Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Being direct misses the point #learning

Imagine you want to know how to spell. You get (if you were me back in 1977) the Schonell Spelling book and start at the very beginning:


and you keep on going until you reach the bitter end of learning to spell, confidently being able to spell “bacchanalian” at the drop of a wine bottle.

If you want to learn to spell (leaving aside the moot point of whether or not in the days of spell checkers (I mean, did you really think I actually spelled ‘bacchanalian’ myself?) learning to spell is a valuable exercise), “learning to spell” isn’t how you do it.

Spelling well is a byproduct of reading a lot. (Well, it is a byproduct of reading a lot and not having a specific spelling difficulty or being dyslexic).

If you read a lot, words “look right” or “look wrong” because you have seen the words before. I think.

The good thing is that when you are learning to spell as a byproduct of reading, you are unconscious of the learning going on. You get to enjoy yourself (assuming you like reading), reading away. It isn’t until much later that you see the heinous “definately” written somewhere and a profound sense of unease descends… but at least you know how to spell definitely!

I think it is the same with other skills. If you want to learn how to contribute well in discussions, you could read a book on good ways to open a debate, key phrases for suggesting ideas, methods of interjection, challenge etc… but if you actually want to learn to discuss things well, perhaps you should just, well, discuss things.

If you want to write a good story, perhaps the best way to learn is to write a bad story first then figure out how you wish it had turned out.

Back to yesterday’s post – where I was bemoaning today’s love affair with “learning intentions”…

By having the learning intention spelled out, we are conscious of what we are learning. This is dull.

Can’t we just enjoy the discussion, the novel, writing our story, starting a business, playing the football match, baking the cake, playing the music, painting our picture, mixing our chemicals, sending our space rocket high in the sky…?

We will learn. Perhaps we will learn more if the learning comes in the form of subconscious byproducts of activities rather than the focus and purpose of the activities.

By drawing attention to the immediate functional purpose of the things we do, we perhaps miss the point, the interest and the joy.

Serendipity Lost

Let’s just see what happens…

I knew something was irking me, but it has taken ages for it to crystalise into an actual thought that I can put words to. Here’s the thought:

I think that purposefulness has become so revered by society that we have lost serendipity. This is tragic and needs redressed.

And I think it will naturally be redressed. Maybe we are at the nadir of the purposefulness slough. Here’s hoping…

Or maybe it’s just me.

First of all, I have to confess that I used to be guilty of not valuing serendipity. Many blog posts ago, I was moaning about the pointlessness of the space shuttle programme and one of my readers, Cat, pointed out that without space travel, we may never have stumbled upon various completely useful inventions. Tin foil, for example. And many other things.

Necessity, as we know, is the mother of invention. But if we stay within ‘safe’ and ‘known’ things, then there is no necessity, therefore there is no invention.

What drives me nuts is this:

In education, we plan what we learn. We literally have ‘learning intentions’. We know what we hope to learn. Before we even begin we can have ‘success criteria’; we know what things will ‘look like’ when we have learned a thing.

There’s the irony.

If we know what it is we hope to learn, there is an assumption somewhere in there that elements of the learning have already been done by someone – perhaps the teacher, perhaps the experts. The rest of us, the “learners” are simply following the pioneers through to join them at the end of learning.

What about the learning that can’t be planned? Is it even getting done any more?

How often in the past were great ideas born about of nothing other than randomness? When the floating soap or the plummeting apple were picked up and a thought found an articulation – these moments were not planned. But we learned.

When we set off to the Deerstalker, someone remarked something along the lines of, “It won’t be long now until we know what the stories will be from this trip!” How exciting for us to know that there was no way we could know what would happen to any one of us, but that by going on the trip, we would find out – something – we would learn things – but we wouldn’t know what we would learn until we had learned it.

Perhaps the best learning intention is to simply to intend to learn. Maybe not even that – maybe the best learning intention is to try out random stuff and see what happens.

To decide in advance what kind of learning you want to undertake and what success in that field would ‘look like’ is not only dull and derivative, it shuts down openness and even “luck”; it precludes valuable byproducts crystalising at the periphery.

