Discover Video Games at Greenbelt

This blog is by a friend Andy Robertson who is running a stream at this year’s Greenbelt looking at how we can engage meaningfully in video games and is running the interACT stream. Have a read and why not come along to this year’s Greenbelt to check it out?

Discover Video Games at Greenbelt with Andy Robertson

 

Vote Remain, Take Back Control: A Personal View on the EU Referendum

Politics and Analysis

By Danny Rye

Many of you have already made up your mind: some of you like me are, instinctively, ‘Remainers’, others of you ‘Leavers’. Some of you may genuinely have been persuaded by the arguments of one side or the other. Some of you perhaps have still not made up your minds which way to go. Nearly all of you, I imagine, can’t wait for this to be over.  I have already voted Remain by post, but I have spent much of the time since attempting to formulate why I am doing so. I realise that as I have tried to do so, many of my feelings are contradictory, muddled and inconsistent. I suspect I am not alone in this.

Part of the problem is that the EU, rather like the constitution, is something that our attention has always been deflected from: we have been told ‘people are more concerned…

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A Nation Grieving

I remember really clearly waking up one Sunday morning to hear the news of Princess Diana’s passing away. This month has not been the same as that but we have lost so many. Lemmy from Motherhead, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Joe Cocker and now Terry Wogan. Many very talented high profile people who have lived their lives giving much to so many. It is not just those who are high profile though someone I know (lets call him Peter) lost not only 2 friends during January but one of them was his former business partner.

All who have passed away have family and friends whether the nation takes note of the their passing or not. The fact that the grieving is more private it is no less acute for those dealing with their loss. Peter’s friend wasn’t religious and neither were his family. There was no church to carry him through and very little money with definitely no life insurance either.

Peter had a night at the pub where he had invited everyone who knew his friend and asked them to tell stories as he put a eulogy together and at the same time a whip round to help pay for the funeral. He took on the role of the minister/ priest and pastored the mother and children as well as plan a funeral. All this he did while holding down his regular job and continuing to perform even if he didn’t feel like it one bit for a few days.

The most touching thing to me was that he used his skills to craft a temporary epitaph and even after saying they were not religious he made and carved a cross to mark the grave and have as a marker to the life that again touched many and will continue to be missed into the future.

Loss is a difficult thing to measure and go through. Comedian Justin Moorhouse on his podcast said that he was in bits all day when he found out about Bowie as he had made such an influence on his youth and life since. I vividly remember listening to the laughing gnome in my childhood and even now I think it is underrated as so much more than a one hit wonder. I’m not sure if it gets easier the more we experience grief or we learn to dull our senses to the pain the more we experience it. But talking about it, remembering those who have gone and spending time honouring their lives beyond the formal service in small ways seems to help. Maybe it all contributes to how we deal with and process those emotions ourselves. Recognising our own needs and others we may have lost in the past.

I’m going to listen to the laughing gnome and remember a genius who I didn’t know personally but knew of and is missed by his family just as Peters friend will be. Maybe in doing so I am coming to terms with the loss of my youth, and that small act of remembrance will be echoed by many who have lost heroes, culture icons or simply their own loved ones.

Lessons from a Loser: Part 2

I too have been positively influenced by Richard Rohr and frequent fail and mess up so enjoyed reading this very much.

Blogging Off

Failing to Learn

I am great at mistakes. Given that I mess up on a daily basis it seems somewhat strange that I still struggle with failure. For the second piece in this short series I am indebted to three very successful people who are helping me learn how to lose.

One of the best books I’ve read this year is “Falling Upward,” by the Franciscan, Richard Rohr. Rohr makes a bold and, to me at least, frightening claim. In the second half of life, he suggests, our successes have nothing left to teach us. Rohr’s logic follows. In the first half of life we rightly dwell on our successes. We are confident of our strengths, come to know what skills we have to offer and grow in self-belief. While vital, these lessons only get us so far. If we’re to go further Rohr contends, then we must put success…

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Streetspace Gathering 2015

I’m only just back from the StreetSpace Gathering 2015 and my tent is still drying in the garage while another participant has already composed some thoughts on the weekend. Worth reading …

Learning from the Streets

Imagine if you will the following:

A Field in Derbyshire, on a small community farm

13 tents, two marquees and a shelter

4 portaloos, and 2 showers that needed people outside the door to adjust the temperature.

A fire

A mobile Pizza Van courtesy of Rustic Pizza’s

2 BBQ’s

35 People, some youthworkers, project leaders, volunteers, new junior leaders, some children.

Now imagine that with all of those contingents, a conference was held;

Imagine a conference, where the attendees decided what the main themes were

and where thats what was actually discussed in sessions- so themes such as;

Homelessness, Management skills, politics, change management, age transitions, philosophy of  youthwork, Hope

imagine that these sessions were well attended by people who decided on them.

imagine the energy that created

imagine how it felt that people created actions out of that energy and passion

imagine how many ideas might have been ignored…

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There is no path

There are no easy answers but it helps to share with others who are asking questions as they live through their own experiences.
I found this really helpful with my own.

Run for your life

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This week is the anniversary of my dad’s death and so, unsurprisingly, over the last few weeks I have had many moments of thinking ‘this time last year…’ and a reliving of the end of his life.

I have been reading Edward Hirsch’s beautiful poem Gabriel, which tells the story of the life and death of his adopted son. It’s a raw, profoundly human work which has been described as a masterpiece of sorrow. It’s a poem without punctuation which meant that often I realised that I had read the lines wrongly and would need to go back and put a pause or an emphasis in a different place. This style fits the subject so well because reading about the death of a man in his twenties should not be smooth or easy; it seems right that it’s halting and complex.

He says

‘I did not know that the…

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