Sunday, March 09, 2008
Breathless thoughts provoked by the excitement of an impending trip to Madrid and my dream of introducing a new dimension of transcendant spirituality in to the great game ... the magic sponge might become a relic ... the thrice-blessed universally-revered holy sponge, permanently floating in a silver bucket suspended over a holy well, to be carried in procession on match days by a team of hand-picked virgins ( or tv weather girls ? ) wearing translucent classical robes, chanting every step of the way from the bishop's chapel to the stadium, to the accompaniment of thumping drums and wailing flutes ... the water would, of course, be genuine certified holy water, not yer ordinary bottled stuff, and might be paid for by the donations of pious widows and spinsters of the parish ... in fact i see no reason why the sponge shouldn't be administered as a kind of unction by a priest, and/or by the mother superior of the nearest holy order, with the blessed hem of her robe rolled up and tucked into her formal suspender belt as she kneels to give succour to the distressed combatant, whilst singing nuns and choirboys encircle the injured player to protect his privacy and to soothe away his pain with a medieval psalm, or an uplifting medley from rogers and hammerstein’s sound of music ... we could even send on a military brass band to escort the bucket & lend further ceremonial dignity at this difficult moment ... and then, once the magic has taken effect, the star player could leap on to an ornate mobile pulpit, drawn to the centre of the pitch by a team of prancing white horses, grabbing the microphone to give up a suitable prayer of thanks for his deliverance, followed by a vote of gratitude to almost everyone present, and to the various sponsors, for their kindness and consideration ... except for the stone-faced blue-chinned piratically-cynical back four of the visiting team, of course ... i'm not sure if i want to raise the crowd to lord leighton's lofty ideal of elegant and fashionable piety ...
... or if we should give preferential sponge unction in the purely emotional sphere hinted at so eloquently in the hyper-spiritual imaginings of el greco
my mum loved the art of edward ardizzone, an illustrator who somehow understated his skills with a his loose penmanship, but never failed to fill his pictures with appropriately theatrical lighting and atmosphere, old-world romance, and vigourous body-language