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I had a double dose of church today (which is ironic, me being who I am), but never mind, it's good to offer small kindnesses, right? Mainly they're the only kind one ever can offer, anyway...

So I had a double dose of hymns, and the different masses had *different* hymns, and they were all favorites. At 8am we had "Lord of All Hopefulness," which is a good tune and absolutely beautiful lyrics. Then at 10:30 we had "I Heard the Voice of Jesus," to the tune of the traditional English melody "Kingsfold" (many lyrics set to that tune), so I felt really really lucky.

Between the two Masses there was an encounter with a snake. I love snakes. This may be in part because there are no poisonous ones around here. The only snakes around here are helpful; no need to fear them. And, often we have a snake living by our unused front doorstep. A few years ago we had a milk snake. Now we have a garter snake. The healing angel told me it was curled up on a bush in front of the hut. So... I wanted to pick it up but know wild creatures prefer not to be disturbed... but I really wanted to pick it up, and that feeling won out in the end. The snake, poor thing, panicked and did snakey-poop on me, which is surprisingly smelly. Served me right! But then it relaxed a little and looked around, and the healing angel and I could admire its red tongue, its bright eyes, and the way it moved. Then I put it back on the bush and it hurried off. Then I went and washed my hands and changed my shirt.

A bunch of books I requested from the library have come in. I'm now simultaneously reading my book group book, The Stolen Child which I fear is going to be too "grown-up" of an approach to the topic of fairies for my tastes, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (it drew me right in with its opening, joybon!), Terry Pratchett's Mort (which I'm reading out loud to the remaining denizens of the hut--we're all liking it), which was a recommendation from dream_wind, and Pride and Prejudice--this is another read-aloud we're doing, following on the film.

And shortly to follow, I hope, is The Magician's Guild, a recommendation from jmeadows, though that one hasn't come in yet. I hope it comes in soon--so light_of_estel and I can talk about it.

After the second dose of church, we dropped in on my Cambodian neighbor, who was having a ceremony to honor her adoptive mother, who's now quite old. We were late, so we missed the monks praying and chanting--they were just leaving, all in their saffron robes. (There are as many flavors of Buddhism as Christianity, and not all Buddhist monks wear saffron robes, but these ones did... these guys are some variety of Theravada Buddhism.) Two were southeast Asian and one was a white American. I smiled and said hi, and he said, "Have you studied the Dharma?" And I said, "Well, I studied Japanese literature, and studied a little about Buddhism in conjunction with that." "Would you like to learn more?" he pressed. I don't mind being proselytized; I appreciate that people care so much for my soul, even though I'm really no more likely to change my ways than a leaf or a stone is (but some people even proselytize leaves and stones, so...), so I said, "Sure, if you have something small you can give me..." Whereupon from within his robes he produced a 150-page paperback book! I protested that I couldn't take anything like that, but he insisted. So--more reading material.

And last but not least... two pictures from the abandoned village. It is to be built up, they say, and so this wild abandoned place will become something normal and ordinary. sigh.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
I love the userpic... haven't seen it before.
Jul. 9th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
It's a new one--I made it yesterday, I think.
Jul. 9th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC)
Have you ever heard Buddhist monks chant. There's a kind of chanting they can do that uses overtones, it is the most eerie thing I have ever heard.
Jul. 9th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC)
Yes--that kind of chanting reminds me of Tuvan throat singing--very very cool.
Jul. 10th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
I have a cd of The Gyuto Monks, it's quite amazing.

Also, I just have to say I think it's great that you guys read aloud together, I wish we'd done that in my family.
Jul. 10th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
When/if you have a family of your own, you can do it :-)

Also, with special somebodies, when you've got such a one in your life. One of my boyfriends used to read things to me--I loved it. And I like listening to my husband read, too--he really falls into character.
Jul. 9th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
I love snakes. Just today while at a new park we're visiting, a neighbor mentioned that in the fall, the snakes come out and sun themselves on the walking path. I was so excited! I'm looking forward to seeing them. The neighbor was trying to warn us, though. Ha. :)
Jul. 10th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
Our snakes are poisoness (SPELLING!!!!)

I am so glad you like Pilgrim, I knew you would! Pride and Prejudice is amazing too. I have a friend who has combined both Islam and Buddhism. I think this is interesting. Buddhism is so anti-modern that it is a good thing for us modernists (and postmodernists) to think about.

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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