Saturday, 20 March 2010

Life force

As part of the volunteer work I've been doing I helped someone get a tenancy on a flat and thus get out of emergency accommodation. Looking around the flat I recalled similar local authority properties that my grandparents and other relatives lived in. I recalled the 'propellant' for my parents to buy their own house and my 'propellant' to shift from working to middle class life, although I still feel very connected to my roots. Apparently this flat had been occupied by an elderly woman who had lived there since it was built (I think in the 1950's or 60's). Later I looked at the keys; three sets one with a tag attached. On the tag was written 'Mam'. In to my focus came the loss for someone of their mother, clearing her home and returning the keys. I pictured for some reason a daughter and her loss... But I've no idea of the 'real' stories behind that key tag. And now new tenants will soon move into the flat; endings and beginnings...

My brother Mike (Michael) rang this morning; could I help with Ed's home work. Ed(ward) is my nephew, he is about twelve years old and I am one of his godparents, although I have little opportunity to influence his development as we live in separate cities and whilst my brother and I get on, we aren't the closest. The homework turned out to be be about force, levers and turning moments, I was able over the phone to explain the theory and how to workout the figures. Mike said that 'to Ed, force is Star Wars and all that'. The opportunities for learning exploded in my mind... Different concepts of force, power, connection, communication, the meaning of words, myth, science, all sorts. I chuckled and said 'well, you could go the extra mile and explain to him that some times the same word has different meanings...'. I went on to suggest that they got a broom shank and made some simple scales, playing about with the pivot point and the weights needed to get them to balance so Ed could see and feel what all this Moment = Force X Distance stuff is about.

I see Ed has no experience of the environs of his great grand parents, those local authority estates that came to my mind as I looked around that flat, he is separated from and connected to his great grandparents in ways he can't see. I hope that one day he will hold some understanding not just of the mathematical and scientific concepts he is learning now but also of the wisdom teachings which are partly hinted at by the movie he enjoys so much, that one day he will have a rich answer to 'what is force?' and enjoy the chuckle his uncle had on hearing his 'confusion' this morning...

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Thanks for your comment on my blog. I am not too sure if I know an Alan and Babara although there might be a couple who come to the Transition Town meetings in Hexham??

    I am in between meetings at work so just had a glance at your blog and I hope to read some more when I have a bit more time, a lot of it rings true for me.

    Take care,