I brought a puppy. Her pedigree name is Halo Agnus Bo. She is a little lamb of God.
We are going to call her Agnus Bo ~ with Bo being the name which we will use to call her in affection, and so to command. Agnus means lamb in Latin. She looks like a little lamb and came at Eastertide. She has the softest hypoallergenic fleece. She is a poodle. I have never particularly liked poodles with all their puffs and bobbles and pompousness ~ but then I saw the natural ones, just allowed to grow as God intended them to grow ~ and there was something so beautiful and gentle and lamblike, and tender about them. And so I watched them for a while on and off, from a safe distance ~ and the distance grew closer. They were all out of my price league, and then one night whilst flicking around the internet I came across a poodle family in Norwich, Julien of Norwich land. And the very next day me and my two littlest girls went to see the pup ~ and we fell in Love. She was less than half the price of all the others I had spied online, and this was a blessing ~ and the fact that she came from Mystic lands :O)
Agnus Bo is small and cream, but has athletic proportions to her shape ~ unlike the Bichon/Poodle cross puppies who were available from one of the children’s school friends, whose legs are too short. Poodles are intelligent as they were used as French fishing dogs, and they are also used for hunting truffles, but Pre France they were a German breed. They are supposed to be easy to train. We wait and see.
Why did I get a dog at this precarious time in my life? Well, I lost Jadey in the new year, my 16-year-old rescue mutt. Papa seemed lonely ~ although with hindsight although he missed Jadey I think he was learning to be happy being the only dog. I wanted my last born to know what it is to feel the joy and Love of getting your own puppy as a child. I knew that experience, and it was the best ~ and I wanted my children to know it too, to have a puppy to Love and to be Loved by. The twins play so perfectly with each other at times, and so perfectly and securely without each other too ~ this is the blessing of being a loving twin constantly having a playmate of the same age, and feeling such security in that mutual Love, that you have that secure love even when apart. Eliza wanted her own play mate ~ and so I indulged her, but mostly I indulged myself, because I wanted a little soul mate ~ and having lost my faithful Jadey in the new year, I wanted a dog that this time I could pick up and hug. And I wanted a pooch too that could cuddle me with unconditional Love in those lonely moments, when the soul is needing to feel close to another soul.
You see priests and brothers and sisters have their brothers and sisters, their families, their vocations, their parishioners and parishes, they have each other, and their community, and a paid job, and a car, and a secure home and bills paid, and their own chapel to worship in whenever they please ~ and access to the wider diocesan network, privileges beyond what I have. They often have instant respect and grace bestowed upon them because of their intimacy with their parishioners, or just because of their status ~ just because they are what they are. And when life at times is personally lonely, they can draw upon their wealth of privileges, and those privileges can often make life easier, or help to counteract the things they have to go without. They are rewarded with Love. And when it all gets a little too much ~ they are blessed with retreat.
But to be a lay person of deepest faith, with a personal vocation to Love ~ but with celibacy imposed upon us ~ without the same security’s and privileges, and blessings ~ and without the support of a formal structure or relationship is excruciatingly difficult, and painful, and lonely. My Co-habitatio either propositions me, or in angry rejection denies me almost any verbal interaction ~ other than an absolute necessary exchange. He is a good man ~ but the situation has changed his treatment towards me over time, and my talk of divorce has disintegrated any communications there might have otherwise been. He is very angry inside, and at times quietly emotionally negative, and ungenerous, and at times shows spite towards me. Because he lives with my denying him, and in physical intimacy I do. The intimately physical separation became everyday practical physical and emotional separation and that has made the often unkindness impossible to live with. But I can not afford to move. I can not pay bills, or rent or anything. I have to be free for children’s sickness, school runs, school holidays etc. I have looked for little local flats, so that I still could be close to my children, but they all cost money which I do not have.
Living rural I was put in a compromising situation, and so I had to buy myself my own car ~ as my other car was on finance in R’s name ~ and should we row, and should I exit the home upon rowing, the first thing R did was to take my keys away, and give me the older heavier caravelle whose petrol I could ill afford. The beach hut was in my name only ~ as I brought it when I sold my own home to move here. So I sold it and traded in the caravelle and added cash to it, and I brought myself my first ever nice car purely in my name. I did my homework ~ it is tax-free and economical – 60 + miles to the gallon, and I pray serves me well. It will never happen again, this was a once in a lifetime purchase, never again will I be in the position to buy a newish car from a VW main dealer. At least now I don’t have to forever rely upon very expensive rail travel to travel any distance, when I can fill up more economically with a tank full of diesel. It has the most amazing number plate FX13XMA (F) Father (X) kiss (13) (X) kiss (MA) Mags 13 was my fathers lucky number (a bakers dozen) + my maiden name ~ 13 is the Marian day of worship each month. MA is also Mary or Mags or Marie (my middle name) :O)
Already the heartbreaking grief of having to sell my beach hut is easing (it felt connected to my wider family – happy previous family days – and especially to my Daddy who died). It was so difficult letting go of it. I walked past it yesterday and they have gutted it ~ and changed it ~ and bastardised the once beautiful little vintage hut. It just doesn’t feel like the same Spirit is there anymore ~ They even changed the name :O(
There is nowhere to go now in the daytime to escape the moodiness and northness of this once loving and warmly lit home. I took my Dads oystering shoes from the beach hut and put them under my false car boot floor, so that something of his once physical presence continues to bless me. I pray that somewhere to live eventually drops out of the sky ~ no money ~ no job ~ no prospects ~ no security ~ a partly school run mum, whose children need to live still in the security of their Daddy’s home, he works from home. I pray to live in a peace filled home one day again. A centre parks style log cabin would suit me well. I pray for R to be strong and loving and find hope and kindness and peace again. He is such a good man. He doesn’t deserve any of this. He deserves to be happy and content, and blessed with Love.
God only you can sort this one All out.
Yesterday “tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree” came on the radio, I havent heard that song in donkeys years. It was a vinyl record my Dad used to play, and instantly he was right here with me ~ in a deeper way ~ a much needed physical spiritual hug.
I am currently reading Nelson Mandela
‘The cell is an ideal place to get to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the process of your own mind and feelings. In judging our progress as individuals we tend to focus on external factors such as one’s social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education… but internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being: honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, purity, generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve your fellow men – qualities within the reach of every soul – are the foundations of one’s spiritual life… At least if nothing else, the cell gives you the opportunity to look daily into your entire conduct to overcome the bad and develop whatever is good in you. Regular meditation, say of about fifteen minutes a day before you turn in, can be very fruitful in this regard. You may find it difficult at first to pinpoint the negative factors in your life, but the tenth attempt may reap rich rewards. Never forget that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.”
“One issue that deeply worried me in prison was the false image that I unwittingly projected to the outside world; of being regarded as a saint. I never was one, even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying”
My Mum sent me this today ~ it will hopefully inspire me ~ that I should keep on trying regardless.