Another earlier-written piece, again back in 2014, I think. Communitas was an idea talked about by anthropologists Turner and Gennep, which refers to a natural sense of togetherness and sociality that acts as psychic glue for healthy communities.
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Like sunlight breaking out from behind the clouds, this feeling falls on you. Community; family—a sudden and wild recognition of something shared that was not asked for, but happened anyway. I imagined that there was something of what those old Church Revivalists might have felt when they were swept up in rapturous dancing, laughing, or singing in tongues as the Spirit moved through them.
But unlike what I imagine those ceremonies to be, this dancing in the center of the mine, and on the motorways, and the singing before police lines didn’t feel like a blessing being bestowed from on high. It was like a gift rising up, from the stamping of our feet, from the earth beneath us, awakened by our willingness to put our bodies where they felt needed. It feels instead as if people are batteries [or solar chargers perhaps] and if you get enough of them in the right place, at the right time, all intent on the same cause, then…
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I’d seen these little guys for a few days, outside Sainsbury’s, playing in the carpark. I know that they’re young, this years fledglings probably who were most likely born a month or so late, so they’re still displaying fledgey behaviour, even this late into the year! Or maybe they’re anarcho-sparrows, and are manning the barricades against the consumer machinery. Either way, they still got some new-bought Nairn’s biscuits 🙂
I’ve talked here before about writing being a kind of composting technique, or maybe the listening to smaller voices than the ones we’re most used to. Here’s another definition of this strange, lonesome art: Archaeology.
It was written way back in the heady days of 2014, when we all knew that the world was hurtling, but it somehow felt like we might be skating with at least one set of wheels on the ground. I was probably mistaken about that (35 is still such a tender number, despite what I may have thought at the time) but I find myself sniffing at these threads which are becoming more prevalent every day that I live in the Future Now. Extinction. Ecology. Mental Health. You know the drill.
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: Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse, the thought that the future doesn’t exist, or that it does and I am entirely unsuited to it.
: Despite the imminence of our own extinction; I still, even today with our blind shot-put economy, apologist creeds and the politbureau of short-termism – I risk believing in delight. Which is the same as saying that I risk hope, that I believe that the caged bird sings for good reason; and perhaps delight is one of the few eternals. It is a-priori and everlasting, and affirmation that life is worth living and that the future is worth traveling towards.
Even if it is ultimately untrue; delight, joy, pleasure, satisfaction and communication are ties that build you a world, memory by memory, taste by taste.
Between these two, my heart breaks: On one side the eternalism of delight and the promise of humanities’ ability to adapt both emotionally and socially to the dark days of the future. On the other the inevitability of the collapse; the sense that we are all living on borrowed time; the fall of ecosystems; the rise of noise and confusion and static over diversity and opportunity.
Between these two~
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