Monday, May 17, 2010

Canterbury again

After several days catching up on important things such as uploading the last 6 months of photos to my flickr album and getting over jet lag I am ready to go up the hill to the Franciscan Study Centre to see if they have a supervisor available for my dissertation. The topic generally is the Franciscan identity of SSF. Exploring the question of how we get to be franciscan without following the official Rule written by Francis.

Research in several areas: reading popular English language Franciscan literature of the early 20th century to understand the perceived image of Francis; reading minutes and early documents of SSF and its predecessors - especially Christa Seva Sangha in Pune; and listening again to some oral history interviews with some older brothers.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In Flight Movies

"The Last Train". Great acting. Does it get to the real Tolstoy or not? But for me the point is the tension between the man with the vision, and the movement founded on his ideas - or rather the imagined construct of those. The icon they made of Tolstoy - and very different from the reality he was. The tension between greatness and those inspired by greatness.

"The Guns of Navarrone". Never to late to see great movies of the past. Among the many achievements is Richard Harris acting an Australian airman with what is arguably the worst ever attempt at an Australian accent in film history. Not bad. Bloody strewth mate.

Blogger in Transit

Friar's Balsam is in transit. An indeterminate state of existence. Actually Changi Airport en route to London and thence Canterbury.

Random thoughts in transit.

The subway trains in Seoul have arctic levels of air conditioning in the summer. So much that you need extra clothing to keep warm in them at times. However as a special concession they have a few cars in each set with slightly less cold. They are marked with a snowflake logo. The ones which are less cold. Does that make sense?

The toilets in T3 at Changi are very clean and well appointed. The urinals have a small picture of a bee on them at the spot to aim for. Why a bee? The Latin for bee is apis. (As in apiary). I wonder if the public decency police of Singapore know they are using such language :)

And I have found nirvana. It's advertised in today's Straight's Times, Home section , page B24, sandwiched between "In Memoriam" and "Money Markets". The Nirvana Memorial Garden in Singapore is a 6-star columbarium "possessing the characteristics of serenity and elegance", not to mention oozing more gold plate and crystal chandeliers than any hotel lobby you ever saw. And who wouldn't want a columbarium with such excellent fengshui as to bring "great fortune, propserity and abundance to descendents."? What is more, by buying a niche or two in advance, not only can you "pre-plan for the afterlife", but it's a great investment because "demand will exceed supply."

So my time in transit is filled with such thoughts.

My next thought is to the inevitable use of the subjunctive in airport boarding announcements. "At this stage we would ask passengers with small children or needing special assistance to board first." Would we? But will we? It's a flight to London so the passengers will queue and follow instructions. There's no use bothering with such annoucements on flights to Seoul.