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The Great Humbling is Back!
Series 5 Episode 1: The Ruined Church
As many readers will know, back in 2020, I began recording a series of conversations with the poet and ‘recovering sustainability consultant’ Ed Gillespie. We’d been circling around each other for years without ever quite meeting, but after a Skype call in the early weeks of that year, Ed took an image I’d shared and ran with it. Speaking about the proliferation of alternative names on offer for the Anthropocene, the proposed geological epoch brought on by the consequences of human industrial activity, I’d said, ‘Whatever the geologists end up calling it, maybe the rest of us could talk about The Humbling?’ It’s the sense of living in a time when gravity is calling, when we are being brought down to earth. As Bayo Akomolafe says, ‘We will not arrive intact.’ But maybe we can work for ways of getting broken where there’s a chance of mending, healing, learning, becoming good compost.
We recorded three eight-part series of these conversations in eighteen months. Then it took us the same length of time to complete a fourth series, as my attention was taken up with writing At Work in the Ruins.
It’s a curious thing, to fall into a friendship on microphone, but that’s what happened. It was only midway through the fourth series that Ed and I met in the flesh for the first time.
And now we’re back with a new series where we're lucky to have secured the services ofas producer, which should allow us to pick up a rhythm of regular conversations again. Each episode of this series will centre on an image - and in Episode 1 we return to the image of the Ruined Church which I wrote about here a few weeks ago. We recorded this on Halloween, when Ed was recovering from ‘toxic squash syndrome’, having narrowly avoided poisoning the poet Tom Hirons, and I was awaiting the arrival of a gang of Finnish removal men with an ancestral cupboard. I hope you enjoy listening.
The full shownotes are available on Libsyn:
And you can also find this episode on YouTube:
We’re intending to release new episodes fortnightly, with a break over Christmas. It’s good to be back.
We still have a few places left for this autumn’s online series with a school called HOME. Regrowing a Living Culture starts next week, with groups meeting on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning Swedish time. Full details here: