Sunday Sunset

The setting sun spills golden light onto my desk. The change-ringers practice, brilliant sound filling the air.  The resonance always lifts my heart especially during the “ringing down” when the sky fills with overtones taking on its own shimmering sphere.   An unusual Sunday afternoon – the sisters are in Long Retreat, so no meetings today and a modified schedule, and more silence for Bill and I as well.

I’m somewhere between the apocalypse and John the Baptist – having preached this morning (Advent I) and preparing for the retreat at Holy Cross (Advent II) and getting the website ready (for Advent III.)  

I’d love to move toward the Annunciation and Incarnation, but a web-lecture called “A REALLY Inconvenient Truth” by Dan Miller pulled me back into the apocalypse again.   What I remember most clearly: the bell curve in which new data puts Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth into the shallow end of the left side of the bell curve, the top is “Biblical” and the right hand is “Game Over.”  People actually study “the psychology of climate change”  – characteristics of detachment and denial strategies, especially by elected officials.  Here’s the url. 

I also remember the stricken expression on Bill’s face when I happened to walk into his study as he was watching the lecture on his computer.  This updated knowledge feels like a garment or a piece of jewelry I’m wearing, except that I can’t take it off and hang it in my closet or put with my other rings and necklaces. 

photo by Sr. Catherine Grace

Meanwhile the Advent greens and four clean white pillar candles brighten the chapel, the hens cluck amongst themselves happily, the sky radiates red-gold  light and the bell tones soar, announcing something like a wedding or Christmas or Easter on this bare, late-November afternoon. 

Bill and I went to see “A Prairie Home Companion” at Town Hall in New York City last night.   There’s the comfort of listening to the voice of Garrison Keillor –  the familiar skits and sound effects and fictional characters.  We ate at an Indian buffet just across the street from St. Mary the Virgin and we went into the church, and I prayed not for the world, but for my children and the most immediate and smallest of concerns of the family.  During the familiar train ride home, I fell asleep on Bill’s shoulder like a child coming home from grandma’s, as if confident in the grown-up world’s immutable security. 

It’s five o’clock and I fling open the window for the “ringing down” – and when the bells stop, I listen to the overtones  “shimmering” over the darkness after sunset.

One Response to “Sunday Sunset”

  1. Deb Blakley Says:

    What is this ‘ringing down’ with the bells? I have never heard of it.

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