Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol half an hour ago:

How easily we fail to appreciate progress. In twenty-five minutes time I will be eight miles from here posting a copy of this thought online so everyone in the world can see it.

'What?' says my younger self. 'Are you completely mad?'

And my great-grand-parents ask how I can get eight miles in twenty five minutes with a fifteen minute walk to the station.

'What's a station?', ask their grand-parents.

Progress. Regularly unnoticed. Often good.

But sometimes it comes at a cost and we have to discuss that.

Nempnett Thrubwell is a place every radio contributor should be required to pronounce in their audition piece. There, as we heard earlier, developers have observed the possibility of harnessing the energy from a life-giving ball of burning gas 92 million miles away. Some of the villagers say, 'Not here, thank you.' A solar farm would be ugly.

Who are the custodians of beauty standards? Is energy that is almost free more or less beautiful than attractive green fields while the houses are warmed by the coal from distant mines making others' homes grubby?

The psalmist reminds us that the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. That mountains and fields praise their maker and rivers clap their hands. The psalmist probably didn't have to watch the local sparrowhawk eating a pretty collared dove on my lawn the other day.

It's tough holding faith, beauty and reality together. Tennyson, creator of the expression 'nature red in tooth and claw' included these lines in the same poem:

I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,
And gather dust and chaff, and call
To what I feel is Lord of all,
And faintly trust the larger hope.

Beautiful words.

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