ENTRY 1280 | April
The mind of the wise
makes his speech judicious, and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
from Proverbs 16-17,
from today's lenten Orthodox
The young women students
staying at the Loom for the weekend, Amber and Rainier, caught an
early flight and were gone before I was up on Monday, though as on
the previous Mondays I was up at 7 a.m. for a prayer meeting. The
previous Mondays, the Rev. Jack Lamb had been here, but this time
he also had a flight . . . he was on his way for Mumbai, India, for
a six-and-a-half-week mission exchange with a missionary working there
who had earlier ministered in his church, Townsend Presbyterian.
of the attendees of the Monday morning prayer times are affiliated
with the Belfast L'Arch community, which provides housing and support
for people with disabilities. None of them made it this Monday, but
John Grant, a New Zealand retiree who is making his way through Europe
on public transportation and bicycles that he procures as he goes
along and who had found the Townsend church and got baptized there
a couple of weeks ago, came. With him at the door (but unbeknownst
to me at the time, unknown to John till that moment), was Peter Palyn.
The three of us constituted this week's prayer meeting and John and
I took advantage of most of the time to get acquainted with Peter.
He had attended earlier, but not since I arrived just over a month
Ward have set aside the front second-story bedroom as the Loom's prayer
room, where the meetings are usually held, but this time, since our
third student, Johnny, was sleeping in to catch a later flight, we
three sat, talked, and prayed in what we Americans usually call the
living room, the ground-floor front room. Shortly after John Grant
and Peter Palyn left, Johnny came down for breakfast. The photo below,
showing much of the prayer room, was taken today.
Johnny left, around 11 a.m., I've been alone, except for one excursion
outside. On Tuesday I went to the Vine center, about a normal city
block from here (there are about four "short" blocks with
cross streets between here and there, which is why I call it a "normal"
city block's distance) for an afternoon course that Marda had enrolled
me in. I guess the Vine Center and other community centers around
Belfast are sharing grant money for the course, because it was tuition
free and they put me in a taxi across town to the museum on the Queen's
University campus; all I had to do was sign, not pay, for the taxi
over and back.
I much prefer
courses or seminars in which an expert presents material which students
take in by listening and discussing, but this was the more "modern"
type of "instruction," based on things like breathing exercises
and yoga techniques, very "new agey" in my not-so-humble
opinion. But I'm here to learn, so didn't complain and am just reporting
now, not complaining. Maybe I'll "get" what this approach
is good for by the time it's over, sometime in June, I think they
said. There was no handout, so I'm not even sure what the "course"
is called (but thought from earlier mention that it was about creating
dramatic scripts), LOL.
It was too
rainy for me to walk to the midweek lenten service at my parish last
night, so it has been a lonely week except for that taxi excursion.
I did enjoy being on the Queen's campus and arriving early enough
to have tea in the eclectic environment of the museum cafeteria. The
photo below was taken through the glass wall where I was sitting to
have my tea; a view much like those available at most of the campuses
I've been on throughout my life, from Pitt to Santa Barbara and Stanford
to Belfast. It's still cold here (daily highs now in the low 50s),
despite the sunshine in that picture and as indicated by the heavy
clothes on the students.
Is "judicious" a word you would use to describe your talk,
your speech patterns? Do you "rehearse" every conversation
you expect to engage in day by day, to make your words more palatable
and less alienating by those who hear them? If not, why have you neglected
this biblical precept, this word from the Lord?
I am adding
my address and mobile phone number below, not primarily because of
this week's loneliness, but for convenience in the absence of business
§ § §
If you missed
my overview of my venture in Northern Ireland, check it out here.
My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern
Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 07772197118.
Webmaster Jon Kennedy