Street Wisdom @susanmcfadzean

By Susan