and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree
I read this to my husband this morning. He had read it and heard it many times before. I read it to him this morning because last night he had news of the death of a great man. A man who was his dear friend and a man who it can truly be said lived a worthwhile life, leaves a great legacy and above all things was a decent man of integrity. Patrick Thaddeus will be remembered with pride and joy by many, mourned with aching hearts by those that love him and his death reduced my cool and considered husband to cascades of forlorn, muted globular tears. Death does that. There follows what I wrote just over two years ago of the way that perhaps life can warm us when struggling in the cold shadow of death close-by.
Last Tuesday was Mardi Gras – the last day of eating fatly before the Lenton fast. It’s an important day in the calender here, as it is in all Catholic countries – the children dress up and in many towns there is a carnival atmosphere with costumes and fire-works aplenty as well as a healthy dollop of unhealthy gluttony. Mercredi des Cendres (Ash Wednesday) follows and it too is well marked. People attend Church and the Priest marks foreheads or forearms with crosses of blessed ash that come from burning the palms left over from Palm Sunday. The ashen marks should be left to fade naturally rather than washed off. The bells in all the churches ring peels and peels and peels all day long. This is a reminder that they are being ‘cleaned’ in readiness for their journey to Rome to be blessed. The bells (yup every single…
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