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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, January 05, 2004
    Following God's scent trails
    Morning routine 2004:
    (a) Get up, wash etc;
    (b) Read brief devotional text - currently that is quotes from Michael Yaconelli - Selected Writings, the book Youth Specialties gave to those who attended Mike's tribute services; next up will probably be Michael Leunig: A Bunch of Poesy;
    (c) Iona Community prayers and other lists;
    (d) Breakfast, during which consult This Diary Will Change Your Life, which is what I spent my Christmas book tokens on this year.

    TDWCYL is even more fun than a Dodo Pad, and that's saying something. It's a diary with a difference because each day it tells you what to do. And the tasks it gives are designed to shake things up a bit. I only got mine today so I missed these:

    Thurday 1 January: Break your New Years Resolution;
    Friday 2 January: Write the opening sentence of your debut novel;
    Saturday 3 January: Take part in a mass social experiment by sticking an 'Out of Order' sign on an item of public infrastructure of your choice;
    Sunday 4 January: Gaze at someone wondering if they may be the true love of your life ... and act in consequence.

    You may have seen TDWCYL reviewed, for instance in The Guardian, who said it was an attempt to revive Situationism. Though the diary is more fun (and less political) than the kinds of things Guy Debord and co envisaged, it'll be a challenge taking it on this year. Today's task, for instance, seemed painfully difficult at first: throw something away that you like. I let myself off lightly by taking the Christmas Cards down. There will be tougher days ahead (eg Saturday 12 June - go shoplifting).

    Meanwhile, it's great to see Steve Collins taking Situationism into a whole new area by introducing the idea of Spritual Signage - inviting people to put up around a city, sticker-signs "which will indicate spiritual events and encounters, their location, nature and duration ... These can be placed on buildings, lampposts, taxi seats, escalators and other sites of spiritual encounter ... This will enable us to read the city, spiritually; to follow the scent trails of God." Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.