Tag: freedom to roam

doncha know the feeling

know the feeling
              doncha
      slumping in your chair like a 
      dumpling when 
breezes in the chimneybreast
begin to whisper of
somewhere                        anywhere
              doncha
                when you have
no wish to turn on your television
                        radio
                        computer
                        phone 
as the world they bring 
is not your             own 
& now you are suddenly 
    nowhere                     everywhere
hearing on the wind      in the flue 
             a world that draws you 
                                cooing doves &
                                cries of children &
                                cars swishing by
               doncha 
   wish to open the jailhouse door
   walk free with
   no particular place
        to go but out                                     & away

know the feeling  
               doncha
                      from way back when those
                      grumpy grownups growled
                      get lost &
               doncha come back before dusk

     haha 
     never the same road twice 
                 when you & your best friends
                 walked & walked until you reached 
                           those unknown hedges
                                         houses
                                         highways
                                         hidden byways to a
                           world you had never been
                             tree trunks never climbed
                                   faces never seen
                         streams you had never dammed
                         streetnames you never heard
     haha
     whole estates of footballers
                      poets
                      scientists
                      explorers & 
               doncha
           recall how full it felt to
           return at dusk with treasure trove
                               a strip cartoon of images
                               drawn from a Brilliant day
                 when you'd wandered in a novelty
                            wonderland 
        
      fresh pastures glimpsed but once though
            present   still & steady yet for
            future days as souvenirs of
                   days gone by &
                      still to be that
                               boy or girl you were &
                      still to see whatever's new &
                      still to     walk free with                                            
                                              no particular place to
                                              go 
                 
               doncha still                   go out          & away
                         

Image result for walk to get lostOlive Branch & Co

(Image)

The Lessons of Dreams

Truro-Station-Early-Arrival-on-the-Night-Riviera-London-to-Penzance-Cornwall-Sleeper-Train

The novelist Henry James once said, “Tell a dream and lose a reader.” Perhaps he’d have sold more books if he’d ignored his own advice, to judge from the success of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol and Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories. And think of the impact Martin Luther King made with I had a dream

For what it’s worth, then, here’s one I dreamed last night. I was taking a class of Year 8 youngsters on a country ramble – something I used to do in reality when the school where I taught had an outward-bound centre in the Peak District. There’s nothing like a long walk for getting to know the kids in your tutor set and my dream was completely faithful to life in that respect.

We end up on a railway station platform. It’s dusk and the lights are coming on – ornate, old-fashioned Victorian lamps – while trains with brightly-lit carriages lumber slowly past us on either side in both directions. I ask the class to get into groups of 3,4 or 5. They disperse into waiting rooms and other nooks and crannies. I go in search and find they’re all in groups apart from 3 kids – 2 who want to work together and 1 nobody else wants. After some gentle diplomacy, I fit these into other groups and bring the class together to explain the task – not easy above the racket of trains and station announcements.

I’m just getting going when something bumps me sharply from the side and an eccentric figure runs past in Dickensian gear – top hat, cream-coloured coat and long leather boots.  Just before disappearing round the corner of a station building, coat-tails flapping like the White Rabbit, he turns to me with a mischievous look and I see a face that resembles Robin Williams …

I’m awake. My wife has nudged me in the ribs. It’s 3.33 am. The cat is scratching at the bedroom door. I stumble downstairs to the kitchen and point the sleepy animal at the dried food still in his bowl. I go into the lounge and scribble down the main points of my dream.

Back in bed I lie awake, words of explanation to my dream class forming effortlessly in my mind. Turns out I want them to come up with creative responses to school life – they’re already experts on that subject, with more than 100 years of experience between them – working together to fashion poems, improvised drama, scripts, stories, letters, cartoons, research projects, you name it … and I fall asleep practising my speech in the hope that we are just about to meet up again.

There are many things I could say about dreams (and just as many about teaching) but I am curious to know what other people think. Do you have any observations to make? I would be very interested to read them.

santa-paula-train

 

 

 

 

Tribes Without Passports, People without States

Click on the link below for a stimulating post from a sharp and thought-provoking WordPress blog. I love any attempt to come up with new thinking and this endeavours to break up the consensual log-jam. Its idealism reminds me of my first ever post, which I present below as a naïve introduction.

My voyage of exploration begins. I want to recapture the spirit of childhood, when we would set out from home with the deliberate aim of getting hopelessly lost. No point in going over old ground, after all.

Source: Tribes Without Passports, People without States

Backtracking

7040845-river-in-forest

Words are a river flowing through us all. For centuries, the current was a slow trickle from one mouth to another. Writing and then the printing press quickened the stream. Broadcasting and now the internet have accelerated the flow of words to a torrent hurtling through a narrow canyon … a metaphor with thrilling but somewhat discomforting implications. Are too many words rushing by too fast to be read? And has our round-the-clock rolling-news environment made analysis any easier?

Where our ancestors – even more divided by tribal allegiance, mother tongue and sheer geography than we are – might have felt uneasy and perhaps overwhelmed, we 21st century cybernauts have learned to ride the wave and surf our brave new world of instant communication in search of a new community of ideas. What that will be like, of course, we won’t know until we find it. After all, Columbus never set out to discover America … and I wasn’t any clearer about my destination five months ago, when I began posting online with this tentative offering.

Hello World  My voyage of exploration begins. I want to recapture the spirit of childhood, when we would set out from home with the deliberate aim of getting hopelessly lost. No point in going over old ground, after all …

A lofty mission statement, indeed, which I proceeded to trash with nostalgic posts about my mother and my grandfather and my musical memories. It seems that I’ve barely set foot out of the house. Perhaps I’ve become agoraphobic in my old age, in which case who am I to judge today’s housebound youngsters – as I did in this earlier post?

Freedom to Roam I find it sad that children today don’t occupy the streets and open spaces like we did when I was young. There have always been risks in such freedom but we made a habit of going around with our friends, rarely if ever alone. We knew the dangers and were able to avoid them. So many kids were out and about, there was safety in numbers. With more adults around, too, we behaved ourselves most of the time because we didn’t want to get into trouble. In this way, we learned how to take responsibility for ourselves.

Sitting alone in your bedroom is not a healthy substitute, especially when you factor in the online risks and bad cyberspace influences that would shock many parents. It’s a case of out of the frying pan into the fire, I’m afraid. Let’s make the open air a place for children again, providing facilities and a sensible but not stifling adult presence. Who knows, this could be a way to develop better communities in future …

Perhaps the missing adult influence will be found online in future … but to interrupt myself here, not only am I going over old ground but starting to repeat what I’ve already said. It must be my age. Then again, it could be a valiant attempt to clarify what I’m hoping to achieve with Nomad in Cyberspace. There will be more on music, for sure, and maybe more than music. Perhaps all bloggers go through a period of navel-gazing before discovering what it is they’re really trying to say.

Who knows? Not me, yet, but watch this space … and weren’t cybernauts those metal monsters in old Doctor Who episodes?

Postscript

Who needs a memory when we have the internet? The click of a button brings me news that those shiny aliens in Doctor Who were the Cybermen.

cybermen

I also learn, with uncanny speed, that the Cybernauts appeared in The Avengers.

cybernaut5

Now that technology has cleared that up, can anyone human suggest another word that could be used to describe online adventurers? Or should we just adopt the word cybernaut, despite its sinister associations?

Freedom to roam

wall-kids-no-rites

I find it sad that children today don’t occupy the streets and open spaces like we did when I was young. There have always been risks in such freedom but we made a habit of going around with our friends, rarely if ever alone. We knew the dangers and were able to avoid them. So many kids were out and about, there was safety in numbers. With more adults around, too, we behaved ourselves most of the time because we didn’t want to get into trouble. In this way, we learned how to take responsibility for ourselves.

Sitting alone in your bedroom is not a healthy substitute, especially when you factor in the online risks and bad cyberspace influences that would shock many parents. It’s a case of out of the frying pan into the fire, I’m afraid. Let’s make the open air a place for children again, providing proper facilities and a sensible but not stifling adult presence. It would be quite a challenge but I can’t think of a better way to create the communities of the future …