Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

from w
Today has been a reflective day, being Good Friday. We started with hot cross buns and coffee in the little lounge Peceli had set up after renovating part of the garage a few months ago, reading from ‘Love to the World’ and asking who was Mary Magdalen because many church traditions get her confused with an unnamed woman.

Then we drove up to Altona Meadows but were delayed at the Point Cook turnoff as the car in front broke down. We stopped and helped the two Tongan people push the car into a car park. But we still got to the church in time for the English language service led by Leonie, the minister, who dressed in black T-shirt and pants. People are informal here. It was a beautifully reflective worship for a gathering of people of all ages in the modern church space.

A table full of objects was in the centre and one by one the purpose of the objects was made clear as they were passed around the congregation. Coins. Thorns. A sponge with pungent vinegar, Petals. Fragrant oil. Two points in the service were dramatic – hammering nails into wood, and ripping a cloth into many pieces. We sang, we prayed, people read from the Friday narrative including a girl and an elderly woman. Words and photographs from movies up on the wall using a data projector. We didn’t have coffee afterwards as the usual custom on Sundays but left to go our separate ways.

We went to the home of Sailosi and Tau in Wyndam Vale, had toast and fried chicken then watched videos of a recent trip to a small island in Lau. A young woman going for the first time to the village of her father. Village life in Fiji is so distant from the wrangling and tangled web that goes on in the politics of a military dictatorship. Going fishing with nets, baking bread underground, church services outside with a ceremony to cleanse the village and start anew, polotu singing, round shaped rooftops in the Tongan style, lengths of cloth and barkcloth spread over a grandmother’s grave after hacking away the encroaching jungle with cane knives, lots of laughter, kids everywhere.

It was a splendid video made by Lutu on her trip earlier this year. Peceli and Sailosi drank a little kava as we yarned and made plans to send goods to this island.
We came home by 6 p.m. stopping on the way to eat at Hungry Jacks. Okay, I thought everyone closed for today, but they were open. Now it’s time to rest, but there are two mice in the kitchen, our son says. Maybe the cool weather brought them in search of warmth. Haven’t seen any for six months. And some of the little ants are still about. ‘All things bright and beautiful’ doesn’t extend to mice or to ants.
Anyway, have a lovely weekend and a holy Easter Day on Sunday.



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