Monday, 10 December 2012

Monday 10th December - a hazelnut in the hand

This little hazelnut lives in the pocket of the jacket I wear most days. Normally, I never see it, never take it out, but today I had a look, and found that it has become polished to a gentle gleaming shine all over.

I keep it in my pocket because of Julian of Norwich, and her famous "showings"

St. Julian, as depicted in the church of SS Andrew and Mary, Langham, Norfolk.
from wikipedia
"Because of our good Lord's tender love to all those who shall be saved, he quickly comforts them, saying, 'The cause of all this pain is sin. But all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

She says it three times, so it must be true......

It reminds me of "The Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll, which begins

``Just the place for a Snark!'' the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

``Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true.''

You can read the whole poem here: Somewhere in the house we have "The Annotated Snark" with copious footnotes by Martin Gardner. I have taken the illustrations from the wikipedia entry which is also full of information.

A bit irreverent, maybe, to swap between a nonsense poem and mystical writings. Richard Dawkins would be full  of an unholy glee at this juxtaposition of sacredness and insanity.

Where does the hazelnut come into it? Here is another paragraph from Julian of Norwich:

He is oure clothing, that for love wrappeth us and windeth us, halseth us and all becloseth us, hangeth about us for tender love, that he may never leeve us. And so in this sight I saw that he is all thing that is good, as to my understanding”
And in this, shewed me a little thing the quantity of an haselnot, lying in the palme of my hand as me semide, and it was as rounde as any balle. I looked theran with the eye of my understanding, and thought: ‘What may this be?’ And it was answered generally thus: ‘It is all that is made.’ I marvayled how it might laste, for methought it might sodenly have fallen to nought for littlenes. And I was answered in my understanding: ‘It lasteth and ever shall, for God loveth it. And so hath all thing being by the love of God.’
-Julian of Norwich (1343-1416), A Revevlation of Love 5.13 

My mother has made it to the stroke rehabilitation ward. It is a scary place to be, at first; uprooted from the tender care of the nurses that she has made friends with, and thrust among strangers, nurses and patients, in a strange place with different colour scheme, different lighting levels, different routine, different visiting hours. The reality of rehabilitation starts today. I'm sure that the care will be just are tender, just as professional, but from now on they will be doing everything it takes to get her left side mobile again. It is going to hurt, mentally and physically.
It is going to take mental and physical strength and courage.

I'll say it three times, so it must be true. All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.   

And, after all, the Snark was a Boojum, you see.


1 comment:

  1. Amen, amen, amen. I love the way your hazelnut has been polished in your pocket - what a precious treasure.