Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 612 – Day 621)
I have been down with a cold since I returned from Barcelona. I have to be careful, whenever I catch a cold, that it doesn’t turn to pneumonia. I’ve had pneumonia three times already and once it slips down that slope, it’s months before I am well again. This winter has been a tough one for me – physically and emotionally. However, it has opened up the possibility of returning to writing drama as well as non fiction, again. I feel that by the autumn, I may be willing to sit down and live with a few characters in my head for a few months.
This week, I had a really trippy and creative dream, in my cold pill haze. It seemed particularly prescient, so I shared it with the person about whom it was. I am sure he thinks I’m a nutter, now, but I thought it might contain something important. It felt like one of those ‘important’ dreams you have every once in awhile in your life. Well, the next day, I met a very famous musician/artist that I have long wanted to meet and interview. He created the basic elements of the dream before me. It freaked me out a little and I still don’t know what to make of that except that sometimes the unconscious speaks to us in ways we really can’t yet understand. Perhaps, in time, the relationships between these two men and their work, and what it might have to do with me, will make sense and it will spur some creative work for at least one of us. And maybe I should get more of those cold pills.
Yesterday was the 1st birthday of the Nomadic Community Garden, a great place for community, street art and chilling out, in the middle of Shoreditch. I went down to take some photos for an upcoming article and ended up running into four different groups of people that I knew. For fourteen years, I struggled to find a group of friends in this city and in a single year, I have found community amongst the street artists and community activists of Shoreditch. I stayed for longer than expected and came home smelling like bonfire. To me, coming from Canada, the smell of bonfire is the smell of summer and great times from childhood. Smelling like bonfire means it was a truly great day, full of happiness.
Last week we had snow, but yesterday, the skies cleared, the sun shone and it was summer, if only for a moment. With jugglers, musicians, hoola hoopers, drummers, and fire jugglers, I felt like I was in a Fellini film, surrounded by beautiful art and plants growing all around me. I loved it.
I’ve been thinking lately about a prescience I had last winter and spring. I felt convinced that the next love of my life was on his way to me. I’d kind of forgotten about that until the past couple of weeks. I no longer have that feeling. At first, I was saddened by the lack of that feeling. But, then, I realised that perhaps I had met him. Yes, I do love someone. Not exactly the person I expected or the way I expected it – and it isn’t a romance. And, yesterday I started to wonder if maybe the next great love of my life isn’t a person but a real sense of “community.”
I know I have been writing about tribalism a lot lately. I am a big fan of community and inclusion. I am vehemently opposed to exclusion, snobbery and clicquish behaviour. Yesterday, walking through that vibrant Fellini film, with strangers and friends coming and going in and out of frame, I felt at home.
Sometimes we find what we didn’t know we were looking for and sometimes, that love is fleeting. Summer has kicked off in London and I could be busy with my new community every weekend for the rest of the summer, if I were in London. And while the faces may change, I suspect this community which has been here for years will be here for years to come.
Last summer was the time of my life. I had a summer romance with community. And now that the summer has kicked off again, I intend to love and be loved for as long as it lasts.
I am grateful that even if my prescience is not like a fine tuned signal, that I am increasingly becoming reconnected to my intuition and creative insight – even if the ideas aren’t yet fully there. I am grateful for the last year with the arts community in London and to the artists that reached out and brought me into the fold last summer, particularly Savant and D7606. I am grateful to Greg and Lara for embracing me and including me in their circle, as it continues to grow. I am grateful for Plin and Alo and Kit with whom I spent a few fun nights of laughter in different bars and galleries and because each, in their own way – and unbeknownst to them – have inspired me in my creative work, this year. And I am grateful to Steve at Monty’s for creating a place of community and to Lisa for always including me in the gang. And of course, I am grateful to James and the Nomadic Community Garden for the space of community he and his volunteers created. It was a joy to hang with different folks – from the garden, from Monty’s, from Greg and Lara’s tribe and from the street art blogger gang yesterday.
Oneness was the theme of the day. My service – well, stay tuned for an upcoming article. And the meaning in all this? There is no substitute for a sense of belonging. My sense of belonging comes from being being part of that Fellini film, shot on location, on the isle of misfit toys: the clowns, the artists, the jugglers, the writers, the gardeners, the drummers and the strangers of the world.
And so it only remains for me to ask:
For what are you grateful, this week?