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Sunday November 5th 2017Tim Candler9

 

     One of the many, many, many questions that haunt Saint Barbara is "Why on earth did Saeed's Seamstresses choose the Carmelite Calling." An excellent question, the answer to which is incredibly long and filled with detailed and life altering insights, so those who have useful things to do like leaf raking, gutter cleaning and the list is horribly long, should avoid these pages for at least five days, possibly longer. But anyone who might once long ago have heard the older Elvis Presley say "It will fascinate you" and found themselves curious, then the answer to the above mentioned question is the stuff for you. It all began with a book, not just an ordinary book with long Bronte-esque sentences that went on and on endlessly before achieving a moon landing on a full stop. This book followed the poetic styling's of the very ancient Sumerians, three, or four thousand years ago, the sentence structure kind of looks like the Arab poet Al Qamar from the seventh or eighth century who wrote things like "They  crouched by the artebrakes, the hunters, in order to achieve a safe prey, but she outran their spears and pursing hounds." A love poem by the way and I'm sure there's a semicolon or a line break in there somewhere. This book that so inspired Bronwyn Applegate was written by a man called Jackson Lee Flynn who gave up on the whole business of being an admiral for the Spanish Navy and rather than do the traditional thing which was to sell his soul to a number of foreign fascist dictatorships decided to devote the remainder of his days to investigating the life and times of the Medieval Saints.

 

Past

     It's also the case that while many scholars don't cleave to the idea that the founder of the Carmelites was a Medieval Saint, Jackson Lee Flynn had been an Admiral for goodness sake, and he didn't mess around with the minor details like whether Saint Teresa of Avila was Medieval or not. And the thing about it was, and I don't know what it's like now, but in those days when Bronwyn found the admiral's beautifully written and illustrated book, royal seamstresses weren't really allowed to know how to read. It was bad for them apparently. All the same on page 69 of Flynn's book there was a wonderful illustration of Teresa. She looked incredibly happy, not a care in the world, her skin flawless, not a wrinkle on her face, and indeed she was barefoot, dressed in a simple, uncomplicated dress, a small, very calm woolly creature in her arms, which could have been a curly haired kitten, but she was surrounded by what could have been pigeons none of which looked at all nervous. Worth mentioning that in those days images of human beings were rather frowned upon in Oman, and according to the rules a person found with an image of a female human being, could have their leg, or their arm chopped off.  All of which is a long, long way from the traditions of the ancient Sumerians, where if I recall, the goddess of Gilgamesh's city was a very beautiful woman for whom anything remotely associated with fidelity or modesty was really very low on her list of priorities. Either way, Bronwyn was so struck by the image of Teresa in Flynn's book, she had a vision.

 

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