Gather Resurgence Celebration • A Review
A day of celebration to Celebrate the 45th Birthday of Resurgence
Organised by James Towillis and volunteers to Celebrate the 45th Birthday of Resurgence.
Having left Hartland at the crack of doom, become mired in the traffic mayhem that is Truro and as a last straw experienced the truly horrible graunching and grinding of the sump cover ripping from under Rachel’s car, we crawled gingerly up a dirt track and bounced across a wet field to finally arrive at the Gather site. I have to admit, I was feeling a tad peevish and somewhat lacking in optimism. Unloading boxes into a persistent drizzle did not help.
Things improved slightly when, after we had set up the stall, Rachel appeared bearing coffee and hot chocolate from the Hedgerow Organics stall. I love them for being there. Thank you Hedgerow Organics!
By now an intrepid band of gatherers were finding their way from the car park and walking up the track to the marquee in the field, it was still too wet to do much except huddle together. A workshop was organised for the kids who got busy being a train for starters and travelled around the marquee picking up passengers.
Incredibly, the sky started to lighten and the rain stopped. Rachel ventured outside to explore the venue: the sky got brighter, the atmosphere lighter — it’s amazing the difference the sun makes. I mooched outside to see where exactly we were and was stopped in my tracks by the stunning view. Suddenly, I understood what had made James choose this place for the event.
Rachel came back with tales of music in the woods and painting with natural pigments — people started to get into the spirit of the day and faces acquired tribal markings. There was a sudden flurry of activity as a ‘350.org people picture’ happening was announced and everyone left the marquee to participate.
A very state of the art sound desk turned up and after the usual ‘electrics in the middle of a field delays’ — it worked. Musicians arrived and sound checked. The music was really good — I had had my concerns! Being in close proximity to mediocre live music makes me feel deranged and dangerous, but this music was quality. First up was was Charlie Wingfield and then Kola, all of whom ought to be, and quite possibly will be, famous.
By now I was positively enjoying myself! I wondered off into the afternoon to listen to a tree. Headphones were hanging from the branches and a microphone was picking up all the sounds that a tree makes as it takes up water and just generally lives its life. There was a dance performance in the woods — I missed it, but Rachel said there was a lot of writhing (hmmn, I wonder what that was all about then?).
Evening came and with it most of the gatherers with small children left and the vibe changed as the night shift arrived. There was restlessness amongst the people waiting to hear Satish speak as he was running quite late. They came to us on the stall and quizzed us as to his whereabouts, as if we were hiding him beneath the table and were selfishly keeping him to ourselves. We really wanted to be able to produce him out of a hat, but alas, we couldn’t.
Eventually, he did arrive to relief all round, along with Leo Hickman of The Guardian fame. Satish and Leo finally took the stage to begin a Question and Answer session about Satish’s life and the history of Resurgence magazine. As Satish began to speak of his life and philosophies, of his walk for peace and the early days of Schumacher College, of the incarnations of Resurgence and his hopes for the future of the magazine, the audience became as though enchanted, there was a spellbound silence, a mesmerised hush, as he charted his own Pilgrims Progress.
Afterwards, James presented Satish with a birthday cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday to Resurgence — it was very lovely. As we packed up the stall to the sound of reggae music, I reflected on how very different I felt leaving this event, in comparison to how I felt when I arrived.
We would like to thank everyone who came to Gather, everyone who helped, all those who supported James and worked so hard to make it happen, and very special thanks to Holifield Farm Project for their massive contribution towards making this day possible. Most of all, THANK YOU JAMES for everything you did for us and for all your efforts on our behalf and by us I mean the whole of the Resurgence Community. Thank You.
Lynn Batten is Office Manager at Resurgence.