25 April 2007

hey daddy-oh

hi dad,finally managed to get around to logging onto your blog,looks good and I hope to sometime today write a bit more.It's been raining heaps here which is uncommon but good for the State.I have forgotten what it's like to live in NZ where it seems to rain constantly,Australians are pretty spoilt.Robert has today off,yay,so we might go for coffe at our local(Supply) later on this avo.I am looking at a home tomorrow to rent which is on our street,Mum,you walked past it and said that you liked the windows,do you remember that one?Anyway,it has gor a pool and extra bedrooms so here's hoping.Off to read an article by Naomi Woolf about fascism in the States,didn't know there was!Lots of love,Hells

20 April 2007

Eucharistic Convention

Those who know us know that we attend the great annual gathering of Auckland Catholics known as the ("Eucharistic Convention"). The first convention happened the week-end after Easter - Divine Mercy week-end - in 1994, at a time when we did not even know what the future might hold for us as regards the Catholic Church. We attended the Convention in 1995, when we were on our way into the Church and already in RCIA, and were a bit bewildered by it all. We have attended each convention since then, barring one a couple of years ago, when my orchestra had a concert that week-end. I think each year that perhaps this will be our last. The speakers don't always sound that engaging. It takes a fair effort to make it - time off work, money spent, arranging where to stay. Each year after the convention I cannot imagine not going. It is true that not all of the speakers are equally exciting. I will only mention one this year, though as I say it, the memory of others comes crowding in, and "Oh, you must mention him," or "Well she, at least, cannot go unremarked" - still, I am not going to retail the whole event here! Michael Pervan was for many years a sign writer in Auckland. Perhaps he still is. But what he is par excellence is an iconographer. He wrote (he would not want me to say 'drew') an icon of Our Lord on stage during his 40 minutes at the convention. "Well," I hear you say, "that must have been interesting." I have not the words to convey what it was; 'interesting' is utterly inadequate. Michael began with a clean, almost man-sized, sheet of paper on an easel. He had, he said, prepared some of it beforehand. What we saw was all white, with a covering of another piece of paper that left a head-and-bust sized hole. What he had prepared was a border around the outside with lettering. He began with the eyes. He drew two dots for the pupils. All this time he was talking. He spoke of Genesis chapter 1, of the Light that existed before the sun and the moon; of the Eighth Day, the Day of Resurrection, of ... well, let me say that I was utterly gripped by what he did, and said, and that so, I think, must the audience have been, from the reaction at the end. During the whole of it he prayed, in the intervals between his comments, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Likeness of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner" - and got us all praying, softly, with him. At the end he announced that he would donate it for the highest bidding to the poorest congregation represented amongst us. A congregation of mostly Samoan nuns was the recipient. He did not tell us who made the bid. He has been commissioned to make icons for our Cathedral which is being refurbished. I was stunned. We will certainly go next year.

Second hand Macbook - cheap!

Slightly scratched screen - F4 key seems stuck: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2469928627183918026

19 April 2007

Ka'ai

I first met my niece Ka'ai - my sister Robin's daughter and first child - in September, 1978. Well, perhaps 'met' is not quite apt here, implying a certain level of parity between the parties. At the time I was, or was about to become, 36 years old. Ka'ai had not yet attained the grand age of 1 year, being about 8 months old. But, still, I count the beginning of our acquaintance from that point. I suppose our relationship could be said to have languished somewhat for the next several years - about 24, in fact. In September of 2002 I visited my family in Hawai'i and did indeed meet Ka'ai then - and again on my visit in 2003 (with Susan), and when I went alone in 2005, as my mother was very ill. Ka'ai has returned the favour. She is now living at our house. Ka'ai enrolled as an MSc student in geology at the University of Auckland this semester. She arrived in New Zealand on, I think, the 13th of January of this year - and which was, I believe, her birthday! The connexion with New Zealand is through her boyfriend, who was born in New Zealand, although he spent much of his life in Hawai'i - in Pa'auilo, in fact, where Ka'ai grew up. Ka'ai was able to stay with his mother in Auckland's North Shore for a while when she came, but is now enjoying the commute to and from Auckland on the 'bus, both to attend University and to work at her part-time job. Welcome! It has been great getting to know you better than I did in 1978 :-)

07 April 2007

Holy Saturday

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday The Lord’s descent into the underworld Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all”. Christ answered him: “And with your spirit”. He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light”. I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden. See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree. I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you. Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.