… in which I watch a lot of #SalvageHunters and @DrewPritchard makes me think thoughts about the nature of value

Last week I found myself watching too many episodes of Salvage Hunters back-to-back. (I would have been watching CSI, but husband was away and it was late and the opening sequence of CSI was too stressful to watch alone. (Granted, it was a dream sequence, but still, she was tied up and a serial killer was wielding a fish hook with intent.))

Salvage Hunters is a genius piece of television. Basically we watch a man go to work.

Drew gets in a van with his friend called T. They drive really far (we get to see a line worming its way through Wales and England) to salvage yards, old schools, country houses and miscellaneous junk depots of one sort or another.

Drew roots about and buys astonishingly few items, all of which I would pay you to take away if I owned them. (I have no taste.)

They then take the lamp, bookcase, chair or whatever back to Drew’s “wife, Rebecca” (never just “Rebecca”) and he shows her what he has bought. She looks at the rusty lamp, the burst chair or the naïvely hewn toy and gives her approval. Then the restoration people have a go at the objects. Then they get photographed and displayed online and in the shop.

I think it is the narrative structure that makes such a cheap-TV formula such compelling viewing.

We have our protagonist, Drew. His goal is to find cool items, restore them and make a profit.

The antagonistic rising-action moments are so gentle and circumstantial that the conflicts generated are utterly palatable. Sometimes there is a battle to dig out the object from under a hundred years’ worth of junk. Sometimes there is a stand-off while Drew waits for the owner’s hoarding instinct to thaw out. Sometimes there is the cost of the journey needing to be offset by the potential profit of the items. Sometimes (when he has bought a car or something vinyl) there is a little concern about what his “wife, Rebecca” might think.

The moments of purchase are the turning points, structurally. The show is edited so that these, “Have we got a deal?” moments straddle the ad break. Gentle suspense. And usually, they do.

The unloading of the van is the climax of the episode when we see what the crew of restorers and “wife, Rebecca” think of the haul. The resolution is the buffing up, the photographing and the hope of a good home for the items and a tidy profit for Drew.

The settings too are compelling. A feeling of being lucky and privileged to have access to the places where the junk is, unique buildings, beautiful private country houses, a basement of a theatre – the obscure, the ancient and the distant. They even had a wee trip to Norway.

But the best thing about the show is the theme of restoration and even redemption. Salvation, even. Salvage. Rescue.

One episode had him looking through a big old garage/shed used for storage. He came across a big box. It looked like a big box. He buys it, takes it to Wales and it looks like nothing. A wipe down and a coat of wax and it suddenly is something someone would want to buy. It would look great as a blanket box in a bedroom, or as a coffee table. All it needed was to be found and restored.

My wallow in mindless, inoffensive TV becomes a metaphor about value: the lost, the unappreciated, the broken, the disregarded, the forgotten.

When things are looked for by someone who knows their value, by someone who can see past the holes, the burst springs, peeling paint – or indeed one who sees value in the worn paint, the patina, the wear and tear – the evidence of history rubbing against the things that have been lost – these items are brought back into use, sought after, valued and appreciated.

It makes me think about the satisfaction, or even joy, when things are made to be they way they were meant to be. When things have been fixed and put right.

Nothing like a bit of restoration and redemption as late-evening viewing. Very calming.

*serial killer suddenly notices a hallmark and maker’s mark on the fishing hook and thinks that antique fishing paraphernalia has recently soared in value. He thinks better of savaging the young woman and decides to salvage the hook*

Political Paradoxes and Murphy’s Law #GE2015

Our political system maybe flawed or indeed broken – but globally, it is still enviable. This election has thrown up perhaps more than its fair share of ironic possibilities. Here are a few of my “favourites”:

1. Salmond in Downing Street
I suppose anything is possible. Miliband has ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP, but there is still a theoretical possibility of Salmond re-emerging to take his smugness south and into some kind of place of power. Instead of being a big fish in a small pond, he could be a small fish in the driving seat of a (non-nuclear) submarine in a big pond. Instead of having Scotland moaning that its votes don’t count, England could have a turn of having a party in government that 0% of English voters voted for.

2. The Scottish Tail Wagging the English Dog

The Scottish ‘tail’ in this image would be Nicola Sturgeon, who isn’t standing in this election. But she is still likely to win it. Which is a work of genius.

