Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Among a tangle of dreams trying to glue me to the bed this morning (including scripting a five-page story, which I promptly forgot, bah) was the curious experience of going to see the fragments of the one true cross. I'd seen bits and bobs before of course (I'm easily impressed by chuches that keep relics) but these were well known to be the closest to being authenticated. They were in town, in a building which combined elements of library, town-hall and museum but exclusively about religion; a sort of multi-faith public repository for items, thoughts and texts of religious importance.

I'd been in there a bit but had assumed that the true cross room was closed to the public, as there was a railing and guards between you and the reliquary. But my friend Jason (works in the Bodleian, Jewish) said no, it's open to the public, anyone can go, let's go right away! and we went.

We walked part the guards, opened the gate and stepped through. I was lugging my work bag, and it got caught, uprooting half the railings (which were cheap rubbish, clearly just for show) in the process. We left the guards repairing the fence, and walked to the back of the room and the reliquary.

The reliquary was the sort of dream architecture that makes perfect sense in context but which you would never encounter. A large square box a little taller than us made of old golden-brown wood, with a front wall that could be folded out in different configurations; to allow entrance to worshippers, display the relics, form a makeshift altar. Jason opened it for me, and I went inside.

I have to admit that I was awed. There was no headroom; you had to kneel to fit inside, and the first thing you noticed was the soft hollows worn in the wooden floor by the knees and hands of the faithful. Jason shut the door and I knelt in the dimness, not daring look up. When I plucked up courage to look instead of wood I saw metal; three long, savage spearheads in a weapons rack. I looked around the room and all of it was crowded with weapons; swords, spears, flails and worse, a grim, nasty, threatening sight ...

I gave up looking for the cross fragments and left. Jason had gone, which made me anxious. Also, someone had redecorated the room with lots of rugs, futons and throw-cushions in bright acid colous (predominantly pink and green). And there was lots of my stuff all over the place. I started trying to put it all in my bag, as behind me they reconfigured the grim reliquary into a jolly-looking altar decorated with yellow flowers (brrrr), but there was too much, I'd need carrier bags. One of the guards came over to me, and (worried that he'd think I was stealing stuff) I struck up conversation about how I didn't really approve of using so much squishy stuff for the redecoration. He agreed, seemed to warm to me.

It occurred to me that it might be better if he did decide I was stealing the stuff, then I'd be able to leave it there rather than having to lug it home.

In other news, the price of fame has gone up to £14.26, and people are *still* blaming me for Barbie and Ken's much publicised break-up despite the fact that these pages contain NO BARBIES. The (automatically generated) messages from our ISP read, "About your Alleged Website Bandwith Excess" ...


( 8 worms — Feed the birds )
26th Feb, 2004 06:06 (UTC)
it's all lies
Cleanskies and Damiancugley
  • Doing their best to adopt no adult girls.
  • Elect to share their hearts as it mightn't lead to pregnancy
  • Harbour intense love for each other.
Orchestrated by ianiceboy
26th Feb, 2004 10:02 (UTC)
Re: it's all lies
Cleanskies and Damian sittin' in a tree
K - I - S - S - I - N - G
First comes love, then comes comics,
then comes Caption and Barbie frolics.

- Adrian, Jo, & Ellie
26th Feb, 2004 06:39 (UTC)
What a surreal experience. I've never heard of a reliquary big enough to go inside! I think I'd be too scared. And what's with the weapons? Relics of the crusades? or a tribute to Christianity's long standing battle with the *non-believers*? And where WAS the fragment of the cross? I think I'd demand my money back. ;-)
26th Feb, 2004 07:29 (UTC)
it was my assumption that the weapons
were actually relics of the martyrs -- the weapons used to kill them. This being suggested by looking for the cross and finding the spear, and taking it to be one of the many contenders for the lost Lance of Longinius. I think the cross was there -- but being wood, probably wrapped in cloth, it didn't shine out like all the weapons did.

(Think I was just channelling the weltschmerz -- I go into a dark place to look for the true cross and find nothing but evidence of an unhealthy obsession with violence? Too obvious a reference, really.)
26th Feb, 2004 07:49 (UTC)
I think I'd demand my money back
Entrance was free.
26th Feb, 2004 09:04 (UTC)
Re: I think I'd demand my money back
:-) I was joking.
26th Feb, 2004 12:57 (UTC)
thank you for the invite to i_think_that!

at least, i reckon it was you.

26th Feb, 2004 14:53 (UTC)
wasn't me
I think the moderator is the one who does the inviting, and she invites people she thinks will say interesting things.

Which I've rather failed to do, has to be said ....
( 8 worms — Feed the birds )