Wednesday, 24 June 2009

People unite

I was at the Oyé African music festival in Liverpool’s Sefton Park at the weekend. A little boy called Leo got separated from his parents and found his way to the side of the stage. A tense few minutes followed as the music stopped until the tearful boy’s parents came to claim him. Then the MC gave the good news to the assembled crowd: ‘Leo has been reunited with his people’. An elegant phrase and a lovely sentiment. Let’s all reunite with our people, people.

And since I guess I’m still on road duty I found this eloquent hymn to the asphalt by a late-learning driver, Andrew O’Hagan, in the London Review of Books:

The motorways don’t offer a solution: they offer a welcome straitjacket. Your car will get all the credit for bringing you home to yourself, for showing you the only person you can truly depend on is not merely yourself, but yourself-in-your-car, a somatic unity. Those who spend most of their lives being alert to the demands of others – and that’s most employees, most husbands, wives, parents, most believers – will know the rhythmic, sedative pull of the motorways as the road performs its magic, pulling you back by degrees to some forgotten individualism that the joys and vexations of community always threatened to turn into an upholstered void. Virginia Woolf was almost right: all one really needs is a car of one’s own, the funds to keep it on the road and the will to encounter oneself within.

A couple more reviews of my book:

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