Alexander Averin

Monday, 17 August 2009

Church on Sunday

Flowers and afternoon sunlight at St Mary's.

Dear Diary,

Just a short one today as I am rather busy - Monday chores to do and I am soon to be chasing the dead again.  It's an addiciton that doesn't damage my health - apart from the lack of sleep that I am suffering from which is caused by too many late nights on the Ancestry website.

Thank you for the comments on the previous post (self portrait poem) - it was written a bit tongue in cheek and I used a few untruths, sorry -  a little bit of poetic licence -  but some days I do feel like the archetypal grumpy old woman.  But I am not yet completely steely grey...not quite yet.

Yesterday we went to visit a church where one of M's ancestors was christened in 1730 - St Mary the Virgin's in Middleton-on-the-Hill which lies in deepest Herefordshire.  And I mean deepest - it took us ages to find the place; as usual it was a case of really poor signposting.  The area of Little Hereford is a literal maze of narrow lanes, farmland and scattered cottages, it felt like going back in time and we could imagine how remote it would have been when his distant grandfather lived there.  M has Huguenot roots so I am busy researching all about them.

This is the church, it is 12th century and was so very beautiful and peaceful.  The approach to it was across a straight track between two wide fields of barley, they were fields of gold indeed yesterday in the golden sunlight and the wide flat fields reminded me of Norfolk.  Yesterday was a real summer's day for a change - a perfect afternoon to be out and about.  I am pleased to say that all the churches we have visited in Herefordshire recently have been unlocked and so welcoming with their atmospheres of peace and perfect calm.

I have a thing about church windows. This one was very narrow.

Another sweet flower arrangement on a wall.

Before I go here is a poem I wrote that was inspired by my latest addiction.

Family Tree

Another day, another show, a drama in the making
but I wake to insignificance, hearing only a small whisper
for I am clothed in human form
and only chasing the ungrateful dead.
Tracing the past has narrowed my vision.
Is this how an addict feels?
For like a drug, it absorbs and excites me
yet shrinks me down in an unstoppable fashion
till I am the user at the break of dawn,
or in the dead of night when you may catch me
as I leap from branch to branch,
peeping at paper records, tapping at keys.

One man and one woman; it always ends with two
and their love and passion for the other;
‘tis the human trait we cannot help but recognise.
Then it dawns: we are all just part of One Big Pattern
almost holy and connected..

I travel back as far as only hope can
to reach the proud ones standing tall astride tree’s majesty.
Then I fade once more to narrowness and feel so small
not realising that I am still on stage now,
and it is not yet time to take my curtain call.

Cait O’Connor

Tomorrow I shall recommend two books for you that are really worth reading if you feel you don't have enough hours in a day.  They embrace the magic that lies in the word 'less' - something I have been thinking a lot about lately.

So do call again.

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Elizabeth said...

So sorry I haven't visited lately.
Life too intrusive.
I loved this post and the previous one especially.
How youthful our voices are when the rest seems a bit ancient!
I am approaching 60 and soon to be a granny ....
yes, how one longs for the past or at least dwell in it a little bit.
I have started writing a series of little books for children telling about my childhood in Essex.
Maybe the grandchildren will enjoy them!

gaelikaa said...

I loved this post too. The Church seems so beautiful and peaceful..

ds said...

Love the narrow church window with its reflection of sky. And the first bunch of flowers seems suspended in midair...Lovely post.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

A fascinating journey you are on! Lovely poema and wonderful narrow window!!

Frances said...

Cait, you always write beautifully, and what you write always just catches me.

That church is fabulous. I think of those thin windows and wonder what it would have been like to be in the congregation gathered together in various seasons on a Sunday morning or at other times of day.

Think that I am older than you, even if the white hairs are timidly accruing in the midst of my mostly still dark brown hair with a reddish cast.

Having just got through all the media celebration of long ago Woodstock (attended by me) I feel much older and yet so much younger than many who've not been on the planet as long as I.

Was that convoluted? Hope so. xo

Rob-bear said...

"Chasing the dead" for the sake of the living? And in church, particularly.

Hmmmm . . .

Narrow windows and flowers -- a different time and feeling.


Just back from West Cork doing some more research on my grandmother who had the most tragic life.I look like her, and have always felt a special bond with her even though she died in 1914. I sat at her grave in a village church perched up in the hills looking out over yellow wheat fields, reflecting on her sad life. Will be blogging about her soon.
I love the narrow window in the church, and the light coming through the flower arrangement.

Pondside said...

I'm always happy to see that you've blogged - and always have such a good read.
It's hard for me to imagine finding a church in which an ancestor was baptised or buried 100 years ago, let alone 300 - fascinating.

Jude said...

As usual,inpirational!
Busy here in Crete but just wanted to thank you again for the poems for my daughter's wedding to Matt.
We leave in 2 weeks for an exciting time.
I'm practicing both the Apache and Mother to Daughter pieces. I'm thinking maybe the more I read it I may not get too emotional on the day.
I'll keep you informed..Take care

Friko said...

Chasing the Dead, a very original expression for genealogy.
The church is very much like many churches in the Marches, squat and defensive, not terribly welcoming, but the sweet little bunch of flowers makes up for it.
I love your poem.

lampworkbeader said...

Another delightful post, Cait. always so enjoyable.

Carol said...

Church cool i often visit to church i get peace there thanks for sharing with us..
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CAMILLA said...

There is something very calming and peaceful about Churches, my local one nearby which I can see from my kitchen window is so lovely.

Wonderful post you have shared with us dear Cait, and the Poem penned by you is beautiful, hope you will enter this for publication.