Real people

Today I had the chance to go again to see the Viking exhibition at the British Museum. I was fortunate to go a few weeks ago, and loved it, though it was very busy, and on occasions hard to see. This morning Delightful Houseguest and I were able to go to Community Liaison View. They give us coffee, and talk to us about future plans and how wonderful it is to welcome visitors. Then somebody speaks about the current exhibition, and then – THEN – we get to see the exhibition.

And what is particularly wonderful is that this is quite a small group. And so we get to look around without the crowds. Which is bliss!

I have loved this exhibnition, and with time and space to look at it, it has been even better. Several items were really moving. I think my favourite one was the small piece of silk. Silk that has survived for over 1000 years. Silk that formed part of somebody’s dress. Silk that somebody touched and enjoyed. Silk that has – or had – colour and weight and was worn with, well, what?

And so I am finding myself back in wondering about people, trying to imagine their lives, wondering if they were happy or sad, tired, afraid, excited….

This is what I love about these exhibitions. When there is time to look slowly and reflect and imagine, I dare to think that maybe I am getting, not close to these people, cos that’s too presumptuous; but at least aware that there are real people behind these “things”.

The jewellery and the coins have the same effect. As – sadly – do the weapons.

It’s great. I am so grateful for the chance and glad that there are people with the skills to make things like this available to be seen and reflected on.

And I wonder if taking as much time to look at the people who really are around me with the same care might result in having the same sense of their reality as of those long-ago and far off days. And that might change how I react in a big way,……

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