Wednesday, 29 June 2011

archive #5 diggers, dreamers, fools

April first sunday - fools and diggers and dreamers and planters

Merry fools day one and all!

I trust you are spinning yarns and causing creative mischief; remember there is much wisdom in foolishness. Everyone is so busy I sometimes fear the art of play may vanish and so it is every loiterers sacred duty to make merry and enjoy the things that please us as long as it harm none. Smiling, walking, talking to strangers, taking things slowly – these activities should not be subversive. Truly the world turned upside down remains an idea to relish.

Today also marks an important anniversary; that of the Diggers occupying St George’s Hill and planting the land for the common good (Ok so 361 might not be an officially significant number of years to commemorate an event but our arbitrary obsession with certain numbers always strikes me as daft)

There is an oft repeated cliché that contains much truth (well, don’t they all) when it states we must learn from history or be condemned to repeat its mistakes. Lets also try and learn from its dreamers and wanderers and artists and visionaries; small, everyday triumphs that might not appear in official histories but echo through time if only we care to listen through the static. I wish I had been taught about the diggers in school. A favourite day dream of mine is to imagine if they had won and made the earth a common treasury for all…

Its another cliché but we need to say thank you more often. And we need to make sure we exercise the rights others fought for lest we loose them, including the freedom to roam and play and use the streets for more than shopping. We can, and will, go forth and explore and we should be able to do so without harassment, surveillance and random hecklers. There’s a Reclaim The Night march on April 23rd for those who want to make the point louder and with placards.

April 24 marks 76 years since another pivotal moment in the history of public space; namely the Kinder Trespass (and yes, once again we are partying a little later than everyone else but we think it deservers celebrating all the time) It still puzzles me why radical voices are so rare these days, why more people aren’t moved to action over injustice and why compassion needs to be justified so often. My every day experience is most people are good, and kind, and honest and full of far better ideas than the people in power.

Therefore this First Sunday, April 4th The LRM will doff our collective caps and salute all those who went before and have inspired us, whether we have met them or not. Please insert your own heroes name here ----------------- and if you like please send me an email telling me who inspired you and why. I’ll put it on the website if you wish too.

I’m thinking of my grandmother right now; her life didn’t have a grand metanarrative and she does not have a Wikipedia entry but she did a million kind things, taught me much (including a love of nature, how to look confident when you are scared and the secret to a perfect trifle) She also got me out of trouble countless times and its fair to say without her love, strength and idiosyncrasies there would be no LRM. I am just sad she never joined us on an expedition; she would have enchanted you I am sure. It would have been her birthday on Saturday (90th if you must know) It’s the first time I’ve not had a place to send a card to and I have been thinking of how to honour her memory.

The destination of this months derive is still a mystery – we can decide on the day depending on what we fancy doing – but its purpose is clear. We will not be dwelling on sadness and frustration but celebrating, remembering, plotting and well… planting seeds. Specifically native wild flower seeds. It will be rather more ramshackle and low key than last month’s barnstorming Hulme spectacular but all are welcome to join us.

We will be gathering at 2pm in The Britons Protection, Great Bridgewater Street and will set off soon afterwards. I do hope you can join us

Much love and foxgloves

PS blimey! a whole email without the word shenanigans xx

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