The rain is bouncing off the polytunnel like some manic ethnic drumming circle almost deafening, there is a chill in the air and the question is, is it winter yet? Feels like it. I cannot believe how energised I am at the moment and it still worries me, for whatever goes up has to come down and this particular roller coaster is getting to mind numbing heights and still climbing.
I remember before I left the UK at that moment when I decided to say goodbye to my Filofax and to yupidom (Young, Up and Coming), the comedy duo of Thatcher and Regan were scaring the shit out of me as the world got swept up in the “I’m just in it for me,” and the responsibility of care in the community was argued out of society.
My Dirty Hoe
Time to leave the ship and head out of town, sure I might be a rat but I was too tired from fighting the system and I needed to look at life from a different prospective. That time was the last time I felt so energised, I took a risk, rolled the dice and headed for pastures new, I still remember blowing in on a Friday as it was a very wet and windy 13th of September I thought the signs were ominous. Life was tough and a huge adjustment but the magic of West Cork wrapped itself around me like a familiar blanket and I’m still holding on, it is not the wind that blew me away but the beauty of this place has.
Getting involved in the community was difficult, not because my neighbours weren’t friendly but because I was an alien with no idea of the culture, I stomped across the flowerbeds and I didn’t know where the path was, I tried to be gentle but was clumsy and inexperienced with the lifestyle and I made so many mistakes, I wince at those memories. But all through that adjustment (30 years later I still haven’t managed it completely) I had this energy, this vitality born of taking a grip of my own life and making a choice to live, to really live, not just talking the talk but walking the walk. Back then I felt self-sufficiency was the way to go. Feeding myself, surrounded by animals we would walk softly and if I couldn’t repair the damage in the World I could at least not cause more.
I don’t know if it was a cop out, to lock myself away in a far flung place and turn my back on the problems but I felt exhausted from trying and I needed some ME time and to remove the log in my own eye.
I don’t know where this urge towards activism comes from, my parents were very conservative (small c”), so maybe it was my education or just the angry teenager syndrome and I never grew up. I was a Punk and then a New Romantic, smashing down the walls of the establishment and rebuilding a new fluid society testing the parameters of what was acceptable and not, questioning ourselves and everyone around us, challenging the “straights” the “norms” and those who wanted the political and social landscape to remain flat and featureless.
I discovered and became aware of the concept of equality, not through gender as of now but through apartheid and the example of Nelson Mandela. Ghandi was just a figure of history; I don’t know who the equivalent is now, maybe not every generation is lucky enough to have an example such as Martin Luther King Jnr. Or maybe we only get to see it in hindsight. Somehow I don’t think it will be Trump, Yap or the Boris brothers (Yeltsin & Johnston) but I have never fully understood how these things work and I could well be wrong I quite often am, as in the lyrics of one of my son’s raps “that’s a no flow zone.”
So what’s the source of this energy? I don’t really know it must be a combination of things and I am really just trying to work it all out and writing this particular blog is giving me a chance to explore the notion, to get those thoughts in my head into some kind of order. I don’t know if it is important to discover the how but I get a sense that, if I do I might be able to keeping it going or even start it up again when I inevitably slip down the slope back into a familiar routine. May be some people feel like this all the time? Motivated, excited and enthusiastic about everything and everyone it is certainly new to me. I can’t wait to get up in the morning, there is so much I can do, so much I want to do, my brain jumps from one idea to another and the feeling is electric.
I have taken to keeping notes on my mobile phone. I have different pages for different things. There is the Community Garden, a very long list of jobs that need doing, ideas for new projects, leads to follow, things to do before the TV Crew turns up in less than 2 weeks. But I’m not thinking “Oh no I’ve got to do such and such,” I am thinking “Oh wow! Wouldn’t that be great and I hope I can find the time to do it.”
The Goleen Cottage Market has its own page, another voluntary community project. The Garden dominates at the moment as it is at the beginning of the month while the Market is at the end of October. This is just the second Cottage Market I’ve taken on and I’m planning on some kind of Halloween Theme. The to do list is almost as long and there is some overlap with the Garden. There is not only the geographic connection, they are right beside each other but the concept of the Market is commercial with a small “c” and Community with a capital C.
The market or the “mart” has been a traditional cultural meeting place for hundreds of years, not only in Irish culture but all over the world. Trade is a major driving source in nearly all aspects of our lives. The explosion of the internet has shown what happens when you open up the market worldwide and we can buy from nearly anywhere on the planet. But like most things in life there are consequences, the consequence of the old village markets was a bringing together of the community, people sharing goods, sharing news, sharing their lives. Children would get to meet up and possibly get a treat at the market. Old friends would sit together and tell stories, keeping history, culture and traditions alive. Not in some organised special Cultural Event but in an informal, natural, organic way breathing life into some of the auld ways.
So in the same way I envision the Garden helping grow the community and provide nourishment for body and soul I see the Cottage Market an important and vital organ creating opportunity for us to grow stronger together, during my self sufficiency phase I learnt I can achieve much on my own but in my current Community phase I know the power of WE is greater than you could ever imagine.
Sky 2 Sea Colour Wheel
I do need to go and tick a few items off that list so the rest of my blog will have to wait. I have hardly touched on the source of this feeling of energy and I think it has much to do with education and experience and as I begin my second year at college, the first was horticulture; the nurture of the earth, once again I am exploring and it’s an art experience going way back to discover creation and my creativity, let’s get elemental my dear Watson.
I am starting to see the light, not at the end of the tunnel but brightly illuminating my body and mind. So good bye for now and I will try to follow this up real soon. If you got this far you must be exhausted but please click “like” and or comment I would love to hear your views.