleague, whilst hanging with the Proddies.
He chided us gently and deservedly on a bit of Jew blaming that we maybe hadn't noticed.
And this is what I like about us. Despite our blandness, we understand enough to know that Christianity isn't the only answer. The Jews fight amongst themselves, the Muslims fight amongst themselves and the Christians fight amongst themselves. And yet there is at least a layer of each that can find the common ground, or enough shared ground to make it work, and to realise that any way of being spiritual is good and that the important questions like equality and social justice shouldn't be sheltered by nor the purlieu of religions.

At lunchtime, we go and eat at an Italian place, but Italian food is not designed to be eaten quickly, my soup burns me, my sandwich has to be taken away in a polystyrene box. I hate this, but I can't leave food to be thrown away, too cavalier by half.

There was a really good film about how the Anglican church in our diocese had treated Japanese Anglicans during the war. It had sold their churches, so that when they were finally allowed back from internment, four years after the war, not only had their homes and livelihoods been taken from them by the government, but so had their churches.
The bishop apologised formally to them.
This whole apologising for stuff that other people have done leaves me cold. How does it close that wound? How does it address what was done? It feels as though it is supposed to draw a line under the episode, but it doesn't.
Still, I look forward with eager anticipation to the bishop's apology to women for the ongoing discrimination and misogyny within the church, and for the misrepresentation of God as male.

Afterwards, I wander down to Coal Harbour and sit and have coffee outside a café. A young Japanese man tries to get his boxer dog to sit outside the café, but the dog keeps wandering inside. The man never succeeds with the dog, but eventually gets an ice-cream despite the protestations of the server. They wander off and the Boxer attacks a long-haired dachsie, The owner is not amused.

I make my way along the waterfront until I get to the cruise ship terminal. The ships are so big they are frightening. I wonder if this is like the one Dawn and I will go on this summer.

I meet up with Kevin and later with our friends who are moving to Toronto in a couple of weeks.
Kevin and I are passed by Sikhs on motorbikes. Hard Sikhs, allowed to wear turbans instead of motorcycle helmets. It makes sense I suppose, the warriors.
We go past a restaurant soon to be opened. It will be called 'L'Abattoir'. Seriously. I'm guessing it won't be a vegetarian restaurant, but even so, grim name for somewhere to eat.
In the restaurant where we are to eat, the server recognises Steve from a play he was in. That's weird. He's our friend, but he's in TV, films and plays and gets recognised.

We arrive home around 23.00 and there is an e-mail from someone in my writers' group. She is the exact same age as me, and her daughter has died, suddenly. I can't get my head around this. It has shaken me. Then today, an 80s number on the radio makes me lose it because she and I, in different countries on different continents, must have danced to this number as young women, everything ahead of us, and now I think of her on a plane, going back to deal with what awaits her there, the worst thing a mother can imagine.
Sitting in the cathedral yesterday, I looked at the stained glass window. A well-fed, modestly dressed, white Jesus, looks down from the cross, not in agony, but with an expression of resignation. Equally well-fed, white followers crowd around him. Only his mother kneels at his feet, her pose one of agony for the suffering of her son.


Raymond's Brain said...

We have an exhibit at the Japanese Canadian National Museum that includes the Redress settlement, the "deal" the Canadian government made for a formal apology and financial compensation for World War II stuff. Some believe this allowed Japanese Canadians to feel exonerated, to show that they were not to blame for what happened. Still, when I see Brain Mulroney signing it, I wonder what his real motivations were.

Schneewittchen said...

Ha! So they got to be patronised on top of everything else!