Today I had lunch with a fascinating man…
He is a man with a passion for the spoken word, and a vision for how the fading oral traditions from around world will have a place to explode back into our consciousness, and feed a void that grows within us.
We now have the potential to connect with an infinite pool of like minded people without consideration for geographic boundaries or distance… Social media can connect us to the people we need to engage with in a way inconceivable not a decade ago. With new technology we develop new social skills, fitting for the society and tools we constantly evolve.
But what of the old society, what of the old skills, what of the old traditions that formed the social human as it is now?
We talked of Saxon halls, Celtic roundhouses, and Scandinavian longhouses. Those altars where the basis for modern human communication evolved. We discussed ritual, discourse, poetry, theatre and debate. The forms of communication that, each in its own right, expanded the horizons of the human within and the potential of society evolve to the beyond.
I was reminded of a very dear friend, decendant of the shamanic traditions, dismissed by a modern society as defunct and a lost cause. He can be found most days anaesthetised from his rejection through the medium of booze. Yet he is a keeper of all of the traditions that have brought us to this amazing present. And in our modern connected online utopia we no longer value him…
A long time ago we sat around the fire in a circle and shared stories. Now we tweet and blog them without ever needing to make eye contact. It is the cherishing, the traditions, the forms, and the practice of the spoken word that have brought us from the fire to where we are now.
And the man I had lunch with today, he has a grand vision for the spoken word. That its traditions be preserved, propagated, taught, championed, housed, and celebrated. In some years time, when this vision has been realised, I know which fire I will be heading for.
The man I had lunch with today…, his name is William Ayot, and you will hear his name again.