Kernow | Surprised by Joy

It was a pensive flight back from Soliton on Sunday. After a riotous week on the theme of ‘Dangerous Living’, with not a little practical work thrown in too, the many great conversations I was privileged to share gave me a lot to mull over. That these happened around fire pits, or in restaurants being used as seminar rooms, or churches used as restaurants, or night clubs used as all three, or in people’s homes or even hot-tubs, is testament to the unique spirit I’ve found Greg and the wonderful people around him have fostered at these sessions.

I went with high hopes; I left with CS Lewis ringing in my ears, surprised by joy.


And so to Cornwall. Or, as the increasingly separatist locals would have it, Kernow. With wild cliffs and surf-pounded beaches (Elias pictured trying his hand ;-), there’s no better place to turn things over. Like what hospitality really means as Christine Pohl so wonderfully asked, or ‘where my ass is’, as Ched Myers would have it, or how to create deserts in the consumer oases we live in, as Pete suggested. Or even what to drink if you want to be an activist, or why Volvos are really magnificent cars, and whether book fetishes are any worse than shoe ones, and whether training a monkey to deal with either is right or proper.

There was some suggestion that Soliton is somehow theologically or Scripturally weak for asking these sorts of things of people. I’d argue the exact opposite. Soliton is a place where precisely these sort of questions can be asked, because of the deeply strong spirit people bring to it. It is a genuine TAZ, a place where people can come alive to the possibilities of life, not be told how to deaden it.

And for that, and all the great people who created it, I’m deeply grateful.


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