"Coal is Pure Sunlight" - Susie's Sunday Musings

This post might be a little late given the Olympics in London are done and dusted, but an article in the weekend’s papers fired me up to share some of it. Apart from the athletic achievements, being an artist, the thing that stood out for me was the quality and the message sent to the world through the opening and closing ceremonies and this is what Frank Cottrell Boyce writes about.

The power of film and image was used to its full effect by Danny Boyle, but through his written word and conversation it makes much more sense of what he was thinking and message that he wanted to convey.

One quote that stood out was by GK Chesterton “The World is not perishing from lack of wonders, it is perishing from a lack of wonder”. It says it all !

The other was a discussion he had with David Hockney, whose words always mesmerize me more than perhaps his art. It harked back to the earth and coal mining which was such a memorable feature of the opening ceremony. The analogy is that the sun has poured its energy onto the surface of the planet for millennia. Trees fall and turn to coal, thus coal is ‘pure sunlight’, the memory of millions of uninhabited summers. It is then dug up and all that stored energy comes pouring out. This explains the Cauldron, the image that moved millions as the individual flames came together to make one flame, echoing the idea of unity and peace.

We have always been a nation of ideas and that power of ideas continues with a distinct human element, of neighbourliness and camaraderie ‘ Progress is not motivated by money, but comes from those who are happy to embark on a course of action without knowing where it will lead, without fear of failure or too much hope of reward. The engine of innovation is reckless generosity’ …..Powerful words and memorable words which strike to the heart.

This was very much borne out in the games. The people who made it a success were those motivated by fun, loyalty, love and idealism. That perhaps is the true legacy.

p.s. Art ideas and Painting is well under way again and pouring from me like sunlight!

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