Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hairy Flaming Jesus

I call this photo "Self-Portrait with Westminster Abbey in the Indian Ocean." Or at least, I would if I gave my photos titles.

I took Dave's parents to Westminster Abbey yesterday, on the last, wild day of their visit. (I'm up early this morning to help them get out the door and on their way to Heathrow.) A rather tacky sculpture stood on the Abbey grounds featuring a gymnast balanced atop a globe, and fortunately the globe was highly reflective. And what's funny -- after I took this shot, two or three other groups of people who were watching me did exactly the same thing. I started a trend!

After Westminster we went to lunch, and then to St. Paul's Cathedral, and then to the Imperial War Museum.  I didn't go into Westminster or St. Paul's -- I've seen both before, and they're too expensive for repeat visits. Instead I just sat outside and watched the crowds, and took photos here and there.

I did go into the War Museum, even though I'm not all that into military stuff. (It's free, and Dave's dad really wanted to see it.) Standing among all those tanks and missiles, I couldn't help but wonder why humanity couldn't have invested half the effort and expense of blowing each other up into just getting along. Call me crazy. And here's a weird coincidence: I saw an exhibit about British poets of World War I, and among them was Edmund Blunden, whose poem about ice skaters I posted just two days ago. I hadn't even heard of Edmund Blunden before that, and now he's popped up twice in one week.

Popular opinion about the closing ceremonies of the Olympics appears to be divided. (Sam Leith in The Evening Standard: "Hairy flaming Jesus: what was that all about?") Apparently the failure of Kate Bush and David Bowie to make anticipated personal appearances, the fashion segment and the mishmash of other musical artists threw some people for a loop. I really liked Ed Sheeran singing Pink Floyd, for what it's worth. I like that no matter where he plays, Sheeran stands there in jeans and a hoodie, with only his trusty acoustic guitar. He's like a musical granola bar.

When I got up at 5 a.m. this morning, there was no light in the sky -- unlike in June, when the sun began rising at 4:30. We're inching toward the darker days of autumn!


Elizabeth said...

I've always been fascinated by the World War I poets -- I think that was the last war where those in the "upper," educated classes fought alongside the working classes, and that whole generation of great poets was basically lost. I'm with you on the war museums and all the war memorials -- last spring, when I visited D.C. with my sons, I couldn't help but notice and be exhausted by the sheer number of stuff devoted to war and glory and death and struggle. Instead of making me feel "fortunate," or even admiring, I felt depleted --

Ms. Moon said...

I am completely with you on the vast amount of human resources spent on war. We haven't even begun to step away from our ancestors' violent ways, have we? We have just learned to unleash more and more technology to serve those ways.

Lynne said...

I am loving this photo!

I felt exactly that way when our visitors wanted to go to the Intrepid exhibit. We watched several old films of WWII and I came out of it wondering why? Why people on this planet just can't get along with each other and why do they feel the need to conquer?

ellen abbott said...

I've always thought that humans will be the least successful life form this planet has ever produced in terms of longevity. If we don't annihilate ourselves through our constant warlike nature we will poison the earth to the point of our own extinction.

The Bug said...

I agree on war - and I agree about the Pink Floyd. I enjoyed that a lot. In fact, I was thinking I should check out that guy's other music so thanks for telling me his name & reminding me :)

Gary said...

Edmund Blunden! I call these the "purple car" moments. My friend Joy said that when she was little she never saw a purple car - until she did - and then she saw millions of them. There may have been Edmund Blunden poems all around you but you never noticed them until now.