Welcome to my Sparrow in the Banqueting Hall blog.

The title comes from an account by the Venerable Bede. King Edwin was holding a council, having recently converted to Christianity.

One of the speakers said this:

“Your Majesty, when we compare the present life of man on earth with that time of which we have no knowledge, it seems to me like the swift flight of a single sparrow through the banqueting-hall where you are sitting at dinner on a winter’s day with your thegns and counsellors. In the midst there is a comforting fire to warm the hall; outside, the storms of winter rain or snow are raging. This sparrow flies swiftly in through one door of the hall, and out through another. While he is inside, he is safe from the winter storms; but after a few moments of comfort, he vanishes from sight into the wintry world from which he came.  Even so, man appears on earth for a little while; but of what went before this life or of what follows, we know nothing.” Historia Ecclesiastica 731 AD

It seems to me like a wonderful description of the shortness of our time here on earth.

All our time is limited and it turns out some of us have more limited time than the rest.

I’ve recently been told that I’m unlikely to be getting a telegram from the Queen and it has of course concentrated the mind on time and the meaning of life.

But this is absolutely not a blog about coping with the illness itself, more all the reflections and responses around it.


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