Send in the revolutionary heroes…

My son was wondering where they had all gone. He has heard of Mandela and Luther King and Ghandi- but he knows they are all dead and gone. The battles they fought belonged to other generations, not his (although perhaps the battles go on for ever in reality.) He wondered why there were no leaders like these around now. Where are the revolutionary heroes of 2015?

I was reminded of this song;

We thought about this, his mum and I. Perhaps heroes like this are only ever visible in hindsight- from the close perspective of history they are more nuanced and shadowed by compromise. Perhaps too the nature of our media twists and shapes the message so that it just becomes another piece of electronic background noise; at best something that flicks across your Facebook feed then fades back into ephemera.

Perhaps too the age of great ideological debates has been replaced by a homogeny of endless consumption; each and every thought and idea has value only because it generates hits on a server somewhere that also sells something.

Perhaps too that activism also has had to play by these rules. Movements like Occupy have eschewed ‘leadership’ in the traditional sense, moving instead for fluidity and protest modeled more on performance art- the sort of stuff that twitters well.

But sometimes you encounter someone to whom that rather cringeworthy word authentic can be applied to. Someone who is prepared to live in a different way. This is part of the dramatic appeal of Corbyn in British politics at present- for once, substance is elevated over style. Content is valued above communication.

For those of us who still long for flawed heroes, perhaps this will pierce the cynicism of these words. A real revolutionary hero.

Here you go son. He is not your generation- not even mine- but a hero none the less.

Falling leaves installation…

Falling leaves

We went for a walk through the falling leaves yesterday.

This was the Aoradh (and friends) installation in Benmore gardens. We twinned the leaves with a poem- each one taken from this book, from the section called ‘Losing’.

Here is one of them;

Open hearts have to close sometimes

Rachel Edge

“Close the door, you’re letting all the warmth out.”

It’s autumn and the dying leaves are skittering over the porch, whistling over the concrete step.

The chilly gusts swoop and swirl round the doorframe, over my arms, making me shiver.

My heart aches like a cavitied tooth when it meets ice cream; cold right to the bone.

“But he might come back… I can’t close the door; what if he comes back?”

I look out on the bleakness, search for vacant signs of life.

They shake their heads, pitying me mutely.

“Close the door, love.”

I know. I know.

He’s gone

Some photos;