3. Obstructive SNP bringing Tory government

If, as seems likely, there is no coalition with Labour, the SNP will support Labour on an issue by issue basis. They appear to be in a great position to bully Labour further to the left. If the SNP don’t get their own way and they withdraw their support of Labour policy/budgets etc, they risk having a Labour government collapse which would result in a Tory government.

4. Half of “The 55” desperate to see success for a party they disagree with.
Since the Referendum, “The 45” have stuck religiously to their conviction that the SNP should reign supreme. The rest of us have reverted back to pre-referendum allegiances which means that the votes of The 55 are spread thinly amongst the other parties. Tactical voting will be the only way to secure anything-but-the-SNP in various constituencies. This could result in many Tory voters voting Labour, Lib Dems voting Tory, Labour voters voting Lib Dem etc and generally awkward bedfellow arrangements until the election is over and the politicians thrash out how it is going to work.

5. Murphy’s Law
So for our local area, about two thirds to a half of “The 55” are probably Tory voters at heart, but will be likely to pin their hopes on Jim Murphy, leader of Scottish Labour, to avoid having the SNP represent us. So, any unionists on the left or the right are left feeling compelled to vote for Jim Murphy while trying to not look directly at the idea of waking up with Ed “Tuffy Nuff” Miliband in charge of the country. We ran past the Conservative office today and saw the “Vote for David Montgomery” signs. I wonder if, nearer the time, we may run past and see the notice, “Strike that, Vote Murphy.”

6. Prepare for Rose Tinted Memories
I like the status quo. And, with Nick Clegg having burned his tuition fee boats, there’s no chance of that.

“Double Life”, a #poem about #frogs

Double Life11149389_10153159001057973_6740256736843096470_n

Familiar alien, half submerged,
Bug-eyed, unblinking and still.
You’re Kermit,
Toad of Toad Hall,
Jeremy Fisher in ballet,
A wide-mouthed frog on a birthday card
Wishing me ‘A Hoppy Birthday’.

Paired in a puddle, a couple of frogs
Bob near spawn.
A sunken cluster:
rubber bubbles,
soft marbles,
jumbo tapioca,
clear grapes with black pips.

Pose for my mind’s life cycle diagram:
A before and after in the same shot.
Annotated arrows jump into frame:
“Metamorphosis” unfurls the ripe dot.

Tiny tails pulse and wiggle,
Tadpoles race at random,
Growing legs and losing gills…

And one day your legs will touch the bottom
And your head will break the surface
And you will breathe air
And see the sun.

Visible change
Of one thing into another
Entirely contained in the first,
And again.

You balance a bask and wallow
In ditch and swamp
Between wet, warm and cold.
In and out.

Common frog.
A cold blooded stranger.

Looking at frogs

11149389_10153159001057973_6740256736843096470_nWe took the children on a walk around Loch Muick this week. The children had a competition to see who could spot animals along the way. We saw a pigeon, a blackbird, cows, deer, geese, ducks, chaffinches, a hairy caterpillar and a great many frogs.

The first pair we came across had picked a very precarious place to call home; their home was a large puddle on the track. There was frogspawn, but the sun was shining and the puddle didn’t look as if it would be there for terribly much longer.

As we went further there were wiser frogs colonizing shaded ditches. At the end of the loch there was a much larger colony of frogs with about twenty visible frogs and a grassy/weedy submerged island probably harbouring many more.

The first poem to hop to mind was “Death of a Naturalist” by Seamus Heaney where he describes:

… the warm thick slobber

Of frogspawn that grew like clotted water

In the shade of the banks.

He then goes on to:

wait and watch until

The fattening dots burst into nimble-

Swimming tadpoles.

This poem in turn reminds me of another. In Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “In Mrs Tilscher’s class” the speaker describes the experience of coming to the end of primary school. One moment recalled is when:

Over the Easter term the inky tadpoles changed

from commas into exclamation marks. Three frogs

hopped in the playground…

So the frogs in Glen Muick were right on schedule.

At one point I was looking at a frog in a pool and it suddenly swam very vigorously for the other side of the pool and these words from Norman MacCaig’s poem “Frogs”, in which he accounts for his love of frogs, surfaced in my mind:

Above all, I love them because,

Pursued in water, they never

Panic so much that they fail

To make stylish triangles

With their ballet dancer’s


While MacCaig’s poem has a sense of childish wonder and clumsy but apt comparisons – with Buddha, opera singers etc – the other two poems look at frogs as a symbol for the beginnings of a loss of childhood innocence.


