Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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TV and Church

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So today I finally got around to taking the wheels into the shop. We had four slow leaks.

The auto shop is pretty cool. In a grubby end of town under gentrification. The shop has been around for years, unchanged, and is pure Starsky and Hutch. The characters coming and going… I swear I could write a successful TV pilot from just a few hours there!

But I didn’t stay the whole time. I had to get away. So I walked to the downtown core, which is getting more congested every year. Felt more like Chicago or New York instead of my once modest Toronto.

After an icky visit to the Eaton Centre – don’t like it much any more – I hopped over to the newly renovated St. Michael’s Cathedral. I haven’t been to Mass for about a week and felt like a fish out of water… happily diving back into the tank after almost thirsting to death for the waters of heaven.

But it was a huge change from the auto shop.

Leaving, I noticed a brand new flatscreen monitor by the exit. It seemed strange and unnecessary. But what do I know?

I just took the picture…


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Beautiful little church in Grafton, Ontario

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Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr

We were driving toward this Church yesterday and traffic was held up by an accident. So I turned off Hwy 2 and up a small road to check it out. Was pleasantly surprised. Old. Bricks. Catholic. Very nice! Also greaaaat to get out of the city. I dipped my feet in water and walked on some bare concrete mixed with pebbles… this bringing back incredibly fond memories of spending entire summers barefoot on the preCambrian rocks at Georgian Bay. Very relaxing…


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Jesus under construction

St. Michael’s Cathedral, Toronto. Taken a couple of weeks ago. Image via Tumblr – click to enlarge

This is a beautiful old Church. The renovations have been going on for ages. At one point, you could see the original bricks at the entrance from the 1800s. I liked them so much, I think they should have just left it that way. But oh no, the old bricks have since been covered with some modern look. Some very expensive modern look, I would imagine.


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Anglican

Small church and cemetery by Lake Simcoe… camera batteries ran out so I switched to tablet… Image via Tumblr


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Save the last Mass for me

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Here I am at St. Michael’s Cathedral yesterday. It’s the last daily Mass of 2013. I like ordinary (sometimes called “mid-week”) masses because, as you can see, it’s not so crowded and there’s more room to breathe… They’re also shorter. The Sunday Mass can be nice. But generally, I prefer mid-week masses. They’re sweet and contemplative.

Anyhow, here’s another old-style cellphone shot. The pic quality is substandard, of course, but I like this old cell phone for a lot of reasons. It’s so tiny that nobody hardly realizes I’m taking a picture. The screen is about an inch wide, if that. This makes composing a bit of a challenge. But it’s good for quick, discrete shots. And church is one place where you don’t want to stand out.

What stuck me visually here was the extensive metal scaffolding (maybe a bit more clear in the original). The old cathedral is being renovated, I think primarily for safety reasons. And the masses just keep going, amid the construction, which is sort of cool. One night I was there and all the back pews had been temporarily pulled. So there was this big open square where people just stood. I like that. I like breaks from the old routine.

Happy New Year, Everyone!


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country angel

country angel, originally uploaded by earthpages.

taken inside an old church in Canada’s smallest city.


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Back to Church…

I was getting that dull feeling that comes if I’ve been away from Mass for too long and going to St. Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Toronto to receive the Eucharist helped to make me feel spiritually well again (so much for all those materialists, skeptics and New Age pundits who say there’s nothing to organized religion…).

But going to church is not always entirely uplifting. There have been irritating things about some churchgoers. Like those who gave me funny looks (before the H1N1 scare) when I didn’t want to risk picking up germs by shaking hands during the Mass.

Now that they’ve been told by the Church not to shake hands with strangers for hygienic reasons, there’s suddenly no more hostile looks or, as happened one time, almost aggressive gestures of disapproval.

Before all the H1N1 hype I was thinking for myself, as I often do. And thank God I was. It might have saved my life, even if I did have to endure a few unruly stares.

I guess the thing is, people are just people. None of us are perfect. And so it goes with organized religion. If we were all perfect, would there be any need for church?

Just some thoughts on a late Sunday night after Mass…

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