I wonder

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Geoffrey
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I wonder

Post by Geoffrey » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:32 am

When I visited Father Derek's vicarage last week I watched as he delighted in stamping on ants as they scurried about their work, daring to venture across flat surfaces before reaching the safety of a crack. The ants never escaped, or did they?
GinaDCG
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Re: I wonder

Post by GinaDCG » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:38 am

Some things I never outgrew. "The ants go marching" was the first song I ever learned, and I must confess, it's still the one I sing to myself when no one else is around to snicker.
Cate
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Re: I wonder

Post by Cate » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:29 pm

I like your vignette, but I do not like Father Derek
why must he stomp - does it bother him so much for the ants to be ants and do ant things, does he feel powerful to make them stop being ants?
When I visited Father Derek's vicarage last week I watched as he delighted in stamping on ants as they scurried about their work, daring to venture across flat surfaces before reaching the safety of a crack. The ants never escaped, or did they?
my guess is that some did. They fell between the treads of his sole and stayed oh so very still trying not to be noticed, trying to conform to his shoe, until he put his foot down again and they fled into whatever cracks they could find.
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friscogrl
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Re: I wonder

Post by friscogrl » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:33 pm

I don't like Father Derek either.

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mat james
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Re: I wonder

Post by mat james » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:45 am

The ants never escaped, or did they?
If they did in fact die????
?

Perhaps it depends on whether reincarnation is real or illusion?
Either way, they escaped!
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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mat james
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Re: I wonder

Post by mat james » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:06 am

Geoffrey, your little observation of huge significance took me back to this poem; and Ants.


Nut at Snapper Point Beacon
Kangaroo Island.


Along the cliff I stormed
As agitated as the sea
At the beacon
I climbed blasted sky
Its smoke blowing east
Rain came
I descended
Sheltered and stared
At the foundation I watched ants
In the bevelled channelled
Grey concrete joins
The concrete expanded
To a vast windy space
Where giant rain spots
Patterned my mind
I travelled with the ants
Across the rain stains
Around the simple geometry
Of flat channelled spaces
Into the crevices
And fell down one so deep
It might have been mind
And look
I was content
And laughed
And became again
Significant
Became again
The sea the sky
Ants concrete
I studied a strut
A stainless steel bolt
And believe me
I saw everything
Look at concrete runnels
And ants some time
Stare at a bolt
And imagine youself
Standing under a beacon
Certain you are
A universal nut

(From the book of poems entitled “Mystic” by P.R. Eason, Wakefield Press)
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
imaginary friend
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Re: I wonder

Post by imaginary friend » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:01 pm

Perhaps Father Derek was raised to believe-in
that god-given, 'over all critters' dominion-thing;
so does as he pleases, and squishes at will
creatures deemed 'lesser' than he is; yet still,
be careful FD, did some insects escape?
spread the word to their kindred and thus generate
an attack on your chocolates (that stash you're forbidden)?
Or, regroup and plot (taking care to keep hidden),
'til the moment you lead all those the sinners in mass,
then they crawl up your leg, sting your great pompous ass.

.
Cate
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Re: I wonder

Post by Cate » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:46 am

<grin> I like that.
I think you'd even get me into church to see that dance. :D
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Geoffrey
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Re: I wonder

Post by Geoffrey » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:45 am

Thank you to those of you who have responded. I would like to tell more about my relationship with Father Derek, but it is an unholy story. Maybe I shouldn't.
carm
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Re: I wonder

Post by carm » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:35 pm

Thank you to those of you who have responded. I would like to tell more about my relationship with Father Derek, but it is an unholy story. Maybe I shouldn't.
Your silence guards us but,
our watchful eyes beg your words.
Modest, yet strong like the ants,
let them multiply.
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Geoffrey
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Re: I wonder

Post by Geoffrey » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:49 am

I wrote:
>When I visited Father Derek's vicarage last week I watched as he delighted in stamping on ants as they scurried about their work, daring to venture across flat surfaces before reaching the safety of a crack. The ants never escaped, or did they?

