Dulltown, UK: Today’s colours are: torrid taupe, melancholy mauve, vulgar violet, romping red, groaning grey, bombazine black, anodyne azure and rollicking russet.
Unless you are very new to these pages you will almost certainly have spotted that I am not a religious sort of chap.
When I was a lad at school we had to attend the daily ‘morning assembly’, when the whole school, kids and staff, got together for about half an hour in the school hall. Most of the time was taken up with indoctrination into the Christian faith of the Church of England Protestant kind with bible readings, hymn singing, and even ‘hands together eyes-closed’ standing up praying to the ever-watching great deity-creator in the sky – it really was quite odd standing there with one’s eyes shut in the middle of a crown of silent people – still, I suppose that’s part of the ‘magic’ and theatre of the thing, isn’t it?
The four or five kids who were of the Jewish or the Catholic faith were excused this ordeal, should their minds become inadvertently tainted by different ideas of how the universe worked from the ones they were brought up with. They would have this period to ‘study’ instead; they went to a nearby empty classroom to lounge about cracking jokes and giggling until all the God stuff was done with, and the everyday school stuff was addressed.
At first I accepted this strange God thing, as you would, as a child, but soon, having an enquiring mind, I started to notice illogicalities and out-and-out craziness in the teachings, but we had to attend, and we were stuck with it for all of our schooldays. Some of it was so odd that I wonder if it might have sparked my early interest in Surrealism, which of course continues to this day.
So, no, I didn’t go for any of that silly manipulative religious stuff – getting your mind to think is much better than just parroting silly ideas from an ancient book. Gods, angels, heaven, hell, spirits, curses, holiness, don’t mix well with ideas of the size of the universe, galaxies, stars, black holes, quantum mechanics, relativity, space-time, and other such provable things… However…
Yes, perhaps it is a lingering trace of that childhood indoctrination, but sometimes I see some odd coincidence in real things, and I think, what are the odds of ‘that’ happening? – it looks as if it was ‘planned’...
The most obvious one for me is centred around eclipses.
No, eclipses, but ellipses are pretty strange too, did you know that the planets don’t move in circular paths, but in ellipses?
But I digress, when the good old moon happens to slide round in its orbit to be in front of the good old sun it blocks the light – a total eclipse…
There’s nothing very remarkable about that, I hear you thinking, but what I find amazing, and a bit spooky, is that the disc of our relatively small and nearby moon appears exactly the same size as the distant, but gigantic raging fireball, the sun! I mean, how’s that for a coincidence?
Yes, the only two discs that appear regularly in our sky, one a smallish and relatively near object, and the other one, which is absolutely massive but 93 million miles away, just happen to look to us gawping amazed humans, to be exactly the same size!
To me it smacks of the hand of some great playful creator who is messing with us – or perhaps trying to stimulate our curiosity, getting us puzzled and intrigued, and to possibly start us thinking: ‘Here, puny Earthlings! Try and sort this one out, if you can! It might set you on the path of understanding the whole universe, or as I call it, ‘my creation’…’
No, no, this sun-moon thing is just a coincidence… of course it is…