Take me back, take me way back!

In sharp contrast to my last post, I turn today with something very different. At present I sit surrounded by boxes as I prepare to move house in the next couple of days! We have not been in this one very long but it holds many memories. We could call it our Covid-19 sojourn! The house into which I was born I lived in for 19 years and it holds so many childhood and family memories. Above, is a photograph of the childhood home of singer and songwriter Van Morrison, (born in 1945) 125 Hyndford Street a working class street in Belfast only a short walk to the more salubrious homes and gardens of Cypress Avenue. Both streets feature in Morrisons songs. At times many of his songs feel more like poetry and in Hyndford Street he recalls his childhood and adolescent years. As you read this “poem” might it stir in you memories of home, of childhood and growing into adulthood. Alongside this I include the words of a song he just released this past May, just because at times he asks fun yet serious questions. Also included are Youtube links to both. I encourage you to certainly listen to his presentation of Hyndford Street.

Take me back, take me way, way, way back
On Hyndford Street
Where you could feel the silence at half past eleven
On long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
In the quietness as we sank into restful slumber in the silence
And carried on dreaming, in God
And walks up Cherry Valley from North Road Bridge, railway line
On sunny summer afternoons
Picking apples from the side of the tracks
That spilled over from the gardens of the houses on Cyprus Avenue
Watching the moth catcher working the floodlights in the evenings
And meeting down by the pylons
Playing round Mrs. Kelly’s lamp
Going out to Holywood on the bus
And walking from the end of the lines to the seaside
Stopping at Fusco’s for ice cream
In the days before rock ‘n’ roll
Hyndford Street, Abetta Parade
Orangefield, St. Donard’s Church
Sunday six-bells, and in between the silence there was conversation
And laughter, and music and singing, and shivers up the back of the neck
And tuning in to Luxembourg late at night
And jazz and blues records during the day
Also Debussy on the third program
Early mornings when contemplation was best
Going up the Castlereagh hills
And the cregagh glens in summer and coming back
To Hyndford Street, feeling wondrous and lit up inside
With a sense of everlasting life
And reading Mr. Jelly Roll and Big Bill Broonzy
And “Really The Blues” by “Mezz” Mezzrow
And “Dharma Bums” by Jack Kerouac
Over and over again
And voices echoing late at night over Beechie River
And it’s always being now, and it’s always being now
It’s always now
Can you feel the silence?
On Hyndford Street where you could feel the silence
At half past eleven on long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
And in the quietness we sank into restful slumber in silence
And carried on dreaming in God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPKHas0Z4oE

Why are you on Facebook?
Why do you need second-hand friends?
Why do you really care who’s trending?
Or is there something you’re defending?

Get a life, is it that empty and sad?
Or are you after something you can’t have?
You kiss the girls and run away
Now you won’t come out to play

Why are you on Facebook?
Why are you on Facebook?

Yeah
Did you miss your 15 minutes of fame?
Or do you not have any shame?
Or is it some kind of twisted game?
Put yourself in the frame

For what some people work very hard to attain
Or are you looking for a scapegoat to blame?
‘Cause you’re a failure again

Why are you on Facebook?
Why are you on Facebook?

Why are you on Facebook?
Why do you need those second-hand friends?
Why do you care who’s trending?
Or is it something that you’re defending?

Get a life, is it that empty and sad?
Or are you after something you can’t have?
You kiss the girls and run away
Then you won’t come out to play

Why are you on Facebook?
Why are you on Facebook?

Did you miss your 15 minutes of fame?
Don’t you have any shame?
Or is it just some kind of twisted game?
To try to put yourself in the frame

For what some people work very hard to attain
Or are you looking for a scapegoat to blame?
‘Cause you’re a failure time and time again

Why are you on Facebook?
Why are you on Facebook? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPn2zH_8OmY

Prayer:
Holy God
I rejoice today for this gift of life.
As leaves change color and dance their
way to carpet the ground so I give
thanks for autumn.
Lord God some of your creatures
prepare for hibernation, that long sleep
into spring. Yet we busy ourselves
in preparing to celebrate Your birth and herald
you in the midst of winter as The Light of the World.
Come and be my light and grant me the desire and the energy
to be a follower, a believer, a doer of good, not a defender of dogma.
Holy and gracious God,
in these past days many have gathered to express concern and to
seek a better way to demonstrate care of creation and of our delicate climate.
Might the energy and vision of the young move the world for good.
Might the persistence and determination of the young shame those of us
who refuse to change our ways, our habits and our priorities.
Take us all back, take us all way back to the story of Creation and with
the power of you Almighty God might we become partners for good. Amen.

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