ENTRY 1300 | JULY
. . . in Christ Jesus
you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as
were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither
Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither
male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
from the Epistle to the Galatians chapter 3, from today's
Orthodox lectionary readings
See the homelitical thought below.
rainy day in Ireland. My not-so-smart phone has been assuring us Wednesday
will be rainy after a week and a half with no rain here where it had
rained every day (more or less; numerous times, in fact, in many of
those days) for my first three months here. So this is the view from
the entrance of the cafe this morning. That's a parasol, not an umbrella,
shading the baby in the carriage in the crosswalk. I for one am glad
the smart phone is not all-wise.
I've now been here for four months and haven't had my visa revoked.
That's a month longer than my visit to Loretto and Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania,
last summer, the longest "visit" I had ever made to any
place up to then, and Jim Toth (my host in Loretto) and I are still
on speaking terms. But after four months I can't continue calling
myself a visitor but a temporary resident of Northern Ireland.
So many things
fly by me here that many are not even remarked. I never have posted
any of the many photos of the Belfast Marathon that passed our house
a block away about two months ago or the visit to the bird sanctuary
we toured one Sunday afternoon even longer ago. Nor have I mentioned
my visit to Dublin, across the border in what is called "the
south" (among other things) here, which was over a week ago.
But now I have mentioned it, and can report that I joined the Writers
Centre while there. Dublin has inspired many world-famous and even
some world-class writers over the generations, so it seemed like an
opportunity. I hope to use the membership by visiting the Centre at
least once a month and using one of its work rooms to do writing while
there. It sounds like a romantic notion to do such a thing and, to
me, that's enough reason for doing it.
Above is a
photo of that visit, with a street pretending to be in Boston but
given away by the double-decker bus in the background. This is just
across from the Writers Center; the church seen on the left is Abbey
Church, which despite its unlikely name and unlikely location, is
are usually the central buildings in Catholic monastic communities
and Dublin is considered to be the quintessential Catholic city.)
I had not visited in some years, struck me as more grown up, more
ethnically diverse, and more expensive than I had remembered it. It
reminded me repeatedly of New York City, which had never been the
case on previous visits. Maybe the main reason for that was that I
got lost on the streets while looking for the Writers Centre, and
I didn't think of Dublin as a city complex enough to get lost in.
Once I began to wonder whether I would even want to visit Dublin again,
I knew I had to try to join the Writers Center, so I would have to.
mentioned arthritic pain in my left knee and right foot has finally
subsided enough that normal walking is no longer painful, though walking
up or (even more so) down stairs is still difficult. I hope to see
my doctor about this tomorrow. I may make a visit to Derry/Londonderry,
another destination I have been looking forward to having a closer
look at since getting here, on Friday or Saturday. Though considerably
closer in miles than Dublin, it takes about the same time to reach
by bus or train.
If you follow
my Google+ page (linked below), or international news, you know that
there has been rioting in Belfast in recent days (July 12, Northern
Ireland's major historical holiday, always portends trouble). Some
reports said as many as 32 police officers were taken to the hospital
for treatment of injuries from being hit by rocks and bricks thrown
at them (I didn't see figures for injuries to non-police involved,
or any count of arrests). The riots have been taking place about a
half a mile from where we live (streets covered
in my entry of April 25). We have been seeing dozens of police
Land Rovers pass on Crumlin Road and hearing helicopters above, but
otherwise have been away from the action. My Google+ page also has
a video of the march passing our house that immediately preceded the
breakout of the fighting.
We are scheduled
to spend Monday-Friday next week in Armagh, the historical episcopal
see of Saint Patrick, to participate in the John Hewitt writers school
there. John Hewett was a major twentieth-century poet and political
figure in Northern Ireland and the school named in his honor is probably
the most prestigious writers event in the whole island of Ireland.
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Feedback is always welcome.
thought: There is neither Catholic nor Protestant, Presbyterian
or Baptist, Methodist, Holiness, or Pentecostal, but all who are in
Christ are one in Him.
§ § §
my mission to Northern Ireland in your prayers. You
can read my overview of this undertaking here.
My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern
Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 44 7455 980890.
Webmaster Jon Kennedy