Monthly Archives: January 2016

Around the Green Bridge

Well, it looks rather yellow on the photo (and it is, as well) but it’s green on top, and that gives it its name. And it’s green because there’s a park on the bridge – and, therefore, there’s a park on top of the road – and a church, or so it seems! It’s Mile End park and it’s one of London’s most amazing green oases. It seems as well that the bridge divides the DSC01565

World of Mile End into an upstairs-downstairs kind of thing, underworld-overworld, earth and heaven, stress and calm, the real and the dream! But then the park comes down to earth beyond the bridge as well, so you can enter the dream and relax at any level!

And I think it’s a really great way to enter a new world, see country within the city, and so get inspired to think outside the urban boxes, straight lines and concrete angles, and instead delve into rounder forms and circularity! Find room for expansion and green for growth! And see how magic the shapes of nature are:

The park also has an amazing art pavillion, is almost like a second answer to ‘Palace of Delight’, which was proposed by social commentator and novelist Walter Besant a long time ago – he was the brother of the husband of socialist feminist Annie Besant – which was built some time before 1900 but was later destroyed by fire. I think there are still remnants of a ‘People’s Palace’ at Queen Mary and Westfield College. Meanwhile, I let myself be purely inspired and tantalized by the artful shapes of nature around me, which were inspiring even in the absence of bright sunlight. Such as sculptural sight of the rings of tree-trunks looking like archeological excavations. Containers of time they both are! And the beauty of the bushes and ferns and the path towards the setting sun!  u.t.

Advertisements

Until Justice rolls! MLK Day

Today is Martin Luther King Day! Well, it’s his birthday today, and the bank holiday is on Monday the 18th. I’ve taken this amazing painting at Notting Hill Carnival, either last yearSAM_0308

or the year before – if anyone knows who painted it, let me know, I love it, it’s amazing! We all know he had A Dream, but few of us might know how hard he worked for it, and how wide-ranging and far-reaching his thoughts and actions were, how interesting and revelatory he is to read and re-read. To have a dream is to have a vision, and that’s what we need for human progress towards justice and liberation: yes, until justice rolls down like a river -, instead of rivers running dry all the time. We need fluidity! So justice also means fluidity, to not have to feel stuck due to structural disadvantages such as ongoing forms of racism and its derivatives such as gender, nationality, immigration, language, religion, sexuality and so on. Racism is usually the hardest and primary form  of discrimination because economic and psychological systems have been built on it for centuries. At the same time it can be an invisible phenomon, due to silence, silent consent and/or unconscious and subliminal patterns – which are often most pronounced in those who do not fall victim to it, or who see its derivatives as divorced from racism. As MLK said, all ‘communities and states [of being] are interrelated’. That interrelatedness of all of us is important: “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”(MLK). So interrelatedness is also an aspect of mutuality! “Whatever affects one of us directly, affects all indirectly” (MLK): so do not assume that the recent great actions of BlackLivesMatter do not matter to all of us! “An individual has not started living until he can rise above’ the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” (MLK). So we cannot just be egotistical, that’s unsustainable – we have to be interested in one another, in one another’s existence, experience and situations, and listen to what we don’t know. And violence is never the answer because it doesn’t work, because “violence and civilization are antithetical concept” (MLK) and: “It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence” (MLK)

So this is a strategy to become truly alive! We may sometimes feel this is too tedious or too difficult or too far removed from our experience or too big a task. Whichever the case may be for us with our different experiences, expectations, assumptions and sensitivities. MLK mentioned how his dream was not easy. He mentioned his ‘shattered dream’ in his Letter from a Birmingham jail and he encouraged us not to give in to both the ‘valley of despair’ and the ‘mountain of despair’ in his I have a Dream speech. We need a dream, a vision for living and against injustice (racism and its numerous manifestations, i.e. economical, psychological – and derivatives, i.e. gender, nationality and ‘other’ forms of otherness etc). We may have to learn how to become sensitive to it, learn how to identify it, to attune ourselves to ourselves and one another, to be alert and alive and free! To be!  u.t.

ursulatro

January 8, 2016

Yes, i have a New Year’s Recommendation, not just a resolution… Read this (in the pic): Make Art Not War! I found this magic mural at Wanstead DSC00919

tube station – you can’t miss it: when you get in it’s in front of you, and when you get out it’s on your way out. Wanstead is on the Central Line, east of Stratford, and this is just amazing! When i googled it I found out that this was the theme of Wanstead Arts Trail in 2014. And how much more we need it now! So now I like to propose this theme could be expanded to whole of London and the whole of everywhere! Art is our chance to change the world! It’s a chance because it’s a fulfilling activity, and one that establishes communication, and therefore dialogue. It’s where we can make our our own spaces and expand in harmony and togetherness. This mural was painted by Sam Cowan, and look at the sweet messages she wrote on it! Just what we need! Her web site is http://www.happymurals.com. u.t.