Monday, September 29, 2008


"I'm not very happy to speak about my anniversary because what interests me in life is what is in front of me and not what is behind me"

- Arsene Wenger, a few days ago

I thought it'd be a neat idea to post from every town I've been in. It's been a struggle at times, because a lot of the times, there's not a hell of a lot of difference between one place and another. And it's such a blur that it doesn't really matter anyway. Everything's interchangeable, to an extent. 

But I happened to be in Salisbury on the 750th anniversary of St Mary's Cathedral. It was quite a do - even Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was there. I caught the last half hour of it, just after the good bishop had baptised a couple of kiddies and had started on a bit of a sermon. 

It's quite an experience, listening to the sermon of the head of the Anglican Communion. Now, I'm no Anglican, but I do admire the guy. He's bloody learned. And there was this documentary once that photoshopped him in Jedi robes, and he looked a dead ringer for Obi-Won Kenobi. So, he's got an aura about him. 

When I listened to his words, I was blown away. It's a hell of a lot different from the stuff back home, where it's often just a compendium of various ill-thought prejudices and tenuously applicable biblical references. Rowan Williams actually used his brain to create a sermon which was clear, and symbolic, and soaring and touching and moving. And it was done without fanfare or trappings - just a good sermon, simply presenting. Brilliant stuff. 

It was about the symbolism of rocks and water in Christianity. About how Christ is the rock upon which all else stands, and how the living water of God can sweep us aside and take us to places we never thought possible. About how both are needed in the Christian life, and how both need to be embraced. 

Another great man, Arsene Wenger, is only living half this life. As the quote above suggests, he's perfectly happy to be swept along by the vicissitudes of life. He's less keen to look back see what he's built all his successes upon. There is danger in that. One can be blinded by promise of the future and forget the lessons learnt in earlier days (i.e. why doesn't Wenger get someone to organise the defence?)

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