Thank you. I am overwhelmed by the interest shown in my little ditty. Don't know what to say. I have some free time and feel like writing, but a hopeless case like me knows never what to say. Father Derek is dead - and those words were written years ago, in England. Found them again at the weekend, on a tiny scrap of paper hidden in the pages of my old pocket catechism. That book turned out to be a veritable warehouse of preserved artifacts. For within its pages I also stumbled upon a four-leaf clover (Trifolium pratense), two dried shreds of tobacco (Nicotiana), a flattened silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) and an upper lid eyelash. Lower lid eyelashes tend to be stumpier and straighter than their curly colleagues who hang by fingertips from the sun canopy above. Anyway, I visited Father Derek's study several times, but only once for confession, because soon afterwards he moved to a diocese some distance away. On the walls he had large flowery wallpaper, probably dating from the sixties, a pattern designed to transfer a room into a small tropical jungle. Between the shrubbery were spindly bookcases of teak that, if not for the stylish brass ornamentation, could have been mistaken for miniature scaffolding. Beneath two of the shelves were small invisible lamps fixed like sparkling celestial bodies, and the construction also boasted a tiny drawer in which there could not have been room for very much more than a business card. But let us return to the matter at hand, my confession. I regarded his ears as tunnels to a graveyard, where I could bury every misdemeanour. Derek was a giant of a man, well over six feet tall, a celibate priest who often hugged me when we said goodbye. A long-lasting hug, close into his torso, until I imagined a firmness beneath his long black cassock, making me wonder if he was latent homosexual - but I always gave him the benefit of the doubt. He remained quiet throughout my sacramental cleansing, just nodding with eyes closed as if in prayer, not really listening - or even interested. Until I reached a particularly sexual incident; my seduction of a divorcee in his congregation, the real reason for my being there. He interrupted when I got to a certain erotic detail, and said: "And that felt good!?" His short sentence didn't tail upwards at the end, as would have been the case were it a question. The first three words were spoken in a monotone, and the final word actually swooped sharply downwards, a hawk seeing the fieldmouse, a whole octave he descended, making it a statement needing neither denial nor confirmation. This was unexpected, and confused me. He was prying instead of praying. His words had trespassed over barbed wire and into personal territory. I felt my ears taking in their welcome mats. He looked at me, and an uncomfortable awkwardness gushed from every fibre in my body, made its pilgrimage out through each pore and sprayed the atmosphere with my embarrassment. Was I kneeling on a prayer cushion before a desk in Father Derek's study, or was I kneeling on my bathroom floor making eye-contact with a deviant through the keyhole? It seemed like the latter. "You enjoyed it when that happened," he continued. Part of me resented his need for titillation disguised as query, but part of me was sympathetic to his lonely misogyny. Perhaps this was no fiend, merely "a man taking what he needs from the storeroom" - as Leonard Cohen once put it. Which is the greater enemy, the one who does evil to you or the one who makes you do evil? I searched my heart for a reason not to do what I was tempted to do, but it was like looking for a mustard seed in the Sahara. There are two sorts of people in this world; those who drive slower than the limit when their concentration wanders, and those who drive faster - of which category I fall into the latter. The lower buttons on his frock unbuttoned virtually on their own, requiring almost no encouragement from my thumb and forefinger. It reminded me of when mother parted the lounge drapes, and, except for the lack of tassles, my hands resembled the two tiebacks propping them open. From thermal underwear wafted the strange smell of adult and hard working man, rasping my nostrils, as the snake slipped through immaculately white Y-fronts. Moses may have turned a rod into a serpent, but I turned a serpent into a rod. And just as he felt a tongue slide beneath his frenulum to begin its exquisite work, his heavy hands rested on the crown of my head - as though I were receiving his blessing at holy communion. It happened quickly and violently, and my mouth struggled to contain this slippery conger eel. He rapidly lowered a hand and took control, Jesus calms the sea. He couldn't hear it, but my soul was singing: "O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast . . ." You know, I wanted to confess that I wasn't of the Catholic faith, but didn't get around to it. I was too busy fellating a vicar. In fact I wasn't really religious at all. I believed it better for one to give applause to many than for many to give applause to one. I also believed, and still do, that I lit a flame in that man's heart, and no fire can exist without something being destroyed. He asked the bishop for a transfer, and his request was accepted. Then some months later I heard that while holidaying in France he threw himself from the upper exterior gallery of the Notre Dame. Perhaps while standing up there amongst the pigeons and gargoyles, he looked at all the people way down in the courtyard. They must have looked like ants to him, and perhaps he thought about escaping.
imaginary friend
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Re: I wonder

Post by imaginary friend » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:18 am

G'wan Geoffrey – come clean – you made that all up!

Rivetingly told (if shocking) tale... I see no-one has touched it with a ten foot pole so far (except for Miz Bizzybody)

The detail and care with which your story is woven, makes it effective, as well as sensational. You are quite the storyteller. I almost, almost felt a tiny shred of empathy for FD when he leapt off Notre Dame, karma or not. As for the Geoffrey-character, did he feel any remorse for his calculated manipulation of FD, whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed etc...? Or did G. see himself as an exposer of hypocrisy?
carm
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Re: I wonder

Post by carm » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:40 pm

Geoffrey, it took many readings to arrive at some sort of general point of view towards the tapestry of your exposition. I could not fully grasp, at first glance, the weight of your words. And so, I was caught unawares by the sudden shift and strength of the stories thread as the words began to unravel. The shock of hearing a human voice speaking so intimately from the heart left me speechless. The history of that shared, brief relationship became increasingly more epic in the unfolding of its telling. Words surely do mould us, change us, twist us inside out.

What attributes must a writer display if a writer is to have even a hint of authority? Passion, intolerance, amplitude, turbulance, empathy, to name a few? Sharing this story was an effective way of raising an awareness in the midst of the Forum's public eye and it offers a very interesting peek into the role of the Forum's "audience" towards the writer, towards the story itself. Sometimes, the thunder and its storm just sneaks up on us in the right place, and at the right time.

Somewhere amid a stories various versions, like a ghost, the original drifts, then comes back to release the mourning that was at the start, omitted. This story moved me out of my casual readership, out of the habit of passivity itself and produced a certain vulnerability in my capacity to respond. This was an extremely powerful piece, packed with a lot of spirited endurance whose context was both bold and vivid in its description.

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Alsiony
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Re: I wonder

Post by Alsiony » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:43 pm

Dear Geoffrey,

You are a wonderful story-teller :D
And I don't really care whether it's true or not.


A
x
Weybridge MBW 11th July 2009

'All I know - and you must listen very carefully to this... All I know - is that I know absolutely nothing' - Frank

'Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?' - Christopher Marlowe

Much misunderstood... was the 'Hippie' with a reality fixation...
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Geoffrey
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Re: I wonder

Post by Geoffrey » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:54 am

Alsiony wrote:
>You are a wonderful story-teller


the best
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