The life-cycle of a frog played out for children to see in ditches and puddles and pools lead both the other poets to convey a sense of “tangible alarm” when the children are faced with this cycle of growth and reproduction. In the Duffy poem the speaker immediately follows the release of the frogs into the playground with the comment:

…A rough boy

told you how you were born. You kicked him, but stared

at your parents, appalled, when you got back home

and the poet in “Death of a Naturalist” comes back to see how the frogspawn has developed:

…gross bellied frogs were cocked

On sods; their loose necks pulsed like sails. Some hopped:

The slap and plop were obscene threats. Some sat

Poised like mud grenades, their blunt heads farting.

I sickened, turned, and ran.

His fascination with the frogs has turned to revulsion and fear, hence the title.

As for me, I enjoyed seeing the frogs heralding the beginning of spring. I enjoyed seeing their wee amphibious alien lives unfolding. I imagined a possible frog-based rewrite of ‘The Parable of the Sower’:

Some frogs went out to lay their frogspawn. Some laid their frogspawn in a puddle on the path and the sun dried up the water. Some chose ditches…

I’d need to do more research on the difficulties frogs face out there if I was to complete a parallel parable.

Or maybe I should write a frog poem of my own.

Floating Voter #leadersdebate

I’d be relatively happy if there wasn’t an election coming up. I think that the unsatisfactory coalition has been pretty much satisfactory. Money-savvy Tories tempered by thoughtful but hapless Liberal Democrats. Fine.

I’m in two minds about Labour. Ed Miliband I find utterly unconvincing, but our local Labour MP Jim Murphy does well. So, I could perhaps vote for Jim… but then get Ed in charge. I’d be happy to have Jim as my local representative if Ed was kept out of Downing Street, but it’s hard to make that work with a single vote.

But anyway, Jim has different plans on his agenda. He wants to get a job in the Scottish Parliament at the next Scottish Election, so he wouldn’t be my MP for long anyway. So I might as well not vote for him.

Anyway, I don’t think Labour can improve the economy. They don’t seem to know how many beans make five. The Tories too are struggling with that one.
But at least they think the beans are finite.

I am not sure whether Labour were just unfortunate to be at the helm when the economy crashed, or whether they were incompetent. I thought Gordon Brown was considered to be good at his job, back in the day, but it didn’t turn out so well.

Nicola Sturgeon did really well on the TV debate. If it wasn’t for her obsession with Independence, I’d be a fan. I am glad that she is approaching this election with positive engagement with the process and an intent to play ball. The depressing thing is that if the SNP do well, it’ll be Ed Miliband in office. I’d rather have Nicola at Number 10. Kind of. Except she likes everything to be free. Which I always struggle with, when it comes to the funding of everything.

Farage seems to be good at counting out how many beans make five. He knows that they are finite and that we haven’t got any. His main ideas don’t resonate in Scotland. Scotland in pro-diversity and Europhile, I think. Generally.

The rainbow spread represented does mean we are likely to end up with a mish-mash again. I think this is a good thing. I’d prefer a minority government of whatever colour and have things pushed through policy by policy rather than having a gung-ho majority government crushing dissent.

The worst case scenario is possible though. We could end up with a minority government with such large opposition that nothing gets passed and we have to start over again.

I hope that people vote for what they actually think, rather than voting tactically for the Prime Minister they despise less. And I hope that the politicians do their best to form a functioning government that has some teeth, and some sense.

But I am not clear about the realities behind the economics. And I suspect I am not the only one.

Blytonic Flashback to “The Secret Mountain” #eclipse #solareclipse #enidblyton


In preparation for the solar eclipse this morning I dusted off my copy of Enid Blyton’s “The Secret Mountain” and skipped to the climax of the novel where Prince Paul is about to be sacrificed to a sun god. As fate would have it, an eclipse was scheduled for the very day of his human sacrifice:

“Eclipse of the sun, 11.43 a.m.,” he read. “Is this this year’s diary? Yes!”

How very fortuitous for him.

Blyton brings things to a fever pitch of anxiety before Captain Arnold gambles Paul’s life on the moon turning up on time:

He snatched a knife from his belt and threw it high into the air at the sun!


Just then the eclipse begins:

A tiny piece seems suddenly to be bitten out of the sun! A small black shadow appeared at one side. The moon was beginning to pass in front of it and was hiding a very small piece.

The story then takes on a tone that sits uncomfortably on the modern ear.

A moan of fear came from the watching Mountain Folk. They did not understand how simple a thing an eclipse was and they really thought that their precious sun was being killed!

There are other bits similarly patronising to the Mountain Folk (who, had this been reality, would perhaps have a cool calendar with millennia of eclipses marked in):

There was a wee description which was quite like what happened today:

And now the earth began to look queer and unearthly. The sunlight dwindled and died. A queer half-light came over the whole countryside.

Because we were not in the direct path of the shadow, that’s as complete as it got. For Prince Paul, they had the full thing, being plunged into a starry darkness:

“Don’t be afraid,” Mrs Arnold said to the scared children who had not expected this. “The sun is gone now, lost behind the moon – so, of course, it is like night time and the stars shine out. You must remember that the stars are always in the sky, all through the day – but we don’t see them because the daylight is so bright.”

So, Prince Paul managed to escape being sacrificed to the sun god. Phew.

It wasn’t so dramatic for us. We watched a bit of Brian Cox and then went to the window, remembering not to look at the eclipse, while trying to look at the eclipse. I accidentally looked at the eclipse because I was looking for where the eclipse was. Anyway, it was like a wee bright fingernail. Quite an atmospheric sky.

Someone fairly near me geographically took this photo that I poached off the Facebook:


While I enjoyed the trip down memory lane re-reading the climax of “The Secret Mountain”, I, as usual, failed to get all that excited about physics on a grand scale, getting my sun and my moon in alignment. I figure it’s just about perception. It depends where you are and what you see as much as it is about the sun and the moon and the earth and where they are. The intense black shadow bit would be cool to be under, I’ll concede.

But to be there, you pretty much have to be an eclipse chaser willing to go wherever eclipses are, or you have to be a character in an Enid Blyton novel with an eclipse turning up as the deus ex machina.

Gradually, the sun became itself again as the moon passed right across it and the black shadow fled. The glorious daylight flooded the mountains, and the golden sun poured its rays down once more.

Middle Age, Middle Earth, Middle of March #deerstalker #ratracer #mightydeerstalker

I spend my life being overtaken by a herd of metaphorical gazelles at training, so I was well prepared for the Deerstalker in at least one respect; I was probably more worried about getting to the start line suitably fit, with suitable kit and having had enough in the way of water and chips.

We ate at Bony’s Steakhouse and just about managed to navigate our way through the waiter’s patter and to our hotel in time to get kitted up and out to the event.

Beautiful crisp, clear night. Feeling good, feeling ready and off we went.
Touch of the “going on a bear hunt”, except it was a deer stalk.

Over the hay bales
crunch jump crunch jump
through the muddy field
squelch suck squelch suck
through the water
splish splash splish splash
up the steep hill
gasp wheeze gasp wheeze
along the forest track
ziggy zaggy ziggy zaggy
off the forest track up and down
pumping arms pumping legs
blinded by man in reflective jacket
squint moan dazzle, squint moan dazzle
up the heathery incline
push elbow skip push elbow skip
down the sharp descent
skitey crab-crawl, skitey crab-crawl
over the bridge
trip trap trip trap
along the river
‘don’t fall into the Tweed, don’t fall into the Tweed’
across further
Ahhh, nice and flat ahh, nice and flat
through the village
high-five, high-five,
stop at the water stop
chew slurp chew slurp
through the river
roar slip grab chitter roar slip grab chitter
run to the grassy crossroads
scamper bound scamper bound
up the heathery ascent
bouncing rocks bouncing rocks
passed by the man with the union jack underpants (and nothing else but a head-torch and trail shoes)
disbelief disbelief
slight rockfall
“that’s reassuring”, “that’s reassuring”
up the scree
mount doom, Frodo-tastic, mount doom, Frodo-tastic
up more scree
smugly bearcrawling, smugly bearcrawling
watch your footing
stumble trip, stumble trip
backwards descent
terror fear glad-of-the-gloves terror fear glad-of-the-gloves
down the rope
are you kidding? are you kidding?
along the river path
‘don’t fall into the Tweed, don’t fall into the Tweed’
stop at the water stop
chew slurp chew slurp
say hi to the village people
high-five, high five
through the river
splishy sploshy, splishy, sploshy
through the tunnel
waist deep wet pants, waist deep wet pants
back through the muddy field
squelchy stagger, squelchy stagger
under the unnecessary cargo net
crawl moan grumble crawl moan grumble
over the really unnecessary final obstacle
pull shimmy drop grumble pull shimmy drop grumble
and across the line…
Three hours of sustained and varied effort and I was last as usual. Not out of the whole couple of thousand entrants – just anyone I knew. We then headed off shivering to the very lovely hotel for a rock and roll after party.

The prosecco chilling in the sink was left chilling in the sink, as we lay face down on the floor greeting with fatigue, only just managing to sip some tea and nibble some cake before heading to bed.

Great fun, all in. And I wouldn’t not do it again.

Headlamps: “no torch, no race!”

I love it when a metaphor comes together.

I am in a state of nervous excitement. I am (planning on) doing “The Mighty Deerstalker” this weekend: “hills, mud, swamp, darkness, rivers, obstacles and a wee bit longer than billed…”

I have read the seven pages of instructions about how to get to the start line; the nine or so miles that come thereafter do not come with such a guide.

“Don’t forget your head torch: No torch, No race!”

So I ordered a head torch and it arrived yesterday. So I am wandering about the house with a head torch on. It’s very nice.  however, it wasn’t long before I stumbled into tight loop of biblical metaphor which was very satisfying:

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

The psalmist here sees the Word of God as a guide for his life, lighting up perhaps the right way to go, or to illuminate dangers in his path, to highlight the terrain, the gradient and to help him figure out how to best proceed, metaphorically.

I then visualized “Thy word” as a head torch – and then I remembered – that has been done for thousands of years!

Back in the day when I studied a bit of Judaism, there were “phylacteries”, also known as “tefillin” which were little leather boxes. The boxes contained scripture, I think – “The Shema” – “Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God, is One God” and verses following from Deuteronomy chapter 6. These boxes were strapped onto the forehead exactly where one wears a head torch. This is done in response to the verse from the same passage: “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads”.

In this way the worshipper had a physical reminder of the prayer and the scripture as they prayed. But the physical similarity to a head torch is remarkable – sticking out from the middle of the forehead above the eyes.

In practice, when you are using a head torch, running at night, the path is illuminated – as long as you look where you are going. If you stop looking in the right direction, you don’t know what you are about to run into or trip over.

By running with others, though, this hazard is lessened. With everyone running in the same direction, you can be guided by the light coming from everyone else’s head torches. Your path is lit up by the people coming like a herd of gazelles from the rear. In turn, by keeping my eyes on the path in front, it helps those around me keep safe.

To draw the metaphor back to the word of God I can perhaps take from it that to spend time with other people who are figuring out how to live, using Scripture as a guide, is of benefit to all who travel together.

Interestingly, there is a downside to head torches. You can’t look anyone in the face. If you look them in the face, you dazzle them and they can’t see anything. To shine your light directly into someone’s face is just irritating.

If I draw this metaphor back to the Word of God, I am thinking that this is the equivalent of hypocrisy. You are implying that people should look at the beaming light emanating from you – but you are not even going in the right direction – you are not illuminating the path helpfully – you are an obstacle, stopping them from seeing the right way forward.

The other text that comes to mind in preparation for the Deerstalker is the first two lines of a song we used to do at Sunday School:

“When the road is rough and steep,
Fix your eyes upon Jesus”

This is based on this bit from Hebrews 12:

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus..”

The “race marked out for us” on Saturday night will doubtless be rough and steep. Bearcrawling up scree in the main, apparently. A good chance to learn perseverance.

As for my head torch. I hope my batteries last the distance. I hope it illuminates the paths so that I don’t get taken by surprise, lost or injured. At the same time, I hope I can draw on the experience to illuminate my understanding of the use of “light” as a metaphor by the Psalmist and others in the Bible, such as John who wrote this as an introduction to his gospel account:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

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