Tuesday, February 03, 2009

the long now - GB09

greenbelt has been a kind of mecca for me since my first visit as a chubby australian country kid of just 12 (1986).  the people that have cultivated greenbelt over the years repeatedly come up with the most beautiful and timely art and ideas.  the theme for greenbelt 09 is no exception.

see this wonderful, short piece of writing from festival trustee martin wroe.

here's a taster:

'The Long Now'. The phrase was coined by the musician, producer and all-round interesting thinker Brian Eno.  And a good way to capture what it alludes to is with a legend about the C14th founders of New College, Oxford. The story goes that the dining hall of New College was built with a series of huge oak beams. About half a millennium later, at the end of the C19th,  the beams needed replacing. Being a wealthy institution the College owned some land and wondered if there were any oak trees on it. 'Ah...' said one of the tenants who farmed their land, 'We wondered when you'd be in touch.'

Turned out the farmers had a tradition that back in the C14th a new grove of oaks had been planted to make up for those cut down to provide the dining hall beams. The story was passed through the generations, one farmer to another: these oaks were protected, set aside for New College. Through the generations, the farmers were waiting, for century after century. For half a millennia.

1 comment:

salttheplanet said...

wow! what a fantastic piece...

there is so much to slow down for.