tempus fugit

By ceridwen


So much to reflect on at the moment.
 In particular  the disparity between the intense concern over, and  rapid generous funding to repair,  Notre Dame cathedral following the huge fire, on the one hand, and, on the other, the increasing public and media irritation with the Extinction Rebellion protests in London. 
This is not to say that human cultural achievements are of lesser importance than human survival but great works of art, architecture and literature ave been lost or damaged throughout history.  As long as people exist more will be created, one way or another.

Shortly after the Notre Dame fire I heard  the Master Mason at York Minster being interviewed for his reaction. (The Minster suffered a serious fire damage 35 years ago and needed extensive repairs.) He was surprisingly philosophical  in his view. He pointed out that these great buildings are in a constant state of evolution: constructed over a long duration, repaired and added to over the years as necessary. Besides their religious significance cathedrals were built as symbols of wealth and power and they provided work and learning for generations of craftspeople, architects and  specialists. The rebuilding of Notre Dame is absolutely possibly he said and will give people of today the opportunity to learn traditional skills and to make their own contribution to its history. It seemed such a positive slant to put on what  appears to many to have been catastrophic loss.

Meanwhile others are more preoccupied with another  sort of catastrophic loss, the decline of wildlife and the loss of species, the destruction of habitat and the damage to the  world caused by climate change. and pollution. They are bravely challenging us, not simply to reflect but also to act. And yet Extinction Rebellion is  attracting derision, insults and  prosecution. Will we look back one day and wish we had responded as urgently and as positively as so many have done to the Notre Dame appeal?

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