Monday, 14 November 2005

goin to the chapel

there is a sign outside the local st vincent's op shop here at kingsford that reads:

Getting married?
We have wedding dresses instore
sizes 8 to 16

i've been wondering why that sign makes me feel so sad. is it that someone would have to get married in a second hand dress she bought from vinnie's? that someone would put their wedding dress in a vinnie's collection bin? (i mean, i know you're not going to need it again, but that just seems so...unsentimental) of course, if you can't afford to buy a wedding dress at all, i guess a secondhand one is better than nothing. but with the premium that our society puts on weddings (not marriage, mind you), it just seems sad that someone would have to get married in a dress that someone else had been married in, that is probably not her taste, and probably doesn't fit.

i'm a snob. but i hate kingsford, because it does have this underlying tone of desperation, covered in a veneer of lower-middle class respectability. everything's cheap and nasty. because the main street is anzac parade, there is no sense of the shops being any sort of village or community. just a lot of unhappy people rushing here and there. amid the traffic noise there is usually someone screaming obscenities at someone else, emergency sirens blaring, groups of grey faced people blocking the footpath at the bus stop and getting aggressive if you try to circumnavigate them.

the general mood of kingsford can be summed up by this: one time when i was walking along behind a family - mother, father, two kids. the father was hassling the mother, yelling at her and pushing her. she was yelling back at him. the eldest son, who would have only been around 8 or 9, suddenly said "don't talk to her like that, you bastard." and the father smacked him in the head and yelled "don't you f***ing talking to me like that! where did you f***ing learn to talk like that?"

so people buying their wedding dresses at vinnie's shouldn't bother me. but somehow it does.

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

the cathedral perspective

i'm grabbing a moment while i wait for the database to finish what it's doing to say ahoy and hello.

the reason for my recent online quietness? you know those times in life that are super-stressful and it feels like everything is going wrong? and it couldn't possibly get any worse but every day something else happens to further raise the stress bar? that's how life has been for the last couple of months.

if you're the praying type, please pray for me over the next few weeks as the stress levels increasingly rise. october - december is always a huge time of year both at work and church, and this year it's been made huger by a variety of things. it's starting to feel like there is no space in which to breathe or even just to stop, unless it's crashing into bed at the end of the day. last night was probably the second time in two months that i was able to spend a whole night at home with my flatmate, eating together and watching TV. so i hope there are more pockets of time like that in the near future...

anyway, i'll leave you with the quote i've got on my corkboard at the moment:

The story is told of a man (in the pre-mechanization era) who, while taking a walk down a country lane, came across a stone quarry in which a number of men were working. He questioned several of them about what they were doing.

The first replied irritably, "Can't you see? I'm hewing stone."

The second answered without looking up, "I'm earning 100 quid a week."

But when the same question was put to the third man, he stopped, put his pick down, stood up, stuck out his chest and said, "If you want to know what I'm doing, I'm building a cathedral."

John Stott, New Issues Facing Christians Today (3rd ed), London, Marshall Pickering, 1999, p195