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

    Thursday, March 25, 2004

    It's precisely four years on from our experimental jazz celebration of the Annunciation at Ridley Hall. Our Cafe Emmaus broke the mould; Elizabeth Jennings' words (above) inspired us; as did the testimony of a number of women in our community who shared what they'd felt the moment they heard that they were pregnant; as did the music of Pharoah Sanders; as did Janet Morley's And you held me (from All Desires Known); as did this picture of The Annunciation by Noelle Zeltzman.

    Today, far from ground-breaking experimentation I stumbled into a new phase of life. Served probably the least-well prepared, unsatisfactory communions of my brief 'career'. It was all light and energy then; now, it feels awkward and messy. The only similarity - that Cafe Emmaus was all about improvisation. That's what jazz musicians do; that's what Mary had to do, an ordinary girl astonished by the angel's message. And that's what I'll be doing for quite a while, it seems. Perhaps that's no bad thing ...