Here’s how it was…

What a couple of weeks. Last week was pretty full on, but in a different sense to the week before’s madness. It was, as I have come to expect, once social engagement after another. But more on that later. First let me tell you about this church service we had to go to.

Yass Junction - waiting for the train
Yass Junction - waiting for the train

Having been brought up in the Anglican Church, and having served at Easter services on a number of occasions, I have ingrained in my psyche the way that things should be done when it comes to a “festive” season (and believe me, this service was a macabre “festive”). But that was in the past. The more theology I have studied the less I liked what I read that so I left the Church with no regrets, quite comfortable in my own faith and beliefs — heretical to some, but my beliefs are my own — no need for conversion to your religion, thank you very much. I have a deep suspicion of organised religion, or organised anything for that matter. Man is by nature a perverse and greedy being, and his sole purpose is to further himself in status and perceived esteem. (Please note, the use of “he and himself” is to denote the English gender-neutral third person singular). Christianity is no more than propaganda and the absorption of pagan practices into a radical Aramaic cult. Just look at what they turned Ēostre into (where do you think bunnies and chicks and eggs come from during the Easter season?)

Melbourne CBD and Flinders Street Station
Melbourne CBD and Flinders Street Station

But disparaging remarks about Easter aside, it is the most important event in the Christian religious calendar. None more important than the Good Friday service itself (although the Vigil service on the Saturday takes precedence as it contains the first Communion after the resurrection). We had the choice of Good Friday or Easter Sunday as the Magpie’s parents were singing in the choir on both occasions. Having been so rude and not gone last year, we decided to do “the right thing by them” and go to the Good Friday service. Never in my life, and experience in many different churches, have I ever felt so appalled by the religion, nor pitied Christianity so much.

The Yarra, Southbank and the G
The Yarra, Southbank and the 'G

This particular church, in what I can only guess is an attempt to be hip and cool, modernised the collect and replaced all the “Almighty God’s” with “Christ our Saviour” and substituted all reference to “Christ our Lord” with “You”. And that was just one of the things that irked me, the list goes on but this was by far the most serious breach in religious observation as it completely misses the point of Good Friday. The crucifixion is all about the Agnus Dei and the idea that the Son sacrificed himself to his Father for the sins of humanity, whether or not they believed in him. This service broke the commandments of idolatry and hypocrisy: the only mention of God the Father was in the Lord’s Prayer, there was emphasis on only those who believe will be “saved” there was a disproportionate amount of “we need to be Christ-like and willing to die in Christ’s name for our sins to the good Christians” and a good deal of fanaticism interspersed throughout. Zealotry of that level has no place in what is claimed to be a conservative Anglican Church. There was no sermon: only the collects, the Passion, and intercessions to “lead the unbelievers into Your light”. There was no explanation of the meaning of the crucifixion or its relevance to our lives — just Isaiah, Psalm 22, and the (sung) Passion according to Matthew. Not the most illuminating passages in the “Good Book”. And then, in a complete break with tradition, they held Communion after inviting everyone to prostate themselves before a large, paint splattered wooden cross. Needless to say, I won’t be going back there again.

Waiting for the train home...
Waiting for the train home...

Okay, so rant over. The Magpie and I actually went up for his father’s 70th birthday party. It was a lovely affair, fairly small, polite and interesting conversation, and as I spent the morning in town wearing my fabulous Zen T-shirt in silent protest to what I had to endure the day before, I was only in the kitchen to prepare the cheese board before, and pack the cutlery away the next morning while everyone else was at church. Oh, and eating mini Easter eggs while I was at it.

That was really it for exciting events of the week. The train ride there and back was excellent, finished my Leif Eriksson’s on the Thursday (they are currently drying and will be blogged with weekend), I got some knitting done, got my hair cut, dyed it bright purple (the box said Plum), and watched the Paris-Roubaix on Sunday night.

Hectacres of burn pine plantation, central Victoria.
Hectares of burnt pine plantation, central Victoria.

