Friday, May 31, 2013

Inside the church of St Ignatius I wait for others to arrive.  I have been carrying around a long and skinny rooster which nestled in my arms until it tried to get a foothold and clawed at my skin.

‘Leave off,’ I said to the hen, ‘I’m happy to tote you around but not if you claw into me.’

The chook flapped off to join the other hens of whom she seemed afraid.  This hen was different.  She did not fit in.  The others sat atop the altar, perched high, more like pigeons than hens.

A priest in my dream who seemed both nun and priest was on his mobile phone asking about a new job.  He had wanted me to hang about until he was told one way or another that he had the job or not.

This decision weighed heavily on him, on me, on us.  We two were in love, much like the main characters, Father Peter Clifford and Assumpta Fitzgerald in the TV series Ballykissangel.

A priest in love with a member of his congregation.  Unthinkable, and yet, here we were.  Chaste as yet but filled with desire.

And then the head of the organization, a lay man but still religious, on his way to the priesthood, gave me instructions about how I might cut the table cloth to size.  There were rows of tables all adorned in white in readiness for Mass.

‘Could you carry the offertory things?’ he asked me, 'the bread and wine up to the altar.'

The idea unnerved me.  I had not done this before and would need to rehearse.  I wanted to be involved but I was on the periphery of belief in that I had none.  Still I relished the ritual.

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