Saturday, 13 October 2012

Occupy's anniversary at St Paul's Cathedral: only our love hath no decay

Occupiers gather outside St Paul's Cathedral. Female wedding guests clip-clop by, exposing hefty thighs in too-short flimsy skirts. Heels tilt the pelvis provocatively. Careful on the cobbles, ladies.

The protesters are here for meditation and speeches. It's almost the anniversary of the day Occupy arrived outside the cathedral and stayed, in tents, for nearly five months, mostly cold ones.

The Dean of St Paul's, Dr David Ison, sits on the steps talking to Tanya Paton of Occupy Faith. (The following day, they will both be taking part in evensong when four chanting Occupiers chain themselves to the pulpit.)

He is the latest to try to fill the eternal vacancy left by John Donne. His appointment follows the resignation of the previous Dean who responded to Occupy's advent by closing the cathedral for a week. 

'What did you talk about?' I ask Tanya.
'Empires. Justice. How you go about changing cultures. You have to do it slowly to get it right. He talked about Bismarck and socialism. Thank goodness I've studied German history.'

So many of the Occupy faithful are here. We greet each other with kisses and cuddles. 

I draw Zeph while he meditates. Then he gives me a quartz crystal. He set up Occupy's meditation tent last year. 

Over the year I've blogged Occupy as an outsider. 'You're a witness,' says Tina-Louise to me. 'You're here to tell the truth. Sometimes it's ugly.'

Beautiful desperado Johnny Teatent, who never seems to have a full complement of anything, has just the one shoe today. Front tooth, shoe, seems it's always the police's fault. 

I'll leave you with the Dean:

The Anniversary
By John Donne

All kings, and all their favourites,
All glory of honours, beauties, wits,
The sun it self, which makes time, as they pass,
Is elder by a year now than it was
When thou and I first one another saw.
All other things to their destruction draw,
Only our love hath no decay;
This no to-morrow hath, nor yesterday;
Running it never runs from us away,
But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.

Two graves must hide thine and my corse;
If one might, death were no divorce.
Alas ! as well as other princes, we
—Who prince enough in one another be—
Must leave at last in death these eyes and ears,
Oft fed with true oaths, and with sweet salt tears;
But souls where nothing dwells but love
—All other thoughts being inmates—then shall prove
This or a love increasèd there above,
When bodies to their graves, souls from their graves remove.

And then we shall be throughly blest;
But now no more than all the rest.
Here upon earth we're kings, and none but we
Can be such kings, nor of such subjects be.
Who is so safe as we? where none can do
Treason to us, except one of us two.
True and false fears let us refrain,
Let us love nobly, and live, and add again
Years and years unto years, till we attain
To write threescore; this is the second of our reign.

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