I sought refuge in The Dear Green Bothy Pop-Up, “this housing of critical ideas” to make my first foray into speaking out loud about how we are becoming a bit rubbish. That is, we are becoming what it is we are trying to throw ‘away’ (our waste) and in particular, the plastic proliferation we can’t see, nano-plastics. I glimpsed vastly different worlds within an hour, became curious about many eco-conscious divergent quests that were being delved into….
I glimpsed a hydrologist who let me hear water, presenting a visual collage of verbal elements which made me question permissions of flow, and made me think of how flash-flooding often overwhelms policy aspirations, just as I came home in Edinburgh a few days ago with wet socks and hail in my bike basket. She made me think of bubbles and non-boundaries, the memory of water, how the human inner voice didn’t objectify water, the environment within/without.
I was taken to the very grown-up world of speaking-for rather than with, and my inner child welcomed the provocation to re-consider how we are currently educating children to continue our present. It made me think of Tim Ingold’s work on the different timescales stratifying generations, and how children must be their own future, not ours, with the radical change of perspective this shift requires.
I saw a sea change in Gaelic that reminded me of what memory the land holds and how a sea could be, once, a forest with nuts; how stories told by tongue and poetry survive in bodies, rocks and continents. I wanted to speak with rivers, and microbes, and tardigrades and children.
I saw tiny feet in wellies the size of my daughter’s – saw deep time splashed in a puddle – a voice guided me to see photons and the life of light through another’s eyes, through another’s interrogation of time and exposure.
I was gifted a spoken scroll, a poem, “petro-chemical imaginaries” from a poet who jolted me with contradictions and vivid imagery, the starting words “on becoming a body” sunk into mine. I was reminded of what I love about poetry, it takes me somewhere essential without my knowing how I got there.
And then it was all over. A five-minute think-piece puzzle, a mosaic of intrigue. One of the questions that popped up in the ‘chat’ was “how can the narrative of anthropocentrism be changed through creativity?”. I don’t have ‘the’ answer; I don’t believe much in answers, (or rather, causality and consensus), but I do feel the Bothy was a sample of how curiosity functions as a kind of currency in a world where currency hasn’t helped us much to become rich, in the sense that soil can be rich – rich when healthy. A healthy convergence of diverse ideas in a small space of time was the Green Bothy.
Skye Loneragan is a playwright/performance poet and PhD researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University.