memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Posts tagged ‘panting by thomas milner’

The Ice Lantern

One of the things that stand out in my memory is the great winter of 1963 which held most of Europe in its iron grip. We still lived in Cologne and the Christmas holidays were most enjoyable for us children. The climate of the Rhine valley, so enervating during the summer, came into its own during that cold winter, being freezing but dry and windless. At Christmas our father organized us into building a snow-mountain in the middle of the lawn and then carving it into a plinth about two feet square and about four feet high; he artistically finished it off by smoothing the snow so exactly that it resembled a stone fit for an Egyptian pyramid. He then fetched some (matching) low, flat baking trays from the kitchen, filled them with water and laid them on ground beside the plinth. In about an hour they were frozen into little slabs of translucent ice which he then delicately prized out of the tins and placed on the plinth in such a way that they formed an ice room with an ice ceiling and with one of the walls left open. Finally he placed a lighted candle in the ice lantern which burned serenely in the cold dark night.


After the Fall

You talk the talk but can you walk the walk?

Well, the simple answer to that one is no, actually.

The ambulatory skill left me abruptly

(it must be oh, what, seven years ago now? yes, easily seven years, if not eight).

I fell.

And what a fall was there my countrymen, and most of my dreams fell with me.

It was a fall from grace.

(Still, not to worry, eh, mustn’t grumble; things could be a lot worse I suppose …)

Here’s old Bob Dylan who put in a nutshell:

«We sit here stranded, though we’re doing our best to deny it.»


The Witch-Finder General

Tuesday 6th July 2010
There’s this disgruntled old dear who just sits around all day doing nothing (don’t we all). What is different about her is that every now and then (about a once a month) she opens her mouth and out comes a stream of obscenity and profanity.
Ouch! Where can she have heard that one, I wonder or from what cess-pit of her subconscious did that come from? Let’s just say that it’s socially inappropriate and leave it at that.
She’s also a bit twitchy. It may be some form of Tourette’s Syndrome, I surmise, which is a bit unusual in someone who has lived in the same Portuguese village all her life. One day I mentioned her case to one of the care-workers and mentioned that it could be Tourette’s ; she stared at me, I don’t anything about that, she said, all I know is that she not quite up right up there and she tapped her head significantly.

(During the Middle Ages, I suppose she would have been burnt as a witch, so at least we’ve made some progress).

With the recent exposure of the extent of the systematic sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests of children in their pastoral care, a great deal of attention has been focussed on the Vatican itself. While watching one of the many TV programs on the subject I was astonished to learn that the Holy See actually employs an official exorcist and that this official, (with a PhD. in Demonology perhaps), is kept very busy, carrying out about 20 exorcisms a day!
It is hard to resist not falling back onto satire here:

Possession by the Devil, sir? It’s the first door on the left;
Being tempted by demons, Miss? Second door on the right;
Your cat is speaking in strange tongues, Madam? Just take a seat and The Witch-Finder General will attend to you shortly…

Joe Bloggs is a serial paedophile. He is tried by a Criminal Court, found guilty and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
Father Joseph O’ Bloggs is also a serial paedophile. But he is tried by Canon Law, found guilty and sentenced to a course of counselling and discreetly transferred to another parish. The local police are not informed and the victims are too ashamed to come forward.
That’s just not right, is it?  It really isn’t.


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