The end of 2020, that is. I don't need to tell you what a year it's been. And I can't tell you what to expect next year either. But if you're interested, I can tell you what I've learned. I learned that no crisis effects everyone equally, however much we are or aren't in it together, a crisis is harder for some than for others. I learned than crisis upon crisis has a multiplier effect. And I learned that one person's crisis is another person's opportunity, and however unfair that may be it's human nature to look for opportunities.
As it happens, 2020 brought me an opportunity. Everything else went remote so I went with the flow. With all of my belongings packed into my trusty old car I set off on a roadtrip around the coast of England, Wales and Scotland. I have no plans. Some days I move, some days I stay. I've climbed trees, laid on the beach looking at the stars, met a flying instructor, and been followed by three white ponies as I went for walk one evening. I'll keep going until I find a good reason not to. As long as nothing changes everything will stay the same.
As travel I want to think and write about what it means to be an outsider in society at this time. I wonder about how to be a minimalist and have fewer possessions. And to consider more deeply being an essentialist and how to focus on the things that are important to me. With a mobile phone and a laptop I'm able to do all the things I need to do; to work, study, write and read. But are they the right things, and about the right things, and for the right things?
Most of all I want the realities of being a nomad. The good and the bad. Not the picture perfect life of working from a beach in Bali. There's nothing to learn to there. That being said, here's a picture of a beach I visited.
The life of an artist
Steve Xoh inspires me. I studied art a long time ago and have spent my life wishing I was an artist. Steve is the kind of artist I would want to be. His work spans creativity, innovation, organisational change and the human condition.
In an example of the synchronistic best that the internet has to offer, this is how I found Steve Xoh. Roland Harwood was a visiting lecturer on my masters. He hosts the Liminal podcast which had Steve as a guest. And... I had a discussion with Matt Ballantine on Twitter about whether it's possible to solve the tacit knowledge problem. Matt hosts the WD40 podcast and Steve has been a guest a number of times.
Steve says... Presence is participation. Activism is doing. The 'aboutism' of talking about doing rather than doing gets in our way of doing.
He talks about... Not knowing, the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, our desire to make the world seem more predictable. and how the moment we see start to believe something as concrete we lose the ability to wonder, to imagine.
His view is that... The intention of art is to create moments of not knowing, or doubt where you don't believe the world as you see it. Creativity is the imagination's pull towards the infinite and the amorphous and the weird. We need more 'reweirding' of the world, a move towards a place of not knowing where we can wonder and be curious, be enlivened and adventurous.
We don't want to disturb a world that is keeping us safe. If the world is no longer safe, are we then free to disturb things?
You can get to know Steve and his ideas here: