Thinking About – Be like the Reed

Thinking About – Be like the Reed

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Since the Spring Equinox 2000, for every festival of the Wheel of the Year, rain, shine, sleet, snow, ice, it didn’t matter, the group facilitated by Cerri and myself, the Anderida Gorsedd, had met together at the Long Man to celebrate on the nearest Sunday. Then the pandemic hit and we had to stop. Our last open ritual was Imbolc this year and we couldn’t have imagined the changes in our lives that have happened since then.

I played the last chord live in front of a physical audience at around 10pm on Saturday 8th March in Cornwall. Everyone was on the dance floor, and the last song I played was Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. We were all singing together. It was a great moment to remember. Again, I had no real idea of the impact the pandemic would have on my music and live shows at that moment, although it became obvious very quickly after.

At New Year’s Eve last year we sat around a campfire with friends in our garden, after a not insubstantial quantity of Gin and Tonics, laughing, talking about how many of us were happy to see the back of 2019, then standing to sing Auld Lang Syne at the sounding of Big Ben.

2019…

I was watching the news a couple of weeks ago and a psychologist was being interviewed about the best way people could cope and live with the current situation. His advice was to live as much as possible in the moment. If you do what I’ve just done and think about how things were, you’ll likely get depressed. If you look to the future for a time when things will get back to normal, you’ll get depressed, because the truth is nobody has any real idea when that might be. The only way to be is to live in the moment right now, and work with the things you can do, rather than pushing against a moveable wall demanding and wishing things are different. Like Confucius once said, “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” – be like the reed. Since I heard those words I’ve tried to do that. My mind sometimes wanders but on the whole I’m happier for it.

It’s been fabulous to see how people are responding positively to the changes in our lives. For instance, when we realised we could no longer meet up on the Long Man hill in person, Cerri began to write rituals that people could do alone or in a family group and posted them to the Anderida Gorsedd Facebook group. We arranged to all do the ceremonies on the Sunday, the same date and time, we would normally meet at the Long Man, and then people could post photos of their altars and faces onto the group. A really good way to utilise the tech of social media. I’ve seen online conferences, concerts from musicians and bands I normally would never get the chance to see live, and taken part in online rituals too. Almost every time someone will say it’s not the same as in person, and that’s obviously true, but this is what we have, and I’m so thankful to have it. Our weekly DND sessions were also taken online and they have been a real lifeline.

However, each time we approach a festival date there are always a few voices suggesting we all meet up anyway, saying that hardly anyone is actually dying anymore, it’s all a worldwide government conspiracy to take away our freedom etc, etc. Along with that, one of the things I noticed recently is that suddenly there are a lot of people saying Druidry is a religion, after decades of those same people saying it isn’t a religion, it’s a spirituality. There was a reason for that – religious services were exempt from the rule of six and up to 30 could meet (as long as they adhered to a very comprehensive set of rules of course). It would never work for the Gorsedd anyway. We haven’t had less than 30 people on that hill since our very first open over 20 years ago.

So, be in the moment.

Work with what we have.

Be like the reed.

I have my 9th Facebook Live House Concert tomorrow night – Saturday 26th September- from my Facebook Page and I’m thoroughly looking forwards to it. 8pm UK time, and I’ll play some songs and you can all chat away in the comments with people you might not have seen all year. The reed within me has accepted that this is the way my live music will be at least until Spring next year. So be it. I’ll be on Facebook Live at least once a month and we will have a Pagan celebration together! The only thing I’ve changed is that the video of the show will stay active on Facebook and YouTube all month, then when I play the next show, I’ll archive the one before.

It’ll help to keep things fresh and… in the moment.

Wherever you are, whatever you may be doing, however you may be feeling, I wish you to stay well and safe.

See you live on Facebook!

9 responses to “Thinking About – Be like the Reed”

  1. Such wise words …. to live in the moment ….appreciate what we have now spiritually and materially . I see no point in looking too far forwards . Forwards will come, but I just don’t know what it will look like and there is no point worrying about it .We cannot change what has gone, but if there are lessons to be learned from these last six months for me , they have included how to be thankful for all those seemingly small things we took for granted , from hugs and spending time with the family to going on duty and not having to wear PPE .
    So yes, a good idea to be like the reed and bend …..

  2. Amazing how things are connected. Faced with some things happening around me and with thoughts and reflections that I am having, this text was of extreme connection with what I needed to remember. It brought me to the present and improved my state of mind. Wow! How I was needing this! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  3. Wow…that’s exactly what I needed to hear! Such simple, but wise words, “live in the moment”
    Looking forward to your Facebook concert.

  4. Thank you so much, Damh (I hope it is okay to call you this). I so appreciate your wise words; they are so apt for me. I am a new subscriber to your website. I have also just discovered your incredibly amazing and healing music with such wise lyrics. I fully understand how horrible COVID-19 is and my prayers and healing thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected by it. However, for me, this strange time we are living in has been strangely healing. It has taught and is teaching me to live in the present moment. I am disable so would not have been able to go to your live shows so to watch your concerts online is such a lovely gift. You sing with such love and deep spirituality. Thank you for that wonderful quote. I shall “be like the reed”! Please keep me informed of all your online events! I may be new but I am now a dedicated fan!!!!

    • Thank you Kassandra! There is an online House Concert show tonight at 8 pm UK time from my Facebook Page. Hope you can make it!

      • Unfortunately, I am unable to tonight but I hope you will make it available. I just so sorry not to have discovered your music earlier.
        Many thanks and many blessings
        Kassandra

  5. Love this blog post. I’ve spent yesterday afternoon and today not looking at Facebook, Twitter or worrying about the past. In fact, today was the first day that I took a walk along the beach where past conversations weren’t constantly buzzing around my head!
    Teeny bit worried about the near, personal future, but not so much the distant, over-arching future. And I’ve felt so much better for it!

  6. yes, that is what we all must do now no matter where on this beautiful earth we are. and it is a tough thing to do with angst in one’s heart. something i am not very good at, i confess. but, i will take your words to heart and try to do better. and i thank you for your words most graciously! the last concert was great! your Awen was shining bright!! i have enjoyed these concerts SO much! they are truly a bright blessing in these difficult days!! i most assuredly will miss them when they are over!! maybe you can still do one once in a while for old times sake for those of us who, like myself, will probably never get to one of your live shows? i would love that! it is such a privilege to see you play live like that! i just hope my computer chair holds up ok from all the dancing i do in it while watching you! lol. peace and blessing and love to you and yours!! and thank you SO much for keeping my spirits up!!!

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