• Anna Kirk-Smith

An intriguing year...

Do you ever have the feeling that, despite social ideologies, slowly and gradually the scales fall from your eyes and you begin to see what is real and not a societal construct? I have been lucky enough, since escaping academia and freeing myself of any other residual ties, to experience a great deal over these last months. Priorities shift, unknowns and 'unexpecteds' (if not unwittingly embraced) have certainly been given centre stage in my thoughts and planning for ways forward. But enough of this abstract reflection! Here is just some of the 'stuff' that has happened that has been quite splendid:

- Re-evaluating the concepts of deep time and communities-of-practice in Tout Quarry

- Hanging out with deeply thoughtful Pagans and finding a non-theistic alternative for myself

- Perfecting the usage of composting toilets and nurturing activist tendencies at a series of Green festivals

- Remembering the joy of library research, silence and experiencing unequivocal helpfulness at the Geological Society

- Understanding the real passions driving others and the strength of global interest groups at Le Son Continu

- Exploring (with steady guidance) creative narrative writing (as opposed to creating stuffy, passive, jargon-riddled academic texts)

- Watching the phoenix of Feral Art School inventing something so needed out of the ashes: a lesson in adaptation and alternative vision

- Figuring out where I want to go next, feeling ridiculously intimidated by my own ACE application and submitting it nonetheless

- Valuing hugely the enduring support of my partner and my family - if they believe, then it follows I should probably believe too.

- Acknowledging that my pet Madagascan Hissing Cockroach 'Abraham Lincoln' (pictured) is the best prepared to deal with the earth's climactic future (all power to him).

Those were some highlights. Much else has happened and of course will continue to do so. It has all arisen from taking the chance to visit unknowns, having no judgments or preconceptions - being open, willing and suspending doubt. I now have some solid bases for the next few bodies of work, although all is mutable!

'Til next time...

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