Messy In Heaven


He says, “no more, ” now he says, “no less”
And the people wanna know where he goes next
Mind of a saint so he knows best
But he don’t sleep, nah, he don’t rest
Turning water into wine, that’s mad, that’s mad
Everybody always wants what he has

Gets a little messy in Heaven
Gets a little messy in Heaven

( Goddard/Newman/Doyle/Cinti)

Last weekend I was at Glastonbury…virtually. I’ve applied unsuccessfully for tickets a number of times , and at this point I think I might enjoy the idea of going to Glastonbury rather than actually going. I do have tickets for the Electric Picnic, which is Ireland’s ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Glastonbury’, but my Soulmate says I will only go if we can procure a camper van…our days of sleeping in tents are over…and in all honesty totalled 14 nights out of our 40 years together so far…but that was enough.

We went on holidays to Pembrokeshire in Wales with our Welsh cousins, the Liddys, and our esoteric friends , the Coopers. Those wise and well experienced campers had both brought caravans, and we had a giant tent with three little tents inside for sleeping in. My Soulmate and I slept , or rather stared at the nylon roof of our tent , which was claustrophobically close to our noses, on a double airbed. And I ‘slept’ against the outer tent wall.

We had barbeques every evening with lashings of weirdly named English beers, and a few cheeky glasses of wine. And then we went to bed in our nylon roofed tent , which was claustrophobically close to our noses, on a double airbed. And I ‘slept’ against the outer tent wall. Finding it necessary to go for a ‘wee’ then entailed unzipping myself out of my sleeping bag and then delicately caterpillar crawling over my sleeping Soulmate, unzipping our pod, finding footwear in the dark, unzipping the main tent, and traipsing through the wet grass to the ‘toilet’ where all of the bourgeoise caravanning gentry emptied their chemical toilets. And then turning round and trudging back to our tent, taking off my shoes, reverse caterpillar crawling over my ‘pretend sleeping’ Soulmate , harrumphing myself back into my sleeping bag , and returned to staring at my nylon roof.

An hour or two would pass , and then I would have to do it all again, except this time I may have been met with a few “Jesus Christ ! You’re going again ?!?” , or a simple , lovingly whispered “For fuck’s sake !” , and on the third or fourth night, the cryptic “ I should have listened to my mother…”

After a week or so I was getting fed up going all the way to the loo for a wee, so silently went around the back of our hedge, undetected, and piddled in the hedge instead. I was sure no one ever knew until the last night when our kids were playing hide and seek with the Liddy and Cooper kids  while we sat under the Liddy’s awning drinking sophisticated Asda red wine, which was simply labelled ‘Red Wine’ , and I heard our Jake warning the others not to hide behind our tent “…because that’s where Dad wees a couple of times every night.” And all of the other kids turned and looked at me, the boys with admiration, the girls with horror.

It was heaven…and it was messy.

So when I first mooted the idea of going to The Picnic, my Soulmate quickly pointed out the above experience and said why the hell would we go through that again.

“This time there’ll be music !” I suggested, but , secretly know she’s right.

A compromise may end up being a sleep in the car…I’ll keep you posted.

Or maybe RTE could televise The Picnic the same way the BBC do ? And then I’d have cold beer, a flushing toilet, a bed, and an array of dry underwear to choose from daily.

At Glastonbury this year I discovered Max Richter, RAYE, Obongjayer, VC Pines, Amadou & Mariam, Young Fathers, Sudan Archives, and Jockstrap. I also caught up with old friends , Queens Of The Stone Age, The Artic Monkeys, Lizzo, Yusuf/Cat Stevens , The Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cat Power, CMAT, The Mary Wallopers, and Elton.

But the song that’s been in my head since is Venbee’s ‘Messy In Heaven’. It’s a song about Jesus, and cocaine, but in a nice way. It’s an imagining of his struggles, and reminded me of Richard Bach’s ‘Illusions – The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah’ which has always been my favourite book since Kevin Kelly, a fellow Holy Ghost novitiate , handed it to me when we were staying in an old Holy Ghost Brothers house somewhere in Meath. I read it that day, and several times that week, and have given it to many people over the years as a gift. I always preferred it to his more famous ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’.

I think they both remind me that there’s never really a straight line between two points, and that, perhaps people , and their lives, that we look on with envy, may very well be every bit as messy as ours.

My life is wonderfully messy.

And I always take the long way round, not always intentionally, but it’s more interesting, and the other people who are lost there with you are always far more interesting than those who grew up, and seem to know what they’re doing.



Author: paul

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