The funny thing is, this week have been more exhausted than I thought I’d be, so I am now well behind Pensky File progress that I had hoped to make, and am just compiling notes to take with me to Brisbane next week. Because, you know, I’m going to get some thesis done in between three full-day workshops. And I call myself a pessimist. Ha! I’ll show me I’m right.

The RTA in progress
The RTA in progress

Everything happens for a reason, included hold-ups in progress on my thesis writing. At least these workshops are keeping me hungry for my PhD. I am really looking forward to just sitting down with a nice giant pot of tea and reeling off the words. The hungrier I am, the more effective my writing will be. Well, here’s hoping anyway.

In knitting news, I finished and sent off my second knitted hug about three weeks ago to a fellow knitter who is currently going through a rough time. She has been a an inspiration to me over the course of the many years I have known her, and was the one who inspired me to take up knitting slightly more seriously than I had been. I picked up some Waratah Fibres 2ply in “Desert Sunset” at the OBDM last year that immediately reminded me of her. After much deliberation, I decided on something cowl-like that would be light and warm, delicate (because she is a waif of a thing), and easy to store — being able to be stuffed into a coat pocket when not in use, and pinned with a brooch for decoration. I will admit freely into all that I was very taken with it myself, a modified version of a lace-capelet pattern, and the yarn washed beautifully.

I was very excited when I sent it off on the Thursday, calculating it would get to its recipient on the Monday. I’d heard nothing from her until I prompted her this past Wednesday whether she’d even received my package. She had, but her rather blasé response left me feeling a little down. She too knows the effort and affection put into handmade works – yet she received it and reacted (in the way she worded her email anyway) as one who doesn’t really understand. It really got me a little down. Hopefully my next few knitted hugs will have better receptions. Or at least, unprompted “thank you’s” attached to them. (I’m not being sullen, it’s just nice to get a thank you without pushing the subject).

The next knitted hug was started on Tuesday night (we dumped our bags at school, and my knitting was with them) – I needed something to do – and it’s a pretty straightforward knit, I’m looking forward to the outcome myself. But more on that as I get to it. This weekend will be dedicated to RTA and the Noro Clappy – I want to get ball one done.

The Noro Clapotis
The Noro Clapotis

I’m back for a little while now, will try post some more this weekend. And if I can, blog Brissie next week.

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5 Comments

  1. Wow, see obviously we grew up in very different Christian traditions. I went from the Uniting church – the regular kind – to the pentecostal uniting church to the salvos – none of these varieties are particularly, deeply mired in the kind of tradition or orthodoxy that you describe. Nonetheless, the modern church that you describe makes me cringe – ok, vomit – in much the same way. A deep, visceral dislike of all that they do.

    Lovely to see all the work you’ve been doing. Gorgeous knitting. You and your knitted hugs!!!

  2. The knitted hug is simply gorgeous. The friend who received it is obviously going through a rough time as evidenced by the lack of emotion in her email. Having been completely caught up in what was going on in my life at certain stages I can see how she may not have been as outwardly receptive of your gift. But know that it is truly beautiful and it is such a wonderful thing that you are thinking of her in her time of need.

  3. i meant to add that I’m a little unsure of what to make of your friend’s response to your gift. It’s definitely in the ‘oh’ category. I would be definitely hurt, even if she is a bit caught up in her difficulties, as Leonie says.

  4. I can’t recall for certain the last time I went to a church… think it might have been midnight mass about ten years ago. Organized religion makes me twitchy too.

    Your knitted hug is beautiful.

  5. Mostly I feel sorry for Christians. They’re so far gone they do ritual cannibalism and don’t realize it. But then, I’ve been to church twice in the last ten years and I’ve got a little distance from the whole thing. My reaction would be much the same as yours, with the same experience.

    Hugs on your hug. You did a good deed, and that is a reward in itself (so annoying when I realize all that stuff my grandmother said is right). You’re Doing Good, and that is a great big deal, regardless of the reception it gets. Bravo for your good works.

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