I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Glastonbury: Hippie Heaven (Too Much Of A Good Thing Can Be Wonderful)

In the middle of September we spent a long weekend in Glastonbury. Yes, between festivals Glastonbury town is alive, well and gently stoned: it's a haven for spiritual seekers and old hippies at any time of year. I liked it a lot but, amid the welter of New Age flummery and soul chic, found it hard to distinguish between the real and the sham, the true and the fake, the non-material and the commercial. Note the red telephone box — this is definitely the genuine article! The hanging sign in the photo reads: 'The Buddha Maitreya Soul Therapy Meditation Center'. 

The muralist scratches his head. What on earth shall the last letter be? Ah, I know — 'l'!

There are so many delightfully artistic corners in Glastonbury.

Madonna and Child wall shrine with candles.

The Chalice Well, one of Britain's most ancient holy wells (do read the Wikipedia link — it's fascinating, and explains the mythological significance of the well cover design). The spring produces chalybeate water — containing traces of iron carbonate, sodium chloride, calcium sulphate and other minerals, which have supposedly health-giving properties. It's also known as the Red Spring, as the water has a reddish tinge due to the iron content. The well is surrounded by the most beautiful gardens, and the whole sanctuary is a place of healing tranquillity. 

The lovely Carmen in the Chalice Well gardens.

6 comments:

Ruth said...

Oh this is a sweet look at a community I know little of outside the festival. And Carmen!

George said...

I was in Glastonbury a couple of decades ago, and recall that it was a lovely place at the time. Looks like you and Carmen had a wonderful outing. I'm not quite sure I understand the reference to Glastonbury being "gently stoned," but I assume that either definition would work.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I just love that wonderful photograph of my niece!! (dare I mention how like her mother she is becoming!)

Nick said...

The sort of place I would either love or hate, I think; perhaps both at once.

The Solitary Walker said...

Hi, Ruth and Pat!

And George — it's nothing to do with drugs, but have you read the novel 'Stoner' by John Williams? I'm reading it at the moment, though I've had it on my 'must read' pile for nearly a year. I really recommend it — a moving story of an ordinary, individual life.

I feel much the same way, Nick.

Vicki Purple said...

Having lived in Glastonbury for 23 years I think "amid the welter of New Age flummery and soul chic, found it hard to distinguish between the real and the sham, the true and the fake, the non-material and the commercial" is a very fair appraisal. Nice pictures and a good little article.