Thursday, March 03, 2016

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol just now:

As you have heard, today is World Books Day. If you had to dress as a favourite character from a book, who would you choose?

There are web-sites that will give you ideas. And the supermarkets stock off-the-shelf costumes.

I'm not sure teachers would recognise my hero, Douglas Adams' wonderful creation Dirk Gently - the holistic detective. He wears a brown tattered suit, a red checked shirt which doesn't match and a green striped tie which refuses to speak to either of them. He talks and eats pizza but rarely appears to listen. Or as Adams puts it, 'The traffic through his mouth was incessant. His ears remained unused in normal conversation.'

Gently believes in the ultimate inter-connectedness of all things and so if a car speeds away from a crime he will, as likely as not, follow a different vehicle in the firm expectation that their paths will cross again some day.

It makes his cases interesting and his expenses extraordinary.

In another of my favourite books, the Gospel of Mark, Jesus also constantly surprises people with his reaction to situations. He never does what they expect. One of Mark's favourite sentences, as Jesus touches the untouchable, heals the incurable, welcomes the toddler and sends the rich packing is, 'The crowd were astonished.'

For Mark there is a God, revealed in Jesus, who inter-connects all things.

I am a keen reader. A few days back I realised, with some disappointment, that I would not have time in my life to read all the books I wanted to. I tweeted this and a friend sent me a postcard the next day. It gave me today's thought, 'Life is short; read fast.'

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