So here we are in mid June: green shoots are starting to emerge from this devastating plague, but the future still lies very uncertain. The UK has fared amongst the worst in the world and amidst this hope of eventual recovery there is so much uncertainty for our economic future, our good health (both physical and mental) and a realisation that so many things we have grown up with and taken for granted will not be the same – at least in the foreseeable future.
But out of darkness there is always a glimmer of light and through war, whether it be human conventional or biological/virus we can and have to survive. Our life is so immensely precious.
During these wonderful summer days, in my ‘lockdown’ house, I sit in the garden during the early mornings during my time of daily reflection and I am enthralled by the sheer beauty of creation. The chorus of birds are singing heartily, the sky is bright blue, and in my head I muse with all sorts of memories – leading of course for new ideas for possible new projects! But I also daily give thanks for human friendship and collaboration and for all the inspirations that are passed around amongst we like minded people. And at the heart of this bond, are my own dearly beloved friends both on council and also all those who are on the fringe of organisation with so much positive energy and skills. Before lockdown I used to regularly visit Eastwood – I called it my 2nd home – but now I have to rely on my head which is ablaze with thanksgiving memories and constant communications via telephone and the other ‘virtual means’. Underpinned by this is a wonderful collection of books and photographs happily ‘cluttering ‘every space I have in the house. Virtual world to me is a revelation – and revolution to my ever invading creative energy. When I am not reading or thinking, I’m at the piano with a whole host of tunes pounding through my head longing to get out for new compositions.
The most important thing to emerge out of this lockdown period though is the emergence of the virtual media revolution. In my last letter I spoke at great length about the ‘do or die’ importance of embracing this challenge. We all could not bear the thought of our valued local D.H.Lawrence society, with so many iconic memories in our beloved Eastwood, be submerged by this shutdown and hibernation of society thereby perishing in its claws. We embraced this new technology, and - wow – it worked!
The June meeting on zoom was an amazing success. It was firmly established that DHL was and is an important international organisation and endowed with wonderful people – eminent scholars, academics, journalists, authors, wild enthusiasts – many of whom joined us at that meeting.
It was such an uplifting experience. Despite my own zoom not working properly and the odd sound and picture defects, that was totally subordinate to a most invigorating evening devoted to a thorough analysis of Lawrence’s poem ‘Piano’ - as well as good camaraderie interchange.
Now we have to move a step further in our next stage of ‘survival’.
My one (and deep) regret was that there were very few of our own local people there that evening. Various discussions have taken place as to why that might be, but most of all it has filled me with great zest and determination to make my July podcast a truly local based one, celebrating Eastwood with all its treasures and riches, which, as many of you will know, is my passion. It is to be filled with virtual walks, memories, interviews, a bit of music – all guided by DHL himself of course, but also paying tribute to other people who have (and still do) add to the legacies of what Eastwood has to offer us. A lot of the local Eastwood folk will be in it too!
So do join me on the 8th of July, where you will find an audio podcast available throughout the day (you can pick a convenient time to listen) and then we will have a zoom coffee and chat in the evening around 8.pm. (or with something stronger if you wish)
I just want to say a few words about the immediate future beyond July. Nothing will happen as regards meetings in August. Meanwhile preparations will be underway for our virtual DHL ‘birthday’ day on September 12th.
I do not want to go into any detail at this moment, as it is to be a big challenging leap but with exciting things planned and as soon as this is more concrete, we will of course inform you as to exactly what we are hoping to achieve. It certainly proves to be a day of a difference, providing all can be successfully prepared.
So I round off with those familiar words that have resounded over this period – whatever you are doing, wherever you may be “stay safe” – and let us remind ourselves with exultation that DHL Soc is very much alive and bursting with all the joys of survival, outlook, and ‘evangelism’.
See you in July.