Friday, February 7, 2014


Alright, it was only a dream...

It seems we met this charismatic priest on a boat trip, a cruise, perhaps, and were interested enough to decide to attend a service at his church.  We joined a great crowd of the faithful outside the church, with much activity going on--a kind of fair.  Thinking to take care of nature's call before the service, I asked for directions to the men's room and was surprised to find an immensely long line waiting to get in to what looked like no more than a porta-potty facility--not what you'd have expected for an otherwise grand ecclesiastical establishment; and more surprised, once reaching the front of the line, to find two adjacent, nauseatingly filthy heads with no separation for privacy.

Ah, well.  Having taken care of business, I joined Ellie in one of the rows of pews and watched as the service began.  We were unsure whether we had been spotted by our charismatic friend, officiating at the altar, until he came down into the chancel and started to perform a kind of whirling dervish dance, circling close to us, and low to the ground, until we realized that he was making knowing eye contact with us as he danced--to the exclusion of the rest of the congregation.

Following his performance, we made our way out to the courtyard around the church and decided that the tiled surface needed to be cleaned.  Armed with mops and cleaner we found in a closet close by, we got to the task, only to realize that, after soaping the surface well, it now needed to be rinsed.  For some reason, I left that job to Ellie, and returned to the service... She must have done a good job, because the red tiles were glowing when I saw them last.


I realize that I have been thinking a good deal about my father recently--an Anglican priest with a certain charisma of his own.  Still, not sure what to make of this dream, except that the excess of filth in the loos and the cleaning process seem to be related.  Sin and redemption?  Clearing out my father's Christian heritage from my mind?  Odd.  Anyway, I thought this morning about the artist friend I have been visiting of late, a man in his nineties who tends to repeat his stories, as many old people too.  Almost every time I visit, he tells me about his father, whose alcoholism led to his eventual suicide.  He thinks about him a good deal these days, he says.

I wonder, do we men think more about our fathers as we age?  Do we grow more like them?  Do women grow more like their mothers?  Curious thoughts...

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