Sunday, 12 April 2009

'little boxes, little boxes and they're all made of...?'

I have to fill in forms. Unutterable joy fills my soul.
No, really.
Okay... no, not at all.
These forms have nothing to do with Plato, alas, but are rather clear, concise articulations aimed at demonstrating my skills as a reflective practitioner [see comment about disco mirror ball in previous post!].
The 'format' via which I am reflecting is comprised of lots of boxes, little boxes. Little boxes, little boxes, and they're all made of
little disco balls... oh, no, wait. [no, not ticky-tacky, but I'm delighted you know this old folky song - oh, some of you don't? Check out Pete Seeger and the marvellous sheep he is wearing]

I have to fill in forms.
I am procrastinating beautifully.
I am procrastinating wilfully.
Basically, I'm procrastinating.

I have had a most amazing time in my placement. It's taken me out of my comfort zone. I knew it would: that's why I chose to go there. But I am still processing and yet, I must fill in these little boxes all made of reflections, neatly compartmentalising the whole experience. I'm not ready to put my experience in a neatly packaged box/ or set of boxes just yet. However, some of my thoughts so far:

I never thought I'd utter the words "hmmm, a cassock is a useful piece of kit".
I never thought I'd get past a learnt dislike of all things liturgically formal - or indeed the Bible in the Authorised Version. I have come around enough to realise there is a peculiar, mysterious beauty to both and that there is a place for it and that some people even quite like this stuff :)
I wonder if there is a sort of liturgical fascism that is so desparate to be relevant [see 'hip, trendy' 'with it'] that it loses all sense of the importance of mystery? And that just because a format is encased in a traditional style, that it is automatically irrelevant and to be dismissed? Hmmm. I've done that. It doesn't mean I have to adopt the style of worship, but it does mean I have to be open to the fact that there is a value in it. I have had the eye-opening experience of realising that while I'm open to new things, those things tended on the more modern. A bit galling for an historian...!!!

Cogitations go on a-pace on the issue of 'civic religion'/ the C of S as 'national church'. I've boiled it down to... at the end of the day, when some awful situation arises of national import [thanks to John Smith for allowing me the OED option on this word!] who ya gonna call... ghostbusters? Just because our society's a secular society does not mean that people have no spirituality. The need for ritual is still strong, you only have to look at the aftermath of Diana's death: little pictures of her with lit candles scattered amongst the flowers - latter-day icon. At this point in time, who else is able to offer meaningful, and dare I say it, professional ritual. I may be howled down for this comment. But be gentle, I'm still teasing this one out. Perhaps an answer tomorrow....

In the meantime, little boxes... to contain a myriad of experiences involving conversations, cups of tea and cassocks.
And today... I was told I looked 'like a minister' - I'm faintly disturbed by this and wonder if I should have that tattoo on my forehead removed ;)
All together now, let's sing:
"there's a blue one, and a green one and they're all made of..."

1 comment:

Kate said...

1. Welcome to the blog world.

2. Glad to see you have a couple of us Piskies represented on your blog roll!

3. There are indeed some of us who like liturgically formal. I've just written far too much about Holy Week at Old St Paul's. Would be interesting to talk more about need for ritual and what it actually represents for and means to different people.

4. Good luck with your forms. You're in my thoughts as I fill in forms of my own. Bleh.