February 26th, 2004


going to see the fragments of the one true cross/alleged barbie excesses

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" ...
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UKCAC diary the next

Inspired by the efforts of some of my friends, I decided to attack one of the huge sliding piles of comics. UKCAC diary page 2It took half a pile for the sheer force of stuff! to halt any attempt at sorting. Look, here's the stuff NAMBLA sent us -- old Deadlines with summer-turquoise covers, that weird comic about Lt. Uhura getting really into body-building and, er, other stuff. What's this? Dangerous Hobbits? Zinesters were so ahead of the wave... Without any further ado, back to 1998, when Jenni had plans for Caption all the way up to 2001, and her eye on (interviewing) Joe Sacco ...
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