Like all the best ideas, Street Wisdom is simple. Just a couple of hours taking time to experience your environment differently with a focus on you. It shouldn’t be hard. It’s not hard. But somehow in 2014, especially in the city, we seem to have forgotten how to slow down, appreciate our streets and soak up the stimulus that surrounds us.
My street wisdom took place in Covent Garden. But any street is full of answers if you know how to look. Last year I was wondering whether to take some of the jobs I was being offered. I had left a big role a year before, a job with long hours and significant responsibilities. I was enjoying the freedom of working more effectively as a freelancer on a wide range of new projects. But I was still new to freelancing and with my new found freedom came the usual freelancers concerns – would the work dry up?; how could I retain my networks?; did all these projects add up to a whole?
I’d been debating whether to go for any of the new jobs being offered my way. So I came to Covent Garden with a simple question at the forefront of my mind – should I continue to work independently on a range of projects or was it time to take on a new job?
With the guidance of my Street Leader (or Street Wiz) I quickly tuned up to a different way of being in Covent Garden. I took my time, I looked up and around, I noticed things I must have passed a dozen times, I began to experience my environment differently. I’ve heard this described as a walking meditation – a simple state to achieve and a lovely new way to experience a familiar place.
As I walked and reflected I met new people – a homeless guy, a policewoman, a man with a fabulous moustache in a coffee shop. The streets seemed more alive with people, with colour, with life. Perhaps with answers too.
Without offering I was asked by three separate people to take their photos. A freelancer’s calling perhaps? Every time I thought about a new job I saw signs that pushed me away – The Mousetrap, Danger, No Entry. Every turn seemed to reveal a new set of answers and after only an hour I felt a renewed confidence in my chosen path.
It’s a simple idea but the answers Street Wisdom reveal can be powerful. There is insight and magic everywhere. Street Wisdom helped me find it.
David Micklem, March 2014