Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Monday, July 21, 2008

The (almost dead on) Arrival


I have a very dear friend who grew up around horses, who, when he had been though a particularly difficult time would always say, "Well, my dear, I feel as if I've been rode hard and put away wet."

My sentiments exactly at this moment.

Thankfully, and serendipitously, I was able to travel with my friend, Martha Gardner from the Diocese of Newark, who used to work for 815 and now works for the ACC (Anglican Consultative Counsel) at the United Nations. Unbeknownest to either of us, we were on the same plane from Newark to Gatwick Airports.

We also ran into one of my oldest and dearest friends, Margaret Rose, who was also headed to Lambeth but was flying into Heathrow.

The flight left Newark Sunday evening at 7:15 PM and arrived outside of London at 6:45 AM Monday morning. We then took the train to Victoria Station in London and then hopped another train to Canterbury, then a cab to St. Stephen's parish hall at around 11:30 AM.

I was driven to my wee apartment about a 15 minute walk from here where I had a chance to unpack and fix myself a cup of tea before taking an absolutely delicious two hour nap. After my nap, I got dressed and and walked back to St. Stephen's, which is serving as the "Integrity/Changing Attitudes" (AKA "St. Anne's Group") Nerve Center.

The place is a jumble of of electrical and computer wires and is absolutely swarming with amazing volunteers who are helping to make our time here effective and our voices heard.

We were fed an amazing hot, delicious parish cooked dinner which filled places I hadn't realized were empty. Blogger and 'radical librarian' Allie Graham also stopped by and we were able to steal an hour of conversation and giggles. Fortunately, she was able to stay for dinner with us.

I'm hoping to catch up with Allie, Luiz, and Michael tomorrow, and, together with Jon (who's also volunteering here), we'll head off the the local pub for some proper fish 'n chips - hopefully Tuesday evening.

All this activity since my arrival has been punctuated by bits of happy and/or intense conversation and hugging, when not being introduced to folk who are here from Nigeria, Toronto, Ontario, and from every and all areas of the UK and USA.

It's amazing. Truly.

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to the University of Kent to get my press pass and schlep over some of the Episcopal Women's Caucus stuff to the Market Place. I'm also going to try to catch up with Margaret and Martha as well as Kim Robey from the Women's Desk at 815 to do some networking with Anglican women around the globe.

I want to listen to their stories and give them voice on this blog. I'm hoping to help make the justice connection between sexism and heterosexism/homophoba as I write for the "Lambeth Witness" - the daily publication of the St. Anne's group for the bishops and visitors to Lambeth.

I'm excited and hopeful and inordinately exhausted but Ms. Conroy assures me that if I have a good supper, drink plenty of fluids and get off to bed early tonight I'll feel like a new woman in the morning.

From her mouth to God's ear.

6 comments:

the cajun said...

My dear one,

Just getting back from NOLA and the reunion and attempting to catch up on sleep, and my reading.
btw, Lambeth made the news on two local channels there. Two very different angles - one focused on big Pete, and the other on +Gene. I was surprised at the quality of the research and writing.
Of course you are in my daily prayers.
Queen Victoria awaits your return to the beach.
Love I send you.

PS: I was going to "attack" someone, but I can't think of anyone at the moment.

David said...

The New Joisey Eagle has landed!

Wonderful news!


David@Montreal

FranIAm said...

So thrilled to read this - and anxious to see what is to come.

Many, many prayers for one and all.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Oh no, hon...where I come from, the phrase "She looks like she was rode hard and put up wet" implies a certain level of promiscuity and sleaziness! Your weariness is more like, "I feel like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest."

Jane R said...

Give my warmest best to Margaret Rose! (We served on the HDS Alum Council together and last saw each other at the Urban Caucus when it met here in NC a year-plus ago.)

And have fun with Allie, Luiz, et al.

Looking forward to your writing.

Bill said...

Elizabeth,
Let me try to find some poetry to sleep, perchance to dream with.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Pains of Sleep

Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
It hath not been my use to pray
With moving lips or bended knees ;
But silently, by slow degrees,
My spirit I to Love compose,
In humble trust mine eye-lids close,
With reverential resignation,
No wish conceived, no thought exprest,
Only a sense of supplication ;
A sense o'er all my soul imprest
That I am weak, yet not unblest,
Since in me, round me, every where
Eternal Strength and Wisdom are.
But yester-night I prayed aloud
In anguish and in agony,
Up-starting from the fiendish crowd
Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me :
A lurid light, a trampling throng,
Sense of intolerable wrong,
And whom I scorned, those only strong !
Thirst of revenge, the powerless will
Still baffled, and yet burning still !
Desire with loathing strangely mixed
On wild or hateful objects fixed.
Fantastic passions ! maddening brawl !
And shame and terror over all !
Deeds to be hid which were not hid,
Which all confused I could not know
Whether I suffered, or I did :
For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe,
My own or others still the same
Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.
So two nights passed : the night's dismay
Saddened and stunned the coming day.
Sleep, the wide blessing, seemed to me
Distemper's worst calamity.
The third night, when my own loud scream
Had waked me from the fiendish dream,
O'ercome with sufferings strange and wild,
I wept as I had been a child ;
And having thus by tears subdued
My anguish to a milder mood,
Such punishments, I said, were due
To natures deepliest stained with sin,--
For aye entempesting anew
The unfathomable hell within,
The horror of their deeds to view,
To know and loathe, yet wish and do !
Such griefs with such men well agree,
But wherefore, wherefore fall on me ?
To be beloved is all I need,
And whom I love, I love indeed.

Nite, Nite