Because it was at Catherine and Liliana's place, we took shoes off as we entered the house. This is actually very common around here and i find it cool for it helps keep the house quite clean. The house was by the way suuuper clean. So, we sat together in the lounge and started talking friendly, very nice atmosphere. i saw the people i had met the week before and also had a chance to meet new people, such as this Nigerian guy whose name insists in not sticking in my mind, this Brazilian guy who was adopted by a Maltese family and would love to visit Brazil at some point in his life and to speak Portuguese.
We are from both Solent University and the University of Southampton. Each week one university plans wht we do in our meeting. Yesterday was Solent's day. I like this a lot because it gives equal opportunity for the different uni guys to plan something they / we find interesting. We started off by singing two songs, with Liliana playing the guitar. I loved it. Liliana is in charge of the Solent Uni students whereas Catherine looks after us from the Uni of Southampton. I tried to concentrate in the words of the songs (church tunes) and to listen to the voices of the group singing together. It did feel good. The tunes were followed by a reading from the Bible - Luke 19, 1-10, about Jesus and Zachaeus. The guy who read studies performance and is an actor. He's got such a strong voice. He read the passage and made some comment about it. I honestly did not pay much attention to it. I think the opennes of having him read and make a comment might mean that in the future each one of us, or at least the ones interested in, can do the same.
Liliana then said a few words, making a connection with our talk from the previous week, which was about the reasons to pray, and then we had some quiet moment for individual prayer. this time anyone could speak up and say whom or why we should pray for. i remained quiet but my thoughts and my prayer were all devoted to a colleague of ours here at uni, who died about two days ago now. I will omit her name here because the most important thing for me now is that we reflect about death and why it happens sometimes when it should not have happened really. I thought, really did, of asking us to pray for her but held my piece because i was a bit insecure about the reception of the group on the terms of how her death happen: she committed suicide.
I remember when I was a child in Campo Maior, Northeast Brazil, one day I was told the Catholic church would not ring the church bells for the people who committed suicide. I remember not understanding it quite well, and finding it not so fair. It was a tradition at that time for the church to ring the bell to announce people's death in the city, so that everyone would know somebody died. I reproduced this practice yesterday, when i neglected my colleague of having the group have her in mind while praying. I did and i still do feel bad about it, in spite of my prayers having been devoted to her, for her to find peace.
My sweet Dorothy made a comment about suicide, saying that it is very sad when people make this choice thinking this is the only way out of any terrible situation when in fact there are various possibilities, always. I am left with my prayers.
- i picked a saying from the hand out we got yesterday: