Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Kerala - man walking

As news of huge and impending cuts comes in... comments from valued friends, chime with mine, summed up as, “whathe****? is going on?” I am holding on to the strength of the idea that we create our futures, first inside our heads and then in slow steps and pushes and pulls, with those we meet… today and tomorrow and the next day.  I’m strongly of the view, that in times of cut funding,“sans BSF, sans IYS, sans everything..” we are thrown, inevitably, back towards a shrunken survival mode and leaders must offer hope to those around, by building personal capacity and social capital in our interdependence. This is more about making meanings in the relationships and purpose, rather than the infrastructure.


Now, there is a triple danger in what I do next! It might be seen as a counsel for political acceptance, plus a challenge to financial smugness, plus some evangelical pomposity and so, lead to outright rejection. But, look, in detail, at the picture below… What thoughts does it raise in you? I took it in Kerala two years – we watched him march purposefully, in oppressive heat, a sure pace and even speed, over the horizon. Survival, determination and purpose personified. And look at the care and detail in his kit - his footwear. Its still fires me up! We have been here before....we know what to do... it's head down, ever onwards, the hard yards and then upwards, eyes always open for supportive fellow travellers... Looking for a Tower ahead perhaps - too see further - ivory, or folly?









Friday, 2 July 2010

The Tower

I was on the fast train to London a month ago and just outside Market Harborough I caught a glimpse of a tower. It caught my gaze - perhaps because, as I focussed on it, all else swirled and moved whilst it remained still. But still the image transfixed me. I found my face pressed to the glass and it has been enticing me since. The idea of "The Tower" has mesmerised me in a strange way. I have tried to write about it and I opened a book of WB Yeats poems, at random, in response to a friend's request to read some poetry and it fell open at "The Tower". On a recent journey I tried to find it again and, just as I recognised the wood it is in, my headphones played a Fleetwood Mac song..."Don't take me to the tower, don't take my child away..." I have spoken about it to friends and several have offered ideas, pieces of music and pictures. I am following the muse on this one and, as always have little idea where it will lead. I do know it will link to the idea of height and solace and seeing things from a different perspective, as in my previous piece on mountains - we must have built towers to gain height... It is even informing my thinking about functionality and moral purpose - the train, rushing me to work being the functionality and the still Tower, calm and separate seems to taunt me about higher moral purposes. Weird or what?

This experience turned into a rather  long poem - see separate page of this BLOG