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Monday January 21st 2019Tim Candler9

 

     All very well your correspondent patting himself smugly on the back for having adjusted his attitude to the name Penrose. On reflection it was a self serving back on the pat and had little to do with generosity of spirit. I guess too, in the matter of the Bridges of Gormenghast the same confluence of idea will have to be applied to developing a more constructive attitude toward the name Chad. Prior to the events of the fall of the year 2000, the Hanging Chad when yet another US President was 'elected' by a minority of the electorate, my own Beasts of the Forests included a youth called Chad and have to admit the combining of the word Hanging with the word Chad did provided a certain glow in my ugly heart. But all that will have to be returned to "It Was" and ignored rather than rationalized. It's also true that Saint Chad falls outside the parameters laid casually down by your Bridge Builder for a Genuine Medieval Saint. Saint Chad is a Political Saint par excellence and he's naturally recognized by Rome. Both charges that should expel him from the list of Bridge Names. But he was other things. He came to the Lord in Lindisfarne, a school of religion founded by Saint Aiden of the Celtic Church and this was a few years before the Synod of Whitby which was when the Celtic Church and the Roman Church came to agreement on the somewhat passive issue of how to calculate Easter Day, but more important they came to an agreement on the shape and form of the Tonsure.     

 

 

 

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     The Celtic Church adhered to the notion that a Tonsure was to reflect what these days might be called a Mohawk, a wonderful expression of ferocity of purpose, a generally impressive "I couldn't Care Less" style as opposed to the "I'm a bit of simpleton" Roman Church's choice of hairstyle for their devious monks. There's no actual photographic record, but I'm anxious to believe that Saint Chad had a Mohawk, and sometimes parameters just need to be stretched so as to encompass the quality of charm in order to do away with the sin of dogma. The other thing about Saint Chad, he's that rare creature a Mercian Saint. Of the powerful pagan clans that moved in to fill the vacuum which followed the retreat of the Roman Legions in Britain, the Mercians were the last to consider Christianity as a useful tool in their armory. And I just love the idea of a mohawk wearing monk taking the Beatitudes to the Mercian host. These days it's no longer fashionable to draw too much of a distinction between the Roman and the Celtic Church, it's all part of a rationalization of "It Was" that has to do with the Church, any church, still attempting to enter into the consciousness of the Industrial Age, a long way to go before they even begin to think about the current century, there's a good argument snake handlers are more devoted. The final point about Saint Chad, and this is definitely a positron in the neurological web, is the truly enlightening saga of his relics. A long story, maybe tomorrow.  

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