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

    Monday, January 26, 2004
    How good it must feel to be free
     
    Synchronicity, or the spirit. Whatever, after yesterday's blog I was surprised and thrilled to bump into Jan in Glasgow today. I was there for an Iona Community Publications Committee meeting (good creative gatherings, I like them); Jan was down from the Highlands and Islands for a rather more trying appointment - in court to answer charges stemming from her involvement in a Faslane anti-nuclear protest.

    So, just a pleasant day out for me, hearing among other things about good sales for Jan's book Out of Iona. But a pivotal day in Jan's life. If she'd have been found guilty of disturbing the peace it would have been massively ironic, considering the threat to peace that Trident poses. But it would have also perhaps meant a custodial sentence for Jan. The Warden of Iona Abbey unable to tend the living community in that ancient place of worship awhile, incarcerated in a Scottish nick instead. And we wouldn't have seen her today.

    Jan was given 'not guilty'. So the hugs and smiles we shared in the lobby of the Community's offices involved great measures of relief. I doubt that will be the end of Jan's protesting, though. Not till the nuclear threat to peace and humanity is acknowledged by our leaders and Trident is scrapped. After a day in the cells in 2002 Jan wrote: "Living Word - thank you for setting me free / through pain and poetry..." After yesterday's silly aside, on the train home tonight I found some words for Jan:

    how good it must feel to be free
    only surfaces perhaps
    at the tip
    of the abyss
    of captivity

    how good it must feel to be free
    something we free ones forget sometimes
    sated, submerged
    in our luxuries
    of life and motion

    how good it must feel to be free
    a goodness needing sharing
    with those
    denied choices
    of life and motion

    how good it must feel to be free
    sustainance for the
    forward struggle
    at the tip
    of the abyss
    of captivity


    [pic nicked from meish dot org: Jan & family on Bamburgh beach last weekend]