Saturday, 12 November 2016

Flowers, Remembrance, the elephant and dancing to the end of love






Hullo all. Nothing much going on here, just a few straggly end-of-season flower photos and a smattering of random thoughts.

On Thursday nineteen thousand two hundred and forty little figurines were laid out on College Green in Bristol. They represented the men and boys who died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The first day. It was a moving sight as you can imagine.


I'm not really sure what to say about the elephant in the room. It's all been said, and far more eloquently than I could manage. Despite having fewer votes than his opponent, he has won. Despite everything he has said and done he has won. A man whose aides do not trust him with his own Twitter account. I shan't bang on about it. You know how I feel about the environment. It's not the only point of concern, but it's something that is close to my heart. I shall keep on doing my bit despite it all. All I can do.

On the homefront I have been a bit aimless this week. Rearranging shelves, making nice groupings of notebooks and humming Hallelujah. I remember walking through the underground with my eldest son and hearing someone singing it so beautifully. Always sad to say goodbye to a poet. His love from the sixties, Marianne, died in July of this year. At her funeral his farewell letter to her was read. He said, "... our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine."

25 comments:

  1. Can you even imagine a love as strong as that? Such a beautiful thought and such a beautiful and talented man. Thank you for your kind thoughts my friend.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  2. Least we forget how horrible war, all wars are.

    ReplyDelete
  3. War is awful.. I hope the guy less than half of our country voted for doesn't get us in another one now that he has the nuclear codes at his disposal. I enjoyed hearing that song and sang along.. I'm sure the rest of the family in the house wondered what had gotten into me. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. A lovely tribute to the fallen, I continually pray for world peace.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a moving tribute in Bristol, I hadn't seen that in the news. I also found myself humming Hallelujah this week, I recall the nurse in the next room to me in the nurses home we lived in during the early 80s playing it frequently, happy memories x

    ReplyDelete
  6. The figurines really illustrate the scale of the fallen, like the poppies at the Tower did.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My god, it has been a week hasn't it? Leonard Cohen was a poet of the first order. Hang on to hope, dear CJ. Things generally work out ok (although the election of that man is rather a large setback). S xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. It certainly has been a week. Thank goodness we still have some blooms.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello CJ, everything has been said in the above comments I think, so I'll just say...
    Think of all the things you're grateful for this week, dig deep you'll find some. :-)
    And tomorrow really is another day.
    I'm looking forward to seeing some more of your lovely images.
    Take care, of you and yours, and thank you for sharing this post with us.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A nice post and good pictures. It's sad when the the last flowers, such as cosmos, finish.
    Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. A very moving memorial CJ - thank you for sharing that.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I saw 'Shrouds of the Somme' on the news and told my daughter in Bristol that she should go and see it; it does look overwhelming. Leonard Cohen's letter brought a tear to my eye. xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. A lovely post, thank you. We need all the kindness we can muster this week, and those to come.

    ReplyDelete
  14. losing Mr.Cohen was pretty much the cherry on the crap-sundae that was this week.

    i'm slowly emerging from the fog of shock, numbness and sorrow...slowly. the global emotional maelstrom rather sent me reeling....as it did many people. i'm clinging fiercely to the hope that we'll all be better people on the other side of this.

    sending big love to you and yours....xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, that final line! Such depth of love. It doesn't feel like there's much love in the world lately. Take care CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. This too shall pass, as all things do. Fear not. I think the farewell words at the end rather put everything else in perspective, no? Xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. I always thought of Leonard Cohen as the archetypal gentle soul. Love his music. The Bristol memorial is very touching. I spent a year or so reading only literature about WW1 to try and understand but still can't get my head around the unimaginable hour of this particular war. And any other war of course. As for the elephant in the room, as long as we keep on fighting for all those things that are important to us, there must be hope. I live on hope these days, and chocolate. Wishing you a good week. x

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your cosmos look much better than mine. The weather has put paid to them.

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a beautiful post. That tribute to those who died in the Somme is very moving and a shocking reminder we all need to make the effort to be kind to each other, despite that awful elephant. Leonard Cohen's words brought tears to my eyes x

    ReplyDelete
  20. I caught a glimpse of the memorial of the Battle of the Somme on the television I didn't realise that they were displayed on College Green. In that vast space it must have been as moving to see, as it was in Exeter. I share your concerns about the future decisions that will affect the environment. Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  21. The scale of loss in the Somme and the impact on those at home (my parents each lost a close relative) was truly horrifying. I'm sure that mass of shrouded little figures was incredibly moving. Similar lack of purpose and direction here this last week though perhaps, with all that's unfolded, it's understandable.

    ReplyDelete
  22. A really touching post, both the Cohen quote and the image of the figurines. I attended the remembrance service in our little church (Joe's school were involved) and it brought a lump to my throat. All that talk of glorifying conflict: not from where I was standing. Instead a veteran from the Battle of Arnhem saying how futile it all is.
    As for the American election, I'll admit it - I lost a few nights' sleep over the thought of what might happen now. But as you say, we should all just do what we can. To quote that much-used phrase, Keep Calm and Carry On.
    S x

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wished I taken a few last minute photographs, we've had frost here so all gone. Those figurines bring it home to us. Such a stupid waste. And over here we are all a bit shell shocked, was a bit taken aback by a comment on another blog, about the "stupidity"of those in the Midwest and the South that voted for him....... so much for freedom of expression! I admit, not impressed by either for different reasons, but Trump seems to have a somewhat juvenile outlook on life in that he feels bound to retaliate to every comment with an equally childish one in return. Indeed, Keep Calm and Carry On, what else can we do?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your cosmos are still beautiful this late in the year! One of my favorites in the garden. No fuss, no special needs, just glory that lasts almost forever. Mine are gone since a while back now. And that big elephant in the room... Know you're not alone. That day, 9th of November, I was in true shock. My man and I shared not just one bottle of wine but almost two between prepping and finishing dinner. He asked me turn on Michael Bubl├ęs Christmas album even though we have a mutual agreement in this house that says "No Christmas before first of advent!" He said it would be the only thing that could shatter his confused thoughts and feelings. We played Santa Claus is coming to town and It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over and over again. It actually helped. Thanks for your very sincere and moving post today.
    All the best
    Xxx
    Annette

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beautiful photos CJ and what a lovely tribute to the fallen. I spent 3 years in the TA and used to march through Windsor every remembrance, so this time of year is always special to me.
    Catherine
    x

    ReplyDelete