Now I am no fan of bloody revolutions – their history too often leave rivers of blood, carnage of bodies and the survivors disenfranchised only in a different way to that for which their brothers, sisters, parents, lovers and friends have been mowed down on the liberation fields.
Yet sitting in this currently drab concourse outside the Hotel De Ville, a concourse drab only because of the recent rain and unseasonal closing of the sun hardened locals both French and English, and whose magnificence will shortly blossom as the spring sun returns to warm and enlighten the creamy yellow stonework, I am reminded of the success of the French Revolution. If nothing else it forced the chefs onto the streets and kickstarted the restaurant trade so delivered of the gastronauts. But more, the power remains with both people and the politicians. The lowliest commune has its Mairie, elected in cases by only large handfuls of locals keen to ensure that their voices are heard and they get more than their fair share of the Euros coursing through the corridors of Paris. The farmers, perhaps still the peasant class and proud of it, exercise their power to close the local supermarché, the shoppers patiently waiting to be allowed into the Glass Palace this is a harbinger of mortality to the way of life lived for so long.
Liberté – not to be controlled
Fraternité – all in this together
Égalité – we are all humans
I don’t know if it is worth fighting for, is anything, but it is certainly worth having.
We were looking for a prompt, I opened the Tao and read this piece on Multitude, leading to this possible second part of my manifesto.
Leading by following
The leader knows when to emerge from the pack. Be it wolves who, trotting along aimlessly, suddenly find a prey and must (self-) organise for attack; or perhaps the cranes croakingly winging their way like serried arrows across the southern sky needing a new leader every few minutes; or the partygoers somehow deciding when to move on and which club pub or club to go to next.
There are no rules for this, except perhaps the one “Make your suggestion and see what happens”. Often times the suggestion will be rejected or ignored, it is not you who will be set aside, just an idea and ideas are plentiful, there is a multitude in everyone’s head. We follow the will of the crowd, yes we can do also influence and guide that will. Ignore judgement as that is as someone else’s baggage and you have enough of your own without accumulating yet more from them. The time to lead is felt not thought – feeling leads (to) thinking. One minute a follower, sensing the needs of the pack, the next a leader showing the way bringing your own particular skills to the situation.
Why would I want to write for fun? Well, there are a host of reasons, partly because this will become a practice field for developing my more ‘professional’ writing on my other blogs, partly just because it is fun, partly as an exercise in slowing down (I plan to write all these entries in longhand before transcribing them here)… When I was in SW France in April 2013, I was idling around Bergerac when I just happened upon a couple (Sean M Madden and Mufida Kassalias) who were touting a 2 day course in “Writing from the Heart”. It was only about 20 minutes’ away from where I was staying, so I signed up (why not?) and was enthralled with what came out of my head onto paper given some very simple prompts. It was an wonderful two days and set me off on this trail of discovery, I hope you will be happy to journey with me – I’m not seeking approval or anything but do promise to read any comments you want to make.
If you would like to have your writing instincts/ambitions prompted in a gentle supportive way, then Sean and Mufida could be for you – they are running a series of workshops in the UK. Go on, have a look…
I used to be an early adopter – I had one of the very first personal computers in our company, I was a very early user of e-mail (before the Internet was widely heard of), I got a mobile phone before most people and using the technology of the times (I had a laptop and technology that would push my phone calls to wherever I was sitting at the time!) I was remote working before the phrase was even invented.
Now however I find it very rare that I lust after the latest piece of technology. What has happened? I suppose I could have two reasons. Firstly that it was easier to be an early adopter when my employer paid the not insignificant sums necessary to acquire early versions of technology but secondly that it seems less and less frequent that we get real ground breaking paradigm shifters in the way that the personal computer and the mobile phone were.
I have resisted getting an iPhone, for instance, because nobody has managed to show me how they help in a way that can not be done using my old technology phone and my laptop. Having just been gifted and old iPhone3 (note that old in this context means about 24 months) I am still to see what all the fuss is about. If it had a 20 megapixel camera, or a good voice recognition system then maybe I would jump.
We may however be on the verge of the next revolution. I have been using voice recognition software on my laptop for about the last 15 years and it is definitely getting better. However it is still a little clunky and a system that will recognise fractured grammar and colloquialisms as well as accents will wipe the floor and completely transform computing in all its manifestations. The possibility of asking my phone or PC to “send a note to Sally and ask her what time the meeting about bees is on Friday night” and having the machine recognise all of that and take appropriate action (I don’t really mind if it sends a txt, a msg, an email or eve a voice message) WILL encourage me to jump. Is Siri the answer?