Call me by my name


© A Rinehart, 1892                                                  Teenagers: they never change

When in North London – or anyplace else, does this happen to you? A thought occurs, you turn to which ever device is to hand and before you know it, the original question is lost in mists of diversion and you find yourself looking at photographs of First People of Turtle Island, the original inhabitants’ term for their land, namely what is now North&South Americas&Canada.

Captivated by the strength of character in every single face of this montage of Turtle Islanders, you can see them all here.

If you look, perhaps you’ll share a sense of dismay in the documenting of a whole culture which now exists subsidiary to a European model.

Such was the way of the world.

It’s odd, isn’t it, that those whose dignity has never been questioned seem ‘to hold their manhood cheap’ while others robbed of grace and stature, are the living embodiment of those virtues others discard.

In light of the potential for begetting a fresh model of existence, perhaps we can all play a role in giving others the space and permission to live truly in the dignity of their culture? Rather than forcing others into our moulds, might not sitting together to smoke a pipe of peace achieve more?

A poem, We the first People, whose author is unknown ends …

But my question is | How did we exist | For hundreds of centuries without them?

Stew, Stew, Barley, McGruel, Cupboard, Dribble, Grub


© Gordon Murray                                Trumpton’s heroic firemen dashing out

At the time of writing, of the 1.5 million felled by this global, indiscriminate pestilence, 88½ thousand have died. It is bewildering, tragic and will need more than fortitude to protect the vulnerable and conquer its cause.

While complying with instructions to make way for key workers and help the NHS by washing hands & staying home, the one walk a day has been a perfect moment for idle reflection and escape from the grimness of it all.

Do you think in music? words? pictures? numbers? colours? scents? something else entirely, perhaps? Whatever its medium, the mind can soar with spectacular freedom, particularly when there’s nothing else one is obliged to do.

For example, now that grocery shopping has become a rice-less requirement of careful planning, daily menus have evolved à la Trumpton. The entirely justified, well spaced queues at food stores focus concentration on exactly what’s needed as nipping out for a loaf or pint of milk is no longer a matter of … nipping.

Therefore, if prone to stepping across the threshold of shops and entirely forgetting what you came for, here’s a cheerful mnemonic for each day of any week: Stew, Stew, Barley, McGruel, Cupboard, Dribble, Grub.

Bon app’tit.