Saturday 8 September 2012

Watching or experiencing life

This morning I sat and ate breakfast as I often do, sitting on the patio watching the sun rise. It is always a special moment and when the clouds allow, the sun rises from behind distant mountains and the clouds turn many colours. I don't mediate as such but sitting peacefully, listening to the dawn chorus of birds and watching the natural world awaken makes me feel close to nature.

Last week Tim and I visited the Cathedral at Santiago and we were both struck by the apparent devotion of a young man kneeling penitently in front of the alter. Upon closer inspection we could see that he was filming the alter on a camera for some time. As ever there are few visitors there sitting in contemplation, most are chatting loudly whilst taking snaps of everything. Modern life seems to require that life should be experienced through a camera or television screen. An experience has to be validated by others, you have to show your pictures to the whole world on Facebook, you have to film everything or it is valueless.

How damaging this attitude is.... putting the screen between us and the world. We experience everything second hand and in safety, wrapped in cotton wool and unaware of the planet around us. Paul Kingsnorth says it so much better than I ever can here

It is so easy to let the damage to the planet and our society go on unchecked when all we see is what we are meant to see through a screen. More people need to go out into the world and look for themselves, get cold, get wet, kill an animal for food with your own hands, grow a carrot, pick the blackberries and taste them, this is real life....every little helps.

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