Friday, 26 December 2014

Fast Forward

Because its my blog and just because I can, I am going to jump out of the straight forward progression and sequence of this story and skip forward a couple of years. I will revisit the past in detail but there are some stories that I am not quite ready to publish so hence the unsubtle skipping around. 

When I first started yoga, I thought that all there was to it a physical workout along with  a little relaxation and maybe even meditation. Over the years somehow my practise has taken on a whole new meaning. I cannot say for sure when I noticed this, was it on that very first day or did it happen over a period of time?  If I could divert a little.
St Brigid's Church Kilcullen
 thanks to my cousin Brien Byrne

 Just for the record I was reared Roman Catholic...sort of, at least my mother did what she perceived to be her duty. Got us kids through the Irish communion / confirmation thing and saw to it that we attended mass every Sunday etc. The year my younger sister hit 18 my mother announced that as we could drive, she had no need to accompany us to church any longer and ceased attending mass from that day forward. During this time we had been attending a catholic boarding school in Dublin and had the habit of attending mass most days with rosary or benediction in the evening.  When I say attending, I mean it was a kind of automatic thing for me, a little like washing my  teeth,  I did it because it was supposed to be good for me, had a long term cumulative effect and needed to be done on a regular basis.  But I didn't really get it, ever! I liked the ceremony, the religiosity, the drama, the smells, the robes and the singing .....But as to what it was all about I may as well been outside riding my  little pony across the moor of Kildare! So when my mother said she wasn't going to go any longer  I thought, that will do me and I quit as well....never looking back.I believe my sister kept it up for a good while afterwards.

I have one main memory left from 12 years of intensive church going. One time whilst waiting in line to go to confession in a freezing side chapel late on a Saturday evening. I was bored stiff and noticed that the school bully had carved her initials on the church bench in front of me. Having suffered somewhat at the same hands, I decided that I could do a better job than her, that I would show her!!
I grabbed the crucifix of my rosary beads and proceeded to carve out my initials all across the top of the bench at least 2 inches high and spreading  10 to 18 inches across .  Satisfied with my work I headed for the confession box dredging up my usual weekly rhyme of made up transgressions; I told lies, I was disobedient and I had impure thoughts ....what ever they are at 7 years of age. But it was three things to tell, which the nuns said was the right amount of things to confess to, and put like that they were easy to remember each week. I always got three hail mary's as a penance, which meant that I could be away home in 5 minutes . I always used to look at those who went to confession before me and were still praying when I was on my way home, they must have had an awful lot of sins may be even mortalers!!... they were bound to go to hell and I felt kind of sorry for them.

Some weeks later my mum called me to her in the kitchen and asked me did I know anything about my name being scratched on a bench in the church. She too had been queuing for confession on another day and saw my name which would have been an unusual name for that time. I said "no mum I didn't know anything about it shaking my innocent golden curls and smiling angelically ". I  said that I saw the school bully ( though I didn't call her that )  sitting there the last time we were in church, knowing full well that her name was also carved there....Result maybe? 
Later I overheard a conversation where mum was describing to a friend how she had to sneak into the church with furniture polish and a cloth and try to remove the offending scratches. Many many years later I revisited same bench and could just see the faintest trace left...