Saturday, 14 January 2012

Getting lost - The Joys of the Public Transport System

O10 Jan 2012

So far I have been lost in Sydney twice. The first time on the train to the Latin Mass at Lewisham. I ended up in tears while on the phone to my friend who had to keep getting up to go out of Mass and call me. I missed the station twice. On the third try I had a ticket to central in my hand as I tried to get back down the trainline. Just my luck and the ticket cops came through. One of them checked my ticket and I immediately said 'I know how it looks but...' and in the most inarticulate way I tried to explain. He saw that I was about to start crying so he handed it back saying 'this is your lucky day' and made me promise not to cry. I at least waited till he left.

I finally made it, after stumbling though the backstreets of the old suburb. My friend has a way with words and ended up describing it to me clearly enough that even through my confusion I found it. I awkwardly walked in and felt the eyes of a lot of potentially judgemental traditionalists (face it, some of us are snobby). The Sanctus started moments after and I knelt in bliss. So pleased to have actually made it and hear such beautiful music and see awe-inspiring liturgy. I felt so calm.

After Mass my friend drove me home, after dinner with him and a few of his friends which cheered me up. He also put the Epiphany blessing with the specially blessed chalk over my door. It was nice to indulge my Catholicism.

The second time I got lost was on the way put to Mulgoa for another Latin Mass. I wonder if the enemy was behind these, but I think also I was overdue for confession. I was driving this time, trying to find my friend's house. I took the wrong turn and ended up the wrong end of the city and with a few E-tolls I'll need to pay for. I paid a toll where you could pay cash and accidentally started off in the wrong gear. Feeling intensely embarrassed, and slightly frustrated, but waiting to get out of the sight of the toll person, I burst into tears again. Then when I'd finally made it out to Mulgoa, as I was too late to make it to my friend's house, I went too far past the church. Tears again, and a few curse words which you can't say aloud on public transport. Of course I was out of range too. I turned around and finally find it with my friend standing outside. I was amazed when I recognised the woman she was standing with, I'd sung with her at a Confirmation Mass months earlier back in my old diocese.

It turned out it was just the two of them singing and they immediately dragged me into their modest choir. I was a little worried because I'm slow at pronouncing Latin, let alone singing it. But I took the chance and it paid off. Everyone was so relaxed. We made a couple of mistakes, but ended up stifling laughter over it. One of the altar servers incensed the congregation way too early, and he had a look on his face like he had realised what he'd done, which was funny. The priest even made a mistake, but my friend picked it up. They're hoping to have more Missa Cantatas in the future and I've decided that Mulgoa is exactly where I want to be singing and helping. It's so easy to get to by car. Lewisham is beautiful, but I don't think it would be as relaxed. I'm needed at Mulgoa too. I have so much to learn, but I'm really looking forward to it!

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