Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Saints Day, Abstinence and Away in the Brain

November 1st has arrived.

NaBloPoMo is upon us. Brains, all over the world are clinking and clanking, turning and churning, clogging the airwaves with stories, ideas, anecdotes and tall tales. The necessary, humdrum, everyday activities are abandoned, cast gleefully away on the turbulent seas of cerebral activity. All in the pursuit of eggcelence.

This is my first installment of, what I hope will be, 30 days of continuous blogging. A noble undertaking, considering the circumstances. But, then, I have a plan. "Thats all thats needed", I tell the doubting Thomases lurking in my grey matter. A Grand Plan. A Master Plan, even. Unfortunately, as I pen this, the words of Robbie Burns are nibbling at my ears, reminding me that "the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglae".

Think positively. Onwards and upwards. Into the valley of death .....

During my school days, the nuns were apt, with monotonous regularity, to remind us simple, impressionable, maidens, in solemn, reverential voices, that November 1st was a SPECIAL day. "Why is that Sister?" we would enquire, demurely, knowing full well that the ensuing explanation would guarantee us at least an hour off the dreaded Maths class. "Well, girls, its the day we remember all the Holy Saints in Heaven who have gone before us and are guiding all of us sinful, mortal beings to Jesus Christ and Eternal Life in the Lord......." And she was off ... gone, like a bat out of hell, on her favourite hobby horse, reminding us of the martyrs who died for us, of the Little Flowers that prayed for us, of the Animal Lovers that guided us along the perilous journey called Life. Wasting her sweetness on the desert air, we all thought.

But, years later, one desperate November, I remember trying to do a deal with God, but, not really getting anywhere with Him, I decided to try the good, old reliable saints. I was VERY desperate. I promised them the sun, the moon and the stars if they would only do this one thing, just this one time, for me. They left me stewing for a couple of days. During which time, I cogitated and ruminated and figured I'd better up the ante a bit and make it an irresistable, once-off, never-to-be-repeated offer, that would swing it for me. The offer was approved and accepted. Written in blood, sweat and tears.

"Fear not, oh good and faithful servant, your labours will be rewarded. But remember, be true to thy word". They didn't ACTUALLY say this to me. But I got the message.

Since then, every November, it is the dry season.

I always honour a good deal. And the Saints just love it. They dream of, eventually, saving my soul. Optimists, the lot of them.

But, at the time, it was a very good deal. Needless to say, that didn't stop the friends, the companions, the boozy buddies, the birds on the trees, the dogs on the street, from tearing the divil out of me. I had one particular friend, who hailed from the northern territories, who used to assure me, with manic nodding of her wild, red head, that I was, indeed, "aweay in the breain".

Away in the brain, I may be, but the deal still stands, 30 years later.

I hope the saints are roaring approval in the hallowed halls of the afterworld.


Rich said...

In the UK, we see the publication today, on All Saints Day, of a graphic novel based on the life of St Joseph Of Copertino, "The Flying Friar". See more here:

mjd said...

Wonderful and thoughtful post for your first NaBloPoMo. Since I was raised an Episcopalian, there were no saints to intercede for us with God. I did make a deal with God that I mentioned in this post. I think that the saints are undoubtedly nodding approval for you on this All Saints Day.

mjd said...

Oh yes, the picture is wonderful and goes perfectly with this post.

Liz said...

Oh the nuns. You and Molly should write a book! As for NaBloPoMo I will be cheering you on.

sMC said...

12 pm is that midnight or noon :)
I only just made mine at 11.59.
You have such a wonderful way with words I have lots to learn.

Tanya Brown said...

Wonderful post, of course, but now I'm concerned about the fact that flowers are praying for us. Is there any prohibition against cutting them and sticking them in a vase, and do I need to be concerned about similar issues like mowing my lawn?

Barbara said...

I'm most curious to know what the one thing was that drove the original bargain!

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, how am I ever going to have time to read all those posts? So many of my favourite bloggers are NaBo-whatevering - for any sake, don't they have marking to do, lessons to prepare, mothers to visit, floors to wash??? Still, I'm looking forward to reading them all.

I know this is probably a deeply dumb question, but why are you called Rise out of me?

Molly said...

This time you've made a supremely auspicious start! Twenty nine to go----he,he!
I have some ideas but you're going to have to be a little less obtuse and clue me in next time we talk!
Have stormed heaven myself on many occasions. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it I warn the naysayers, who accuse me of superstition.....

meggie said...

Having no faith, I cannot comment on your deal.
But I am surely looking forward to reading you every day!!

mikaelah said...

what fun!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Kudos for keeping up your end of the bargain!

Good luck with the NaBloPoMo!

Lee said...

Well my good intentions didn't last long. Missed day 1. But posted 2 on day 2. Three if you count the sex blog. Does that even the ledger?

Diana said...

Keeper of promises. That's not a bad thing to be known for.

riseoutofme said...

It is very heartwarming reading all of your comment. Thank you.

mjd ...the photo is of a church in rural Spain ... its location makes me wonder about the sanity of the church leaders in placing it in such an inaccesible place! Sadism, with God's stamp of approval?

liz ... maybe we will write a book sometime! I think the title could possibly be "The Fine Art of Procrastination", what do you think?

birdy ...thank you! The clock shown at the bottom of my posts bears absolutely NO resemblance to real time!

tanya ... cut away! You'll be damned forever, but what the hell!

barbara ... ah .. how long do you have???

isabelle .... time is of the essence ... all those necessary chores will still be there come the end of Nov. for the name ... maybe I can make a post out of it? No doubt I'll be grasping at straws before too long!

molly ... storming heaven! Theres a barring order on us at this stage, I'd say!

meggie ... don't be fooled by the words! I just find the ritual of religion fascinating and highly amusing from my experience.

mikaelah ... delighted you're back!

whim ...I don't make deals lightly so .... and I need LOTS of luck for this madness!

lee ... Bless you , my son, your sins are forgiven .... Go forth and multiply ...

diana ....hadn't thought of it like that ....