Today I am breaking my blogs of looking at my songs, because I feel like it and it is timely and necessary. This week- on a macro level has seen mass demonstrations all over the world through the mouthpiece of “Extinction Rebellion”, which has become a symbolic zeitgeist of our universal concern at the state of the world. We don’t know what the future holds, what we are doing and are frustrated by the actions of political and financial gatekeepers who are backward looking, myopic and self interested.
On a personal micro level- this confusion, bewilderment and uncertainty abounds too. Without going into too many details I am unable to move forward either with my daily work as a music teacher or my back up plan work as a nursery worker or my” dream” work of becoming a professional songwriter. Really for the same reasons as what has caused the bigger macro problem – lack of vision, inability to think beyond ticking a few boxes,a small vision and not a large vision.
I am stumped and without the means to change anything. Rather like all of us private individuals in the face of climate change. (I am not allowed to teach music in mainstream because of my dyscalculia- you have to teach maths to teach music(!!), my qualifications don’t fit government nursery requirements, and I can’t get the required gigs, money, collaborators required to be an attractive proposition in the music industry). So, on all three levels of work I meet with closed doors.
So the question is- where are we/ I going? What is productive, useful, worthwhile, helpful? We are in the pit of confusion, which is uncomfortable but it is the journey of becoming/deciding something new. It is the fire that forges us, where we search for and find new qualities, have new ideas, make new connections and eventually come out the other side, wiser, brighter, more purposeful, skilled and creative. That is what I hope anyway for humanity as a whole and for myself on my own work/outward journey.
Within the next decade the world is going to look vastly different. Climate change may possibly mean the very geography of our world will change, maps will need to be redrawn, homes will be lost, mass migration will be a distinct possibility, food, water, basic human needs of home, safety, livelihood will become transitory and questionable for many people. Species will disappear and food may become a more challenging issue. Governments need to think of more sustainable food land use, care of the environment, how we respond with humanity to our brothers and sisters who have lost their homes, amongst many other related issues.
Will we respond with anger, myopic visions of what matters only to our small private selves/countries? Probably and possibly. But, there are enough people with care, awareness, vision, knowledge, connectivity to start moving us out of pits of confusion and into trajectories that are more positive and solution based. “Extinction Rebellion” is just one expression of this wish for something better and transformative.
We all have different skill sets: different spheres of work…..this means that hopefully amongst all these spheres there are enough people who have vision, connectivity and innovation to start forming, fashioning and creating a new vision and creating innovative and caring systems on the ground . We need to be thinking human scale and bringing in qualities of love, care, compassion, working together, joined up thinking, reverence for each other and the natural world. Only then will we create a comfortable world that will function for us all, in the face of the challenges that lie ahead.
My work as a very person centred music teacher and person centred/soul-full/humanitarian songwriter does not fit really anywhere just now. My heart centred way of working is not the norm and I do not tick boxes that the powers that be live by- but these qualities will be needed and will help us through challenges in times ahead. Heart intelligence, creative out the box thinking will allow for evolution and positive change in a world that has dismissed this to its detriment. What really matters is caring, growing each other in a world that needs this so very badly.
I would like to see how each sphere of work used these qualities to make the world a better place.
In my own spheres of work it would be good to see a musical expression of “Extinction Rebellion”- a movement that created songs for a purpose, that encouraged growth, care, concern- not just songs about love/sex( although this matters too!). Street concerts in the style of singing protests that engaged people would mean artists of all genres and levels of success could potentially be involved creating visibility for artists who otherwise do not get heard, in an industry that is largely concerned with sales and not innovation or artistry. People may then be moved to create positive change in their own spheres too- a kind of domino effect.
In the teaching world, education needs to be radically rethought – we will need meta thinking skills, creativity, excellent communication skills and the ability to transform problems in the years ahead. What we teach, how we teach and what is considered important will need to be turned on its head.(A topic for another blog).
Where I will be in all this, I don’t know…..but my heart is saying I am on the right path, but how the path practically rises up to meet me is a question I can not answer. I can only respond with dignity, and creativity to what is put before me, whilst trying to put food on our table. I can try to use heart based, evolving intelligence ….in my own pit of confused direction.