Saturday, 22 April 2017

Bay watch

After preparing my sermon for tomorrow and an early lunch, Clare and I walked along the Taff Trail down to the Bay wetland area, enjoying the Spring warmth, bluebells and cherry blossom. We saw a few pairs of Great Crested Grebes in the wetland area. We saw one couple performing mating rituals, posing to each other, displaying the full extent of their head plumage and elongating their necks. We saw one bird disengage, dive and bring to the surface something in its beak, which it then presented to the other. I thought it might be a fish, but on checking later with a decent bird book, learned that it was fishing for strands of seaweed to offer. 

Being a good fifty meters offshore, my photos were taken almost at full length zoom with my HX300 so the quality and composition wasn't wonderful. Clare remarked that I'd have been better off taking video. Funny, all my Sony cameras make a good job of this, but it never occurs to me to use the built in facility. But I still enjoy the challenge of old school 'hunt 'n shoot'. This is one of the better shots.
We had tea in the Millennium Centre, then caught buses to take us back to Pontcanna, as we were both quite tired after a four and a half mile walk. Later, after supper I watched the third in the  Danish series 'Department Q'. This time an investigation into the disappearance of children from families of Christian religious sects, due to a murderous psychopath convinced he was an agent of the devil with a mission to destroy the faith of true believers by making them helpless witnesses of unspeakable suffering of innocent children. 

It was pretty nasty stuff, but it gave me cause for thought. One of the detective heroes is a practising Muslim. The other is an atheist who claims to hold no belief in God or anything metaphysical. His only conviction is that justice must be pursued regardless of the cost to himself or others, and that no crime victim should go without redress. The conversation is fragmentary and disjointed like the characters themselves. The atheist nearly loses his own life to rescue two kidnapped children, and it's the Muslim who finally catches the perpetrator, and drowns him in the sea in a life or death struggle with the diabolical killer.

Earlier in the film there were images of the religious sect practicing full immersion baptism in church so these resonated with that of the killer drowning as he resisted subjugation and arrest. It reminded me of parents speaking about babies crying at the font when they have water poured over them, as 'crying the devil out'. The film auteur plays with religious themes and symbols, raising the question of whether the existence of evil is more tangible and oddly credible than that of goodness. 

The atheist survives, his unbelief intact, just grateful to see children restored to their widowed mother. It's the religious man who is compelled to use lethal force at close quarters to stop the perpetrator's violence in its tracks, aware of the trail of death left behind him in a hospital. Experiences which will impact upon this kind, gentle and devout man. It's the kind of paradox which is not at all foreign to those who serve in security forces or the military, while the rest of us remain, for the most part unaffected. I what would Kierkegaad, that 'melancholy Dane' have made of this, I wonder?

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