Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Band of hope.

I couldn't find the photo.

I had already looked.

I didn't have time to fill in the details in the picture.

I wanted to paint (scribble) with broad strokes.

I hope there is enough to make sense for others.

There is a band playing in the circus ring.

You can imagine the music.

Oh I don't know, something contemporarily popular, sufficiently recognisable, all gone brass.

There is the band leader.

You don't really need to know that that is my father.

It could be me, it could be you.

There's that music.

There is an audience, listening.

Perhaps they are tapping their feet.

Perhaps they hate the music.

I did.

I can hear my father practising that bloody cornet in the attic.

You know how you can't wait till something stops, and then when it stops, you miss it?

He is long dead.

The cornet plays silently on (bloody noisily actually) and I smile now.

This story is not about him.

This story is not about me.

This story is about us.

And a circus...

It means nothing much without you.

Over a period of fifty, sixty years my father played all the brass band instruments equally badly.

He never stopped practising.

He loved it.

He was never any good really as a musician.

He was a willing amateur.

He put his hand to all the instruments with equal enthusiasm.

He loved hearing those around him that he had somehow attracted to play (much better than him), with his rubbish jokes, winning smile, undying enthusiasm, and spiritually rooted love.

In every parish he worked, he set up a brass band.

The jokes never changed.

Years later, the bands were still going strong.

I don't know if they remembered the jokes.

One had risen from humble beginnings to win national prizes.

I remember a photo somewhere in a Brass Band magazine.

Many band members never knew how the bands had started.

That doesn't matter.

That didn't matter.

The music plays on.

It gives folk meaning and fellowship and stories and culture to share.

And that popular music.

I have been thinking a lot about culture these days.

I have been thinking a lot about distributed narrative, love, hate, complexity, order and change and my part in these intertwining ecosystems.

I am back taking stock, drawing maps, identifying key nodes, constraints, and all along telling stories.

I wanted to sketch out a few notes here while this is fresh.

I have been thinking again of this intertwining ecosystem with which I am acting.

This particular series of actions this evening were provoked by Sean Michael Morris.

To say that he is responsible for this action would be to deny the complexity of the discourses within which I, er we, are acting.

Nevertheless I can identify a post of his on Facebook which triggered a screen shot and a flurry of tweets.

A flurry of tweets.

So, from an initial post from @slamteacher talking about the need for critical action, an interaction involving him, Daniel Bassill who is involved in community mapping and mentoring networks (@tutormentor), Dave Snowden (@snowded) of Cynefin framework fame, we arrived at distributed ethnography, a scratchy doodle on a piece of A4, and a tweet which connects various others in this dance.

In waltzing - huh?

I note in waltzing that I had also just before been reading a post by Maha Bali (@Bali_Maha) whose tweet introducing a rather marvellous article about action to take to enable different voices to be heard caught my eye and makes me smile after listening to Dave Snowden, an older man than Maha is a woman, speak, in a suit...

Nevertheless the clearly activist tweet from the same article connects with my current state of mind.

Disney interlude.

So here we have: Sean Michael Morris, Daniel Bassill, Maha Bali all speaking about action.

Child's play...

I returned back to an earlier post entitled "Party Management" in which I had Vialogue annotated a previous Dave Snowden video and added Hypothes.is for good measure.

Now I am returning to vulture er culture.

This morning with my colleague we were talking about how we are aware of the transformation of culture within the learning ecosystem that we have been successively probing, observing, introducing different attractors, changing spaces, extending boundaries, narrating with the help of colearners, several of whom are noted in this post.

This is what this aforementioned picture is helping me attempt to make sense of.

There were a number of aspects of Dave Snowden's recently shared talk that necessitate that I go back and annotate to really grasp what he is saying.

I was reassured by a number of the remarks that he made.

Small actions...

I now need to spend more time with his work in the light of my own questions as to action.

Distributed cognition - huh?

I know that my co-learners will enable me to see this and other texts with differing,  clearly drawn perspectives.

I am fortunate in my ever evolving, distributed narrative ecosystem.

I am thankful to those with whom I may play, whose opinions I value and whose values I trust.

I think of that sketchy picture of the band playing in a Blackpool circus.

It was for a radio broadcast.

I note for a moment the title of Dave Snowden's conference:

"How leaders change culture through small actions."

In the light of the work of Sean Michael Morris, Daniel Bassill, Maha Bali, et all, it seems important to dwell on what small actions we may now take.

Meanwhile a brass band plays on...something Disney.

My father is every rainbow in the sky.

I can hear his cornet in the attic.

1 comment:

  1. Simon. See if you can create a visualization of what I am going to say:

    You are going to create a hub/spoke diagram

    At the center are all the people you mentioned, and every one else in your network.

    When you say "take action", I respond, "for what goal?"

    The spokes lead out to goals oF people you mention, your students, others.

    On the outer edge of each spoke, create another wheel. Write in someone's goal, like reducing north dominance in education.

    Each of us have different primary goals, with different sub goals.

    Over time your graphic could have many spokes, to many different goals.

    Each person should be thinking of actions that would achieve their goals, as well as challenges or obstacles.

    As we identify those we may see common challenges where our collective efforts might help us overcome those challenges, thus helping each of us reach our different goals.

    What does your visualization look like?