I spent part of last week in Great Hucklow, at the Unitarian holiday centre called the Nightingale Centre - not because she (Florence) is claimed as a Unitarian (she was not) but because of the original role of the building as a place for recovery after war injury. I was there because my bathroom had its floor done and I could't use it!
Still, while I could see Send a Child to Hucklow in operation, after a day I met a very interesting woman who had received one of those independent ordinations some people acquire. She was spending good money on a coming rituals weekend following the idea of practical awareness through a narrative rather than meditation. I gave her and myself a couple of tours around the area, using to full advantage my inability to go along intended routes. Of particular interest to me was the once main Sheffield to Manchester road permanently closed at Mam Tor and then, next day, Monsal Head and Miller's Dale along the old Derby to Mancheser railway now turned in part into a walkway and cycle track. It was, with the Waverley Line, one of the most criminal railway closures in recent history and I hope the railway can be re-established. I'd make it a Keynesian project towards generating some home-grown demand.
She has not followed up her ordination with a ministry, as yet, and the weekend coming (and just passed) was partly about making a decision about how to do that, perhaps via a business venture in the health and wellbeing sector. But it got me thinking too, because she was saying I do practice a kind of ministry now with what I actually do, plus being American perhaps she could see a lot of what I do would have to be money-generating in her land. It ought to be, but a question of how. The sorts of websites I can offer are pretty basic even if they can look like the better ones; my religious writings hardly can generate any income, the cartooning isn't enough based on likenesses and even sexiness, say, and I'm not at all of religious views that convert into notions of self-healing - I don't have magical views or alternative realities to mix into hypnosis or couch-equivalent, for example. I am writing a story, slowly, but she liked the core ideas and metaphors going on in it and by default she gave me an idea for progressing it towards its realisation (how four dispersed people get back together again; they have different religious encounters but also personal moralities).
So a curious moment of ships passing in the night, with an intention at least to keep in touch for a short period of time, and maybe a little bend in life's trajectory as a result of a chance encounter.