PREVIOUS THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY|
June 26th to June 30th
MONDAY JUNE 26
I am writing this from a portakabin, somewhere in the middle of the Glastonbury Festival. My temporary office is situated, appropriately enough, near the entrance to the "Green Futures" field. For me, the big attraction here is this festival within a festival. It's a grand annual gathering of ecologists, charity campaigners, alternative educationalists, healers, new age activists and students of eastern philosophy... plus, of course, astrologers. Meanwhile, my younger kids watch the all day circus in one neighbouring field - and my older kids watch very loud rock bands in another. Now that's my idea of fun for all the family!
TUESDAY JUNE 27
John Martyn at Glastonbury
Though I rarely bother watching the bands at Glastonbury, I made a special effort to catch John Martyn on Saturday night. His lovely albums have accompanied me through many a long night of astrological forecasting. It was well worth the walk through the crowds - especially when, as I gazed at the stage, I suddenly remembered that I have seen this man play live once before... when I was just fifteen years old! That for me, was one highlight of my weekend in a field full of craziness and chaos. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the most moving moment of all. It had nothing to do with music... but it did involve a blazing fire, a Japanese peace delegation and a group of Native North American Indians.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 28
55 years ago, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. One of the few survivors lit a lamp from the fire that was still raging after the explosion. That flame has been kept alive ever since. It is now a national symbol of peace. Recently, a group of Japanese people lit a further lamp from that flame and carried it to Glastonbury. There, they met up with some Native North American Indians who come from the part of the USA where the Uranium, used to make that bomb, was mined. Together, they formed a circle in the sunshine. They invited all nearby to join them and take turns to walk round that circle, greeting friends and strangers alike with a hug. I can't tell you how moving it was to be briefly a part of this ceremony.
THURSDAY JUNE 29
The implications of the genetic alphabet
Scientists claim that we have finally found the full genetic alphabet. I'm sure there will be many more such 'twenty first century proclamations' before long. Each will pose a further moral dilemma. Frankly though, the ethical issues don't worry me all that much. When we know that there are rights and wrongs to be weighed up, we human beings tend to make fairly good, careful choices. We get into trouble when we don't even realise that there are implications to a particular development. Or when we assume, without asking sufficiently deep questions, that the rights and the wrongs are obvious. I'm happy enough about this latest discovery... as long as we all remain just a little unhappy about it!
FRIDAY JUNE 30
Having children in your sixties
First, they tell us that we can soon expect to live for several more decades. Then, my friend David Robson writes an amusing article, wondering how we will all pass the extra time. A day or so later, we get the official answer. Science is about to let couples in their sixties have children. To me, that makes a lot of sense. Parenthood as an activity is rather like swimming, cycling or trying to set the timer on your video recorder. Most absorbing and rewarding - unless you are trying to do something else at the same time. Kids deserve plenty of attention. Ideally this wants to come from people who have lots of experience, wisdom and stability. Imagine how rapidly and happily each new generation will evolve if that finally becomes possible.
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