Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A shards of glass angel

Well I suppose it's not surprising given that most of it is made from transparent glass that this little angel I bought at the Nidaros Cathedral today is almost invisible. As is the way with cathedral bookshops the one here had more than its fair share of kitsch - I admit to being rather intrigued with the real feather angel wings in various sizes - just where would one use them? Hmmm ...
Then I saw these and read that they are made from shards of glass by people recovering from or living with substance abuse. People living with a great deal of inner and real pain make these from broken glass, something that speaks of pain and of shattered lives.
The angels are marketed through the Kirkens Bymission - whose slogan is: respect, justice, care (well I'm just making that translation up from the box in front of me) - you can visit the City Mission website in English here. They do very good work with some of the loneliest and least well off even in this well-balanced and caring society.
Of course the shattered glass angel spoke to me particularly because of the many shattered lives here in Norway following the tragic events of last Friday. Inside the cathedral a whole set of steps in front of one of the altars was full of candles - so much so one attendant was almost full time just dealing with the nightlights. In the centre of Trondheim flowers and more candles have been placed alongside photos of some of those killed. Almost every public statue has flowers laid on it and the bridges have roses woven into the railings.
As we received the news I stopped writing up our holiday, sometimes silence is the only form of words we can find. Though there are various posts in gestation, but they will come later. Today I bought a shards of glass angel, something made from broken bits. And somehow from all that I have seen I can sense that Norway will build from these shards. One of the young women survivors said "If one man can hate so much, imagine what we can do together with love". Perhaps one day, although I am already three times her age I shall know how to show such wise maturity.

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