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

    Saturday, April 09, 2005
    Pale on bombastic day
    I've been in hiding on a bombastic day. If I'd climbed the church tower I could have watched the National, barely two miles away, for free with the pigeons. If I'd been inclined I could have tuned into the royal wedding, got some ideas from the Archbishop on how to do the Anglican big occasion. Instead, surrounded by newsprint glorifying the deceased pontiff I prepared for the funeral of a man who died hours before John Paul's body was put into a coffin of cypress wood and placed on Rome's basilica altar; who will get a modest, honest Norris Green send-off next week having deeply touched the lives of dozens. And prepared a sermon about two nobodies on the road from devastation towards nowhere.

    Bombast is the order of the day. Fittingly, the music critic I'm reading wants me to embrace the epic sounds of The Arcade Fire. I promise, I've tried, but I cannot do as commanded, and "bow down to the Roman-ampitheatre proportions of their sound." It does nothing for me.

    Instead I'm taking refuge in the inscapes of Kristin Hersh, who I've been listening to attentively since her wonderfully intimate gig at The Barfly last week.

    You know, I'm a little tired of the bombast. In the face of all the glow and gush about the late Karol Wojtyla (some merited) I want to believe there are unknown African priests who secretly give out condoms to AIDS-vulnerable parishioners. As 70,000 punters snake out of this part of our great city, many richer after a flutter on Hedgehunter, I want to believe there are small acts of generosity going on in the shadows of our avaricious nation. As a royal couple marry in opulence I'm thinking of the couples we'll be meeting tomorrow to prepare for far humbler occasions these coming weeks.

    Kristin's delicate disclosures are an antidote to the inflated clamour of the world:

    'Cause when the music starts it goes straight to your head
    And I break out in pale
    I break out in pale