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

    Tuesday, March 16, 2004
    With St Francis on Tottenham Court Road
    Where there is Love and Wisdom,
    there is neither Fear nor Ignorance.

    Where there is Patience and Humility,
    there is neither Anger nor Annoyance.

    Where there is Poverty and Joy,
    there is neither Cupidity nor Avarice.

    Where there is Peace and Contemplation,
    there is neither Care nor Restlessness.

    Where there is the Fear of God to guard the dwelling,
    there no enemy can enter.

    Where there is Mercy and Prudence,
    there is neither Excess nor Harshness.

    I'm with St Francis on Tottenham Court Road. Discovering today the truth of many of those words of his in the very heart of the very city, having travelled down a day early for a Greenbelt meeting to catch a look at the National Gallery's El Greco exhibition. In the company of Bob, who is a bit of a contemplative and a bit of a wag, a wise man and a Liverpool supporter (rare commodity).

    Found Love and Wisdom, Patience and Humility, Peace and Contemplation, Fear of God, Mercy and Prudence in all sorts of settings - in El Greco's astonishing paintings, full of unexpected colour and light, all about the eyes (in the exceptional portraits) and the skies (always apocalyptically alive); in many good conversations and exchanges, notably with an international cast of very friendly young staff in a Trafalgar Square pizza house, in a generally thoughtful, chilled-out day in the capital. Rare. Precious. Wonderfully strange.

    [pic: El Greco's St Jerome]