“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.” (Carl Rogers)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful (Part Twenty Four)

So. Fucking.Tired. Another dad midnight wakeup. I realise that it's not as I'd written here previously that I can't get back to sleep because I'm upset - rather, it's because I become hyper-alert, listening out for the slightest sign of movement again, clearly not the best state for sleep, which I got only fitfully for the rest of the night. Ho hum.

Still, reasons to be cheerful!

Engaging further and deeper with Carl Rogers - collating and annotating his writing on education outside of the three Freedom to Learn books, learning much more about him and his being and standing somewhat in awe of his insightfulness and honesty and sharing the optimism and care he held throughout his life for us humans. See this, for example, about the movement in the self-initiated process of learning to be free:
From being persons driven by inner forces they do not understand, fearful and distrustful of these deeper feelings and of themselves, living by values they have taken from others, they move significantly. They move toward being persons who accept and even enjoy their own feelings, who value and trust the deeper layers of their nature, who find strength in being their own uniqueness, who live by values they experience. This learning, this movement, enbables them to live as more individuated, more creative, more responsive, and more responsible persons. (Rogers, Person to Person, p.49)

Big Blue Hotel 
Another writing retreat, moving things forward. Stay in a very nice hotel - lovely big room and great view for three days of writing.

 View from My Room
The hotel experience was moderated a little by a shitty little problem on the last morning. The toilet blocked. I don't know why it would block. It had been receptive and welcoming of all-comers over the previous days and nothing unusual had emerged on the final morning. I wanted to report it at checkout time so that it wouldn't be a little horror for the cleaner, but my courage deserted me in the big and impersonal lobby of the hotel and in the face of those stiff and impersonal hotel receptionists who I'm sure would have been judgy on the sly. However, I didn't drift off like a bad smell, I told room-cleaning chap and he was very grateful that I'd even told him, saying that 'they' usually just leave it for the cleaners to discover. So, in a way, I had actually done some good in the world!

Partially open Brum library
During those few days, I had great unplanned meetings with Nas, who took me round the stunning new library, which is being affected by austerity to the extent that it's only open from 11-5pm. And with Billy who introduced me to the Cherry Red cafe, which might well be a small model for the Love Café.

Jamie's lonely arm & placard
Went to the Brum anti-austerity protest, too - which would have been just me and a guy called Jamie with a placard as we both stood a little bit confused by our isolation outside the wrong waterstones. The turn-out was significantly better than that, as can
They killed badgers & me circled: photo by William Fallows
be seen in the photo by Billy - oddly enough, the only pic on the internet I could find from the protest with me on it (circled in the pic). And, I had also spoken to badger poster person and thanked him for remembering the badgers :-)

Lynn in silhouette
Joe in full flow with Tracy painting
The few days were topped off by Lynn's graduation do at the Red Lion - Lynn should also have been given a certificate for 'perseverance in the face of cold and damaging university bureaucracy'. The do was great fun, though, with Dave, Joe and myself playing some toons and Tracy making a living painting of the experience. This was all topped off by a walk back via brum pubs, more beer, mad random conversations with lovely girls, happy blokes and street kids from Lithuania (no, I never really do know when I've had enough!).

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