E and I dropped into the Sage, Gateshead, lunchtime today, on a walkabout around the Tyne. We knew there was a Jazz festival this weekend and, on the off-chance, were hoping for some music in the concourse area.
Well, was there some music!
The Sage has been running an inter-generational drumming project called Big Sticks. As we walked in the project organisers were setting out the concourse for a showcase concert. Kids had been encouraged to take part, bringing with them a parent, carer, grandparent, neighbour, friend, whoever. After a day or three of rehearsal, today they performed.
Fabulous sounds! Drums and marimbas; shouts of affirmation; clapping; a crecheful cacophony of squeaky toys and football rattles; an acrobat percussionist; audience morphing into performers; performers from three to three score ten, and then some; stratospheric cute levels, and best of all, I thought, a blast to hear a hundred plus people drumming nine bells out of Norman Foster's architecture. Architecture should be played! (How can you love what fails to resonate?)
As the music started we realised one of our friends, a former colleague of mine, was in the audience, and it wasn't long before we saw her husband and son file into the performance space. Our friend asked me afterwards what I was up to, and I could find no better way to explain what I do than to say, "See this, which is so joyful, but must have taken a huge commitment to bring off - I'm about helping it happen wherever, whenever. Why shouldn't a minute of meeting be a story you can go home with? So I'm about making stories out of the everyday."
I happen to believe we all do this. Big Sticks did it splendidly for E and I, especially because our friends were a part of it. And religious people do it through the spreading of massive metanarratives, which we are invited to participate in of a Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Writers do it through elaborately constructed worlds shared, for the most part, one-to-one. And we all do it, simply by presenting or absenting ourselves to or from one another, giving our time for others to myth-make with: our time, our activity, our being.
After Friday's post about reprioritising, it's great to be reminded that I'm still on the right track, however potty it might sometimes sound.