Sunday, March 18, 2007

And did those feet?

I’m sure there is much I should say about Glastonbury.
It is the weirdest of weird places.
Abbey ruins and the thorn that sprouted from Joseph of Arimathea’s staff or the goddess temple, Isle of Avalon and enough New Agery to supply every MindBodySpirit fair for years to come…It's not either/or it's Both/And.

Middle-aged women in exotic robes wander down the High Street brandishing their wands, passing a Sufi charity shop where prayer time is rigorously observed.
Meanwhile, safe in Abbey House, a host of Anglican curates learn about management styles.

"Hold up your hands, this is a send up!" *

Here I'm suddenly one with Louis Macniece
" World is crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural."

And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green?

In all honesty, I can't say that they did...but there an awful lot of people out there looking for their Owner with every fibre of their being.

A friend from VicarSchool is curate in Glastonbury and says that on the wh0le the only people who are not interested in dialogue and discussion are the Christians. She has good relations based on trust and respect with many of the other seekers around the place....but the bottom line for too many of our brothers and sisters in Christ is that Chrisianity is too frail and uncerain a beast to withsand the onslaught of this sort of questioning encounter. Much safer to keep it behind a neat wrought-iron railing.
I didn't enjoy the influence of esoterica around Glastonbury, but the stress on vegetarian, oragnic, Fair Trade shopping made me totally at home. In my flowery Docs and Bishopston trousers, I blended nicely into the crowd, comfortable here as I'm not in Cheltenham, save during Greenbelt.
So much to learn!

* Explanatory note - in my childhood, there was a radio sketch of an rather inept bank-robber rehearsing and then carrying out his crime, which began with huge confusion around stick ups/hold ups/hands up etc - and which used to make my mother and me cry with laughter. To this day, I'm unable to hear any phrase of the sort without that subtext running in my head. I'm not convinced this is the original in its perfect form, but it's the best the web could offer.


Songbird said...

I clearly need to go to Glastonbury, for the Fair Trade and the Tor. Thanks for sharing your experiences there!

marcella said...

songbird if you do get to Glastonbury take cash. It's the only English town of its size that I can think of that isn't dominated by the same shopping chains that one finds in every other town. It makes for an interesting experience, if not an entirely comfortable one.

Jonathan Hunt said...

The original bank robber was Kenneth Williams.

Kathryn said...

Jonathan, when I read your comment I interpretted "Original" as "archetypal" for a minute, and thought "That's pretty harsh..." before I regained my senses!
So, Kenneth Williams provided another, unexpected laugh this morning :-)