Friday, 10 October 2008

a treasure trove amidst some meanderings

I bloody love the LRM. It’s a real privilege to meet so many great people and experience our city in so many ways. This year its felt like loitering has really gathered pace (which is an oxymoron but I hope you know what I mean) and I feel a gentle glow of what I think might be pride mingled with all the glorious possibilities that lay ahead.

I was, frankly and delightfully bamboozled by the number of folk who turned out last Sunday. Thank you one and all! Drifting about together felt very special, I heard some great stories and it reminded me of the power a group has to push boundaries, open doors and become greater than its individual components.

However, sometime I worry there’s a tendency to see First Sunday as something extraordinary – which it is and paradoxically it isn’t. Please remember loitering is a state of mind that can be enjoyed any day and any where and to assume The LRM expedition is the only true derive would be very wrong. The city holds a multitude of tales and no one can know them all.

Solo or duo loitering has its own intense pleasures – a different power comes from inconspiousness, independence and quiet contemplation. It can transform even the most mundane commute into an adventure.

So what makes a loiter? I think it’s an insatiable curiosity and an open mind. Loitering is about looking for the details, the buried treasure, the interesting detrius; it’s listening to echoes and whispers and ghosts and songbirds and its asking the unanswerable questions. Where am i? How did I get here? Where am I going? Who built this place? Why? What’s it for? Who is here – and who is not? What kind of imagination built it and how can it evolve? What signs and wonders have been left here? Perhaps most importantly how does it make me feel?

I was pondering all this on Monday as I enjoyed the iridescent autumnal air and a few moments peace in the city. I was thrilled to spot an apple tree laden with fruit intertwined with rosehips very close to the bustle of big business.

Foraging for food and making art from found objects are key to the loitering way of life. Apples are of special significance because if there is a patron deity of the LRM it must surely be our lady dischordia HAIL ERIS! Seek out the golden apple… This one wasn’t golden but it did look delicious and tantalisingly just out of reach (ah! The story of my life!)

I knew I would never devour it because it was so perfect and I dare not risk the dangerous climb. I merely sat for a moment to reflect on the fruits beauty. Handily the tree was positioned close to a bench; as I sat down I saw the bench had a very peculiar plaque on it. I can’t pretend to decipher the meaning of its inscription but it sounds vaguely smutty and made me laugh out loud for the sheer joy of our wonderful city.

A special prize is on offer to the first person who can tell me the location of the bench and another for anyone who knows the story of the plaque. If the riddle remains unanswered I will post more clues but with each clue the prize diminishes….

Merry puzzling and an even merrier weekend
Morag x

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