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

    Saturday, March 12, 2005
    No such thing as 'normal'
    No such thing as 'normal'. Used to be a favourite expression of mine. When people used to say things about the way normal people behave or talked about getting back to normal, I would delight in affirming my stongly-held belief that because we're all different, u-nique, that just really couldn't be true. There's no such thing as 'normal'.

    After a week in silence at St Beuno's where at mealtimes piped classical music was all that covered the sounds of people eating, and at all other times the household's gracious speechless agreement was broken only by the distant sounds of cleaners chatting down in the G.M. Hopkins corridor, and the birds (plentiful in the gorgeous grounds) colluding outside, I'm very keen to be back to 'normal' this week - back in the world of conversation and music.

    But I still like that expression. No such thing as 'normal'. Some would say they think they'd find the St Beuno's experience all too strange for them. I can see what they mean, but must say, when you're in it, the silence, really into the rythyms and deeps it presents, that becomes normal too. Must be amazing doing a thirty day retreat - doing it, and coming out of it afterwards, suddenly into the world of clamour and noise again.