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October 19, 2013
Here is one from the archives, written when I was recovering from something or other in 2010. Now I am struggling to emerge from the mother of all chest colds, so I thought this eMo might sustain another tour of duty. Down at the bottom are a few upcoming events that may be of interest


Ordinarily, a nice cat poultice is just what we need when we're a bit under the weather, but I just had my gallbladder removed through an incision the size of a buttonhole, and so I reacted ungraciously to a 20-lb cat's kneading of my stomach first thing this morning. It wasn't Santana's fault, though; his intentions were good. The same friendly impulse prompted him to sit on our newborn grandson a couple of years ago, an act which caused him to be exiled to Italy until the boy was big enough to deal with the considerable weight of Santi's affection.

Sometimes we just don't know our own strength. We offer someone something we would like, without checking to see if our enthusiasm for it is a shared one. An old saying suggests that the best gift to give someone is something you would like yourself, but that isn't at all the case: the best gift is something the recipient would like, not the giver. We bestir ourselves to learn enough about the person to make an educated guess about what that might be, an exploration which is accomplished by turning the attention outward, not inward. Gift-giving, like all acts of love, is a duet -- it's not your solo, with your friend allowed to join in only on the tiddly-poms.

Try as you might, of course, you may still miss the bulls eye. All we can do is our best -- there's no guarantee that my offering won't spend the next decade in the dark recesses of an unopened drawer or occupy the place of honor at the next parish rummage sale, although most recipients have more tact than to allow that -- they take it to a thrift shop a little farther away. Ah, me. Love doesn't come without risk. Not even requited love, love with the highest imaginable degree of mutuality: no matter how close we are, we don't know each other's hearts, not fully, and sometimes we misjudge.


I Went To A Marvelous Party

I went to a marvelous party
With Noonoo, and Nada, and Nell
It was in the fresh air,
And we went as we were,
And we stayed as we were,
(Which was hell)
Poor Grace started singing at midnight,
And she didn't stop singing 'til four
We knew the excitement was bound to begin
When Laura got blind on Dubonnet and gin
And scratched her veneer
with a Cartier pin!
I couldn't have liked it more!

I've been to a marvelous party
We played a wonderful game:
Maureen disappeared
And came back in a beard,
And we all had to guess at her name...
Cecil arrived wearing armour,
Some shells and a black feather boa
Poor Millicent wore a surrealist comb
Made of bits of mosaic from St. Peter's in Rome,
But the weight was so great
that she had to go home!
And I couldn't have liked it more!

I've been to a marvelous party
I must say the fun was intense;
We all had to do
What the people we knew
Might be doing a hundred years hence...
We talked about growing old gracefully,
And Elsie, who's seventy-four
Said, "A) It's a question of being sincere,
And B) If you're supple you've nothing to fear
Then she swung upside-down from a chandelier!
And I couldn't have liked it more!

I went to a marvelous party
We didn't sit down 'til ten
You know, young Bobby Carr
Did a stunt at the bar
With a lot of extraordinary men!
And then Freda arrived with a turtle,
(Which shattered us all to the core)
And then the duchess passed out at a quarter to three
And suddenly Cyril cried "Fiddle-de-dee!",
Then he ripped off his trousers
And jumped in the sea!
And I couldn't have liked it more!

I've been to a marvelous party
Elyse made an entrance with May
You'd never have guessed
From her fisherman's vest
That her bust had been whittled away...
Poor Lulu got fried on Chianti
And talked about esprit de corps;
Louise made a couple of passes at Gus,
And Freddie who "hates any kind of a fuss"
Did half the Big Apple and twisted his truss
I couldn't have liked it more!

---Words and music by Noel Coward, 1938


Saturday, November 2, 5:30pm, St. Luke's, Metuchen, NJ. All Souls Observance. Remember those you love but see no longer. If you like, bring a memento or photo of your loved one. A repast will follow. RSVP: administrator@stlukesmetuchen.orgor call (732) 548-4308


Thursday, Nov 7, 12 noon. Barbara Crafton celebrates and preaches at Rutgers University in the Chapel of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, 17 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ (732) 247-5241


Sunday, November 17, Trinity Wall Street (corner of Broadway and Wall Streets), NYC. Barbara Crafton preaches at all morning services. (212) 602-0800


Visit and sign up for Barbara Crafton's Advent audio series, delivered daily to your inbox during the Advent and Christmas seasons. She reads from her book LET EVERY HEART PREPARE, reissued this year in a second edition.


Tuesday, December 3, 6pm, General Seminary, 440 West 21st, NYC. Barbara Crafton preaches at the seminary's community Eucharist ,, (212) 243-5150.


Friday, December 20, 7:30pm, St. Luke's, Metuchen, NJ. The Thirteen in concert. Gorgeous music of the season from the Renaissance and Baroque -- and other hits. Visit
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