Dear beloved friends,

            I’m glad I waited to tell you about my trip to Rosslyn Chapel, because after having visited it a second time with my awesome flatmates I have learned so much more about it and have be enthralled to the point of wishing ‘symbology’ was a real field of study (sorry Da Vinci Code).  Rosslyn Chapel was the one site I knew I wanted to see for certain in Scotland before going, because it is a beautiful little esoteric Christian quasi-Pagan conspiratorially-attractive, chapel. In one sense, the conspiratorial theories surrounding the chapel such as that it houses the Ark of the Covenant or has the treasures of Freemasonry, are very sad, for they obscure the obvious truth that this chapel was built primarily for Christian worship…it’s a chapel. On the other hand, conspiratorial theories are a healthy sign that the corporate media does not have complete dominance (at least in some instances), and that such ‘controversial knowledge’ has the potential to subvert current conditions. As such being the case, one coming into the chapel is feels not only a sense of holiness, but also a sense of subversive knowledge by its very presence. Lastly,  one such as even I, as a recent amateur admirer of sculpture and architecture, can see in the immense detail of the carvings an a incredible work of love. Holiness, esoteric subversive knowledge, and love meet here in this tiny chapel.

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            Instead of deciphering the entire chapel for you, it will suffice to put these sample pics up, and let you investigate for yourselves its mysteries. It is the burial place of some of the Knights Templar, there is major influence from the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in Scotland, and there are some depictions of plants, such as Indian Corn, that are only found in North America, decades before the Natives discovered Christopher Columbus Lost at sea (suggesting that others had visited the New World before Columbus). Those are some of the interesting established facts, the rest is interesting speculation. Despite all the esoteric mystery however, the most beautiful thing to me was how many images, stories, and lessons from the Bible it sought to depict so as to teach people about the story of Christ. Personally, I do not have a theology of sacred space, but if I did this chapel would most certainly be for me one of my spiritual for renewal.

            Now as I promised, here is the story of how I spent my birthday, which will involve me explaining the HipHop scene in Edinburgh, and some new personal developments in my life. The day before my birthday, after my parents and I had finished seeing Rosslyn Chapel (my first trip), we meet a nice young lady on the bus who was only too happy to talk to us. Well, I had found out where she was working and figured I see her the next day because I had to get something for my computer anyway. Now, I don’t know why I did what I did next (perhaps because I felt like I had to prove something), but I actually used this line:

“I’m new in the city, don’t know a lot of people, its my Birthday, would you like to come out to dinner with me tonight?”

            Now, how many times in your life do you get to say something THAT cool? Also, I want to make one thing perfectly clear: I’m not looking to date or start a relationship with someone while I’m here (reasons for which I’ll leave till my next and last post for this semester), and its precisely because of that that I feel more confident around women and have been spending more time with them. And, surprisingly (or at least to me) she said yes. So we had dinner at a place called the Conan Doyle. Great food, but sadly (and also gladly?) she turned out to be…well not as mature as me or looking for the same things. Now, given how I was before this past summer (again…till next post to explain), this fact would not have bothered me, but now, good looks, laughing at my jokes, and being interested in my intellect, don’t matter to me (in terms of what I would be looking for in a woman) as much as, “Does she bring me closer to Christ?” or “What kind of mission would we be doing in the world?” Ah birthday revelations!–Also, interesting side note: I had my first beer since I’ve been on my medication last summer and I was fine! So grateful for my once again being able to partake of the spirits and the vine!

           Revealing this about my new (and admittedly wiser) perspective on women and romance, bring me to talking about HipHop and Church in Edinburgh. Surprisingly…in both contexts…the ratio of women to men, is about 4:1. Right about here is where all my single Canadian guy friends can be jealous, and the weirdest part of it is, I don’t even care!!! Well, may be its kinda cool, but its not as like “Ah! more Fish in the Sea” as it would have been for me before this summer. Yes, the women are sexy, intelligent, and in the case of the church, godly, but none of them are my Queen. But now that I have talked enough about women (can there really be too much of that though?), on to the actual music. ITS ALL TOP FORTY GARBAGE HIPHOP! there’s an occasional good track, but honestly they know nothing of HipHop here, at least as far as I’ve seen so far! City Lights! Help me out here! I’m trying to get my foot in the door to perform, but so far no luck. But perhaps someone in Edinburgh will check out my album if I shamelessly plug it here: The Audacity of Dope.

           Last, but by no means least, my flatmates. I’m living with four awesome dudes. Ryan, who was the first I meet, is an American (hold your prejudice!, hahaha) studying International Relations. I’ve now gotten him into Communityso you know…basically saved his TV life. We’ve been talking theology and watching the Munk Debates. After he had heard about my birthday adventures, he remarked: “You’re like the worst Biblical Studies student ever?” And now I’m jokingly known as ‘the player’…go figure. Then there’s Leo, he’s a happy Japanese dude who’s got a super humble spirit, and who seems to know his way around the city better than any of us. He’s doing marketing, so he loves to ask me about Canada (may be for audience targeting information?…I’m on to you Leo!!! haha). Then there’s Steven (as he goes by in English, because he thinks his Chinese name would be too difficult for me to pronounce), who’s doing Asian studies, and whom we’ve had a fun time teaching some English too!!! (dirty jokes abound). He also reverently refers to me as “Scholar”…Canadian friends, take notes.

Sida's Chinese Feast

And the last of these awesome four guys is Sida, who’s doing TESL. Now Sida is being affectionately known around our residence area (not just our flat) as the ‘handsome Chinese man’. But just in case this doesn’t sound like a dating profile for him yet, he also plays basketball (which I’ve been getting back into thanks to him!), plays Jazz music, and is an awesome cook!!! For the Chinese Full Moon festival, which was our first bonding night as flatmates really, Sida made us an awesome feast of REAL Chinese food, check the pic below, as a mouth-watering tease to end this episode on!

Peace and Love,

Caleb

Next and last Episode for this Semester: My classes, My new Church, new personal habits, my possible dissertation, and praise for my Queen

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