"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 22 November 2012

So, what to write about?

Just over two weeks back from our long summer vacation although the dust is still piled up around the house due to my 'suffering' a virus which seemed to have travelled home with us. I bear the latter no ill will although it did seem to remove a lot of coherent thought from my brain to the extent that I watched [and seemed to enjoy] soppy films on the Christmas Channel!

Logical thought seems to be returning so what should I blog about? What has been in the news this week? What about who has 'won' in the Middle East ? - although can anyone be said to have won in a 'campaign' which has left over 150 people dead in just the past week or so?

What about the march in London yesterday by students? Well, as it all passed off peacefully, there hasn't been a lot of media coverage, really. And that's ironic isn't it? Of course I did hear that the MPs had to use another entrance to the Palace of Westminster. I hope they were not too much inconvenienced [See - I can type with my tongue in my cheek] [Photo above courtesy of the BBC]

Earlier this week the General Synod of the Church of England rejected  [by only 6 votes] the motion to allow women bishops. Some say this has caused the worst crisis in the Anglican Church for many years. [News items suggest that now the Church of England is the only employer that does not practice equal opportunities although looking at other religious institutions does not confirm this!] But it is certainly a great disappointment to so many people, not least the outgoing and incoming Archbishops of Canterbury.

Thanksgiving in the United States today. Yet so many of its citizens are living in dire poverty and need, without sufficient healthcare provisions etc. Not that we here in the United Kingdom can afford to be complacent. I heard a radio host yesterday say that if individuals could not make their benefit payments last a week to buy sufficient food they obviously were not budgeting properly. [Radio is still intact but only because I was listening to one that was not actually mine]

All this thinking is getting a bit much. Back to the Christmas Channel methinks......

49 years ago today President Kennedy died. 63 years ago today my sister died. May they both sleep gently.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Remembrance Sunday 2012

There is no point my repeating my beliefs and views about the wearing of poppies and how we should remember all who died in all conflicts everywhere on Remembrance day. I have written pieces over the past two years which can be read here and here and I still remain in the same mind! I have bought white poppies from the Peace Pldege Union for the family and donated to the British Legion and feel fine about it all.

Remembrance Day inevitably becomes for me - as for so many people I suspect - also a day for remembering others too who have passed from this life, as well as those who have been victims of military conflicts. 

This time of year is a time of remembering - Hallowe'en is 'properly' " All Hallows' Eve' ", the night before the Christian festival celebrations of All Saints' Day on the 1st November and All Souls' Day on the 2nd November - both of which celebrate the souls of faithful departed. The ancient festival of Samhain falls around this time too and celebrates a different sort of departure, that of the lighter part of the year. The spirits of the departed were welcomed to the feasting that took place at this time. Somehow from these festivals we have the stories/customs of ghosts abroad on Hallowe'en!

Remember, remember the 5th of November as the old rhyme goes has always seemed a rather horrible time to me, with the ritualistic burning of am image of real person who was killed in a horrific way. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good party and if a bonfire and some hot dogs and toffee apples are included - bring it on! - but I would rather not throw any effigies onto the flames.

Christmas Eve was always a time of remembrance for those who has passed, symbolised by a burning candle in the window of one's dwelling. Dicken's used this in A Christmas Carol when in describes the Ghost of Christmas Past as having:

...from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light, by which all this was visible; and which was doubtless the occasion of its using, in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now held under its arm.
Clearly a candle, which at the end of its journey with Ebenezer Scrooge into the past and the visits to so many long departed souls, Scrooge cannot bear any further revelations and

In the struggle, if that can be called a struggle in which the Ghost with no visible resistance on its own part was undisturbed by any effort of its adversary, Scrooge observed that its light was burning high and bright; and dimly connecting that with its influence over him, he seized the extinguisher-cap, and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head. The Spirit dropped beneath it, so that the extinguisher covered its whole form; but though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force, he could not hide the light, which streamed from under it, in an unbroken flood upon the ground.
Scrooge snuffs it out.

Don't let us 'snuff out' our remembrances. Tomorrow and everyday are good days to remember all those that have gone before us. Hopefully with happy memories and joy, even if they went before we were ready to let them go. And with that thought let us all hope that those who went due to military conflicts may serve to remind us that in those conflicts there is to much waste of human life and the real answer lies in Pacifism.

The poster above and other information, books etc can be bought from the Peace Pledge Union, details here