This website has been created by Anne Yarwood, resident in Ascot for over 50 years, to show how individuals CAN effect change… can DO something about their concerns, in an imaginative way.

 

Dear Readers,

This month’s edition is gifted by Guest Editor the brilliant Artist, Jennifer Leach.

She asked why I’d asked her to produce the first Guest Edition.

My reply is:-

The basis of trust in Jennifer was the heart warming experience of working with her as writer in 2016, to create TAKE TWO: a play about injustice in Palestine. Of late, she and I meet to talk, listening to one another’s search for spiritual meaning in our daily lives; a hug of a process, to share farther.

Anne

 

This month’s theme is –

SPIRITUALITY: acting through non-acting

 

In all the utter clutter

Of a world that always shouts

Be still and know

However so

You wish to know

That I am God.

 

I am an artist, poet and playwright, and director of my own arts company Outrider Anthems and this month have the great honour of hosting this edition of TIA, with the suggested theme of spirituality. What a theme!

I am writing this in an unseasonably hot month, the unseasonality resonating with thoughts of climate meltdown and the endgame through which we find ourselves living. With the great honour of guest editing this month’s edition of The Imagination Acts, I consider imagination and action through spirituality. And as with all things spiritual, it begins immediately with paradox, equating the importance of action with non-action. Ah! Good old spirituality. Designed to mystify. But no. I want to seriously consider the connection between action and non-action. And how ‘non-action’ can indeed be one of the most powerful energies available to us to bring about active change. A theme of smallness, quietness, paradoxically stillness, is developing in my explorations of how imagination can be used to effect change. Indeed, how vital and undersung these tools are in our calls for action. For many reasons, not least to avoid burnout, the nourishing of heart and soul with quiet practice, is paramount.

So, much to say, many angles to consider, but I shall try and keep my thoughts here simple. One more element to add: I use spirituality in the broadest sense. That which comes from spirit, and which belongs to spirit. That which is not dominated by rigid logic and cerebral control.

THE BLOG gives some background to myself as an artist, my company Outrider Anthems, and what motivates my spirituality, imagination and action – HERE

THE STORY is of the Dazzle festival, part of Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark, and one church’s willingness to engage in conversations of spirituality and darkness – HERE

 THE GALLERY offers a series of selected contemplations, of poetry, thought, scientific research, and image. It offers examples of how stirring a quiet seed might be. What thoughts might spring from what you read, what you see, how it touches you? How might the quiet seed grow? For grow it will, and this is the beauty of how we open ourselves up to nourishing freshness, through taking time to focus on spiritual offerings of creative minds – HERE

TALES this month’s tale comes from the 2016 Tipping Point conference on Climate Action, where the Universe made sure to show us that there are two sides to action –  HERE

WAKEUP is Mac Macartney’s inspirational talk from Festival of the Dark, on leadership and action. Incidentally, after decades of public speaking and sharing, Mac still feels sick before each talk. He accepts his duty to be a spiritual speaker as the action he is called to in this life. And this ultimately is his message to us all: You will never be ready. Act now with who you are, and with what you have. It is our responsibility to be leaders – each one of us – in reciprocation for the great privilege of being alive as human beings on Planet Earth – HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Leach

 

 

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Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark

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Last year saw Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark unfold in Reading. With a small team, we brought over 24 diverse events to the town, hoping to stimulate a shift in consciousness. It became apparent this would be subtle rather than seismic, and indeed most major cultural, political, religious and corporate bodies shunned or ignored the festival. And yet, it was powerful.

To use a yoga anaology, it’s all about ‘micro-muscles’, deep internal muscles not reachable through dynamic exercise and obvious stretches. So one sits in almost complete stillness, focussing on small micro-movements. It feels slightly foolish, disappointing; how much more satisfying to be panting after a few hearty rounds of Salute to the Sun. Yet if one is attentive, the deep workings can be felt; if one envisions the movements, they make sense.

For those feeling overwhelmed by noise, despair, rage, preaching, and shouting for desperate action, exercising of the deep internal spiritual muscles through yoga, meditation, breathwork, gardening, stillness, then hone one for the power of dynamic action.

LATEST STORY  / VIEW ALL STORIES

 

Dazzle !  

 

Here was hot-blooded action!

Whilst Reading churches almost unanimously shied away from dialogue involving ‘the Dark’, Fathers Vincent and Gary of St John and St Stephen’s were keen to enter the conversation.

Within two months we had Dazzle – a 10 day mini-festival …

 

 

Wake Up

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Mac Macartney

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Mac Macartney, international speaker, leader, and founder of the community at Embercombe. We were enormously privileged to have him speak at Festival of the Dark, and moved by how he – a secular speaker reflecting on Darkness – was welcomed in to St James Roman Catholic church by Father John. All Father John needed as reassurance was that it was a positive invocation to live mindfully, with care for our Earth. That then put it in line with Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment; the Pope had asked parish priests and parishes to spread the message of care, and so we were welcomed in. And thus Mac was able to weave his stories of love for the Earth, and our responsibility as spiritual beings to live with care for ourselves, within care for our community, within care for all of our connected environment.

Excerpt from Mac’s talk

 

 

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