Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why I love it here

Three episodes in the span of one week demonstrate perfectly why I love it here.

The theological library where I work scheduled a day for some work to be done in the garden. I dutifully joined the others. Four of us -- biblical scholars and theologians, all -- decided to tackle the task of felling a (dead) tree which needed clearing. Wielding axe and saw, we all took turns chopping and contemplating side jobs as lumberjacks. Naturally, a few of us chimed in with verses to Monty Python's 'Lumberjack' song. Then I asked, tongue in cheek, if we would all shout 'Timber!' in Koine Greek when the tree was coming down, and if so what would it be. The other three knew at once what 'Timber!' was in Koine Greek. Where else but Cambridge?

James Lark commented on an earlier post on the U2charist about other pop-musical mass setting possibilties. I began thinking of other ones myself, including 'Celebration of a New Ministry', which is too awful to contemplate. Then he and I talked about this cyber discussion a few days later, and he mentioned -- less in jest than it might sound -- that he has an idea for an ABBA mass. He sang a few bars of a couple of the songs and I find that I must admit - God help me -- that he actually has something there and it might be a good idea. Where else but Cambridge? (I'm still trying to think where 'Dancing Queen' would come, though -- gospel procession? Anyone?)

Finally, it is a commonplace that people cycle in Cambridge, everywhere, all the time, in all weathers. It's just what we do. Everything is pretty close, and East Anglia, geographically speaking, looks like nothing so much as a billiard table, so there aren't many hills to navigate. So it was heartwarming the other day to see an entire family of four out cycling together: unicycling. I think nontraditional cycles are more common here than elsewhere: recumbent bicycles and the like, and I have seen a few unicycles as well. But here was an entire family of four (the children were maybe seven and ten) out on the road unicycling away. Where else but Cambridge?

Of course the other reason I love it here is because this is where my beloved wife and dear daughter live: they make anywhere the centre of my world. And I'm going to be rather near the edge of my world for the next few days, at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature in Washington D.C. So if you're there and you see me, stop and say hi -- and if I seem slightly wistful, you'll know why. (Well, that and jetlag.)


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home