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For someone who has trawled through the better part of the In Our Time archive, it was a real treat to see Melvyn Bragg IRL at the National aka my second home. Melvyn (yes, I think we’re on first name basis here) is how I imagine the Victorian polymath from the public lecture halls would be. So jam packed with knowledge that it can barely be contained, it spills over in anecdotes, in jokes, in semi-unrelated facts, accompanied by gesticulation so wild, hand written notes flies all over the place.
They are celebrating the anniversary of the King James’s Bible which is the subject of Melvyn’s new book The Book of Books: The Radical Impact of the King James Bible (I went to some of the bible readings as well but I don’t know if it works, you know. I like costume and bit of spectacle when I’m at the theatre, and I don’t fare well with monologues.). A lot of this talk – on the social and cultural importance of the KJ Bible – resonated with the talks on the gospel and social justice that’s been running at St Martin in the Field, where Neil MacGregor did an amazingly good speech on Compassion in Art – or lack thereof.
Now, I can’t show you any Christian art of radical compassion because apparently there isn’t any but I will show you this. Engraved in ONE single circular line, starting at the tip of the nose and moving outwards (click on it, it’s awesome).
Sometimes, like Flaubert, I believe in nothing but art.
Dear blog, no I have not forgotten about you, at least not completely. I am occupied with participating in the revolution against speed. Live slower – Live better. I’m not too sure what this is all about but it makes sense, doesn’t it? To live slower. To see more.
An endless idea? Here’s mine:
The brain’s ability to concentrate is limited and often wasted on blocking out the unnecessary information that surrounds us: noise, movement, images. We exhaust our mental capacity on processing external perceptions, leaving us unable to deal with our own thoughts. How to live slower? How to avoid distraction? Retreat to where we came from, where we belong – nature. Here nothing competes to catch your attention. The mind can wander with ease, without having to climb obstacles or build barricades. Focus on what you choose to focus on, not what is thrown in your face. When there are no other people around, there is only yourself and your own needs to consider. Set your own pace, think slowly, let an impression sink in and last. When there are no distracting noise, even silence can be heard.
Drenched in moonlight, the lonely road winds through the forest. The snow-covered tree branches hangs heavy under the weight, bowing before Luna Noctiluca. The crystals form a white, crispy carpet, crunching underneath my feet. I am walking on water, am I not? The air is cold and dry and every breath hurts. Pleasurable pain. The snow is falling gently, settling on the ground with a silent sound. The sound of falling snow, like feathers brushing against each other. Like sparks of electricity between feathers brushing against each other. Like sparkling electricity of the energy that fluctuates between feathers brushing against each other. Each snowflake unique, never two of the same. Like us humans; unique, never two of the same (-Cliché? Yes of course. Nothing wrong with clichés if they are true.) Snow crystals get caught in my eyelashes, my body heat melts them. For a moment they flow like tears down my cold cheeks before freezing into a thin layer of ice on my skin. The pulse slows down but the heart beats stronger. Live slower – Live better. Find passion in stillness. Hear poetry in silence. Join the revolution.
(It is also an excellent excuse for simply being lazy. It has always been my ambition to lead the revolution from underneath a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand and a purring cat in my lap.)