A Day for Reflection

We claim that we are the better for millennia of religious wisdom under our belts yet states and leaders claiming adherence to Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and yes even now Buddhism, hitherto seen as the most peaceful of religions in practice. perform the most outrageous barbarities including on their own people. Civilian populations including women and children are nor spared.
I considered going to a performance of the St Matthew Passion in Birmingham, but the unseasonally good weather took me to Worcester instead. A rail ticket from The Hawthorns Park and Ride cost under £4.00 as a pensioner so I arrived in time for lunch at the Wetherspoon Pub next to Worcester Foregate Street. Excellent. I then took a stroll along to Worcester Cathedral. The pedestrian shopping centre was busy not withstanding it being Good Friday. I acquired replacement toothbrush heads in Boots and arrived in good time for the afternoon meditation on the Passion.
The lady at the door of the Cathedral was dissuading at my casual approach. No you can’t wander round, it would be distracting, and no the shop will be closed. It’s Good Friday. Actually I did want to sit down. Was there music? She seemed a little uncertain. Well there would be hymns. In fact there was much more, including a St John Passion by Victoria, who I think was Spanish. It was largely plain song and written well before Bach. Not something I have much knowledge of. In the event it was inspiring and there were the familiar roles of the main characters, including a narrator, a chorus and Christ (a bass). There was more to come, including the questioning why set to music by a former choirmaster and organist at Gloucster, John Sanders and a Motet by Francis Poulenc, both dramatic with reflective interludes. I wish and hope that our world leaders find time to stop, listen and reflect, then act on the messages of peace and goodwill they all say they embrace. As I went in I heard an admirable talk, one of a series throughout the day on the subject of clothing. Here the woman speaker was telling us that while we habitually look for Fair Trade labels on groceries we didn’t pay the same attention to clothes, which are often produced with very little, if any, money going to the producer. If we saw a tee shirt for £2 it was a bargain, we thought, without stopping to consider how it was so.
I had intended to walk back along the bank of the River Severn, but found the steps down blocked off with a sign it is now “a building site”. A detour took me back to where happy children were playing in the stop/go fountains down by the river. Quite a holiday atmosphere. A cup of tea by the railway viaduct across the river finished the trip out. I nearly acquired a plate of sandwiches intended for the disabled gentleman on the next table. His wife mistook me for him until I gently pointed out that he was on the next table and might be quite hungry. I had already eaten more than enough!
As is usual the return journey had a few delays, particularly when the New Street bound train developed a fault when I left it at Droitwich Spa. It was stuck in the platform so I thought it would delay my train bound for Snow Hill. The railway indicator on this platform I find quite impossible to read. I tried all angles. However it arrived quite quickly and all was well!

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