What a privilege to complain about toilet queues! (And can we ‘re-purpose’ that energy?)
After a week of feeling vulnerable and so touched by one of my wishes, I went to a festival last weekend.
To listen to music.
To be outside.
And what a pleasure it was.
I came home high on music and inspired by how well organized this was, so many people could be in one place and everything feeling calm and easy. Good food. Good music. Thoughtful performances. Weird smørrebrøds-competitions. Nice people. Beautiful people. And more good music.
All along also learning something about standing for a long time and my back (but more on that later).
The location and one artifact there reminding me of another one of my wishes – to live on a boat or some other way of living on water. (So interesting, how easy it is to share some dreams and how vulnerable with others. What makes the difference?)
On Sunday I felt tired, but nourished.
And then I read yet another crazy story from the States. And about gang-shootings here in Copenhagen (right where I live). A missing journalist and a sunk submarine. And articles about that festival and how people are complaining about the long queues at the toilet and food stands.
So there are all those stories of violence lately and craziness. I realize that I don’t want to stop everything because of them and that I need to nourish myself. And I find that we – us in the safe lives – need to take advantage that they are… safe. Enjoy the music. Enjoy the dance. Enjoy the connections. Because that’s the point, that’s what we’re trying to get to, right?
Enjoy the fact that I can wish for a room on water. Because I already am safe in my home here I can go beyond.
Next to those other stories, I am even more overjoyed and privileged that my life can be that.
When I then hear the kind of complaining about toilet queues and danish weather brought forward with vehemence – I wonder what happens to proportions?
I mean, I can see that people’s opinions about the queue of the toilets is relevant for the people arranging a festival. (And btw to me, those were the most amazingly clean festival-toilets I have ever seen. And when there are 18.000 people – ok we need to wait.) But is this really newsworthy? And am I making it worse now, by bringing it up?
They seem so much the epitome of privilege.
And at the same time, maybe they are simply the epitome of a sense of powerlessness in the face of more existential fears?
Because, what to do about twitter fights of immature populists? How to act or walk the streets when you might be hit by a random gunshot?
How to place the anger, the rage, the fear that comes up? Moving in this human dilemma of immediate surroundings and awareness for the larger picture… How to combine it with this need of enjoying the safety, enjoying the music, enjoying the connections we have?
Continue empowering those looking for ways to be strong and create change, staying healthy and noticing where they in fact can and want to impact the world. And where they need to breathe, rest and learn to be with complexity and pain that can be part of life.
And then yesterday I got the chance to talk with a woman from another festival. Rethink Activism. And we agreed that I will participate and do one hour of introducing thoughts about presence and it’s relevance for our interactions with the world and making an impact. Reading from my book and sharing a couple of exercises of integrating the body in being in the world.
Hopeful and excited.
If you’re in Århus, come by and have a chat, if you know anyone there feel free to send them – I’ll be happy to meet up. September Saturday 16th 10am is the reading: Everyday Presence – is it activism?
In the meantime, I’ll be continuing this work one on one, travel a bit to Germany to reconnect with family and to Edinburgh to learn more about the body and movement.
A full month ahead and I’m looking forward.
Now getting back to some music. Enjoying and nourishing my body to be well and powerful in my interactions.
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