Advent conspiracy 6: stories we find ourselves in…

Today’s advent conspiracy comes from Bob who takes inspiration from The Detectorists to imagine something just below the surface that we half percieve…

If you haven’t watched any of the excellent TV series ‘Detectorists’ then I can heartily recommend it. You can find it on BBC iPlayer here: BBC iPlayer – Detectorists

The series first aired on BBC Four in October 2014, and it’s written and directed by Mackenzie Crook, who stars alongside Toby Jones. The two key players are Andy (Mackenzie Crook – The Office, Pirates of the Caribbean) who wrote and directed the series, and Lance (Toby Jones – character actor in many films like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Hunger Games, Captain America, Jurrassic World and numerous TV series).

The series is set in the fictional small town of Danebury in northern Essex, and the plot revolves around the lives and metal detecting ambitions of Andy and Lance. They both have an obsession to find buried treasure, but, more often than not, all that the metal detectors pick up is a ring pull off an aluminium can, a metal button or a few nails.

They are convinced that there is something to find and, despite the set-backs, they keep searching. There’s a wonderful drone shot of the field at the end of the first series when they head off to the pub after another fruitless day’s searching and the shot reveals the outline of a large structure below the surface. It reminded me of times when there has been a long spell with no rain and the outline of buried building remains are revealed as a different shade of colour to the surrounding ground. There’s something there, but they can’t yet see it from where they are looking.

I wonder then what grand obsessions existed in the story from two thousand years ago when humble shepherds left their sheep to follow a bright light in the sky, and richer noblemen made a long journey from their homeland far away. What drew them to a small village in the Middle East? How often on their respective journeys would they have doubted what they were doing? How often would they have considered turning back? Was it something they had long anticipated? Was it a story of a hope to come which had been passed down and re-told through many generations? Something must have drawn them onwards.

In the initial post of this Advent Conspiracy by Chris here:  he says,  ‘in moments and in places like this, I find myself sensing something beyond myself that draws me’.

For me too there is something about Advent which draws me and provokes reflection about a journey bigger than our journey; about a story bigger than the story we find ourselves in.

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