August 25th, 2019

Two Oddities

The church at Doddington is dedicated to The Decollation of St John the Baptist- decollation being a fancy, medieval word for beheading. No-one knows why. It could be that it once possessed a stone that was supposed to have been used as the execution block; there's a rumour of such a relic having been passed around in the area.

It's a big handsome building- but I what I really like are oddities- and here are a couple:

On the sofit (I believe that's the right word) of the window embrasure of a chapel on the north side is what is claimed to be the only surviving image of St Francis of Assisi in English medieval art. It's very worn and faded, but it still has presence. Those eyes look into the soul...

And then there's this- a ledger stone, set into the church floor, from which the inscription has been entirely removed- not smoothed away, but chopped out with neat, methodical blows from a chisel- and the cuts left visible so no-one could doubt that it was a deliberate act. Who lies under? Who wanted the record of this life erased-and why? Was it an act of revenge or spite? And why has the heraldry been left untouched? There's a story here but no-one knows what it is.

Preparing For Sainthood

This dream seemed terribly significant at the time- and after it was over I spent an hour or two mulling it over.

A man appeared on a flying chaise longue. He gave me a key and a book and told me I should prepare to become a spiritual master- but first I needed to do three things:

1. stop eating breakfast

2. stop reviewing movies

3. stop drinking.

It didn't seem too much to ask.

I wondered if I was dreaming and reached in my back pocket and found I still had the key- so obviously this was all happening for real.

I was introduced to the person who would serve as my assistant and manager. I recognised him as a childhood friend. Clearly we had a karmic bond. We were very happy to see one another again.

Brilliant, sparkling golden water was flowing out of a kind of translucent tent towards another translucent tent which was forming round me. I was handed a cup with a spout, full of golden water and told to refresh myself because it would boost my spiritual energy. People were coming to sit at my feet and be taught. My childhood friend was sitting next me on the slightly raised dais and a very old man was lying beside us in the foetal position- maybe sleeping, maybe dead...

Then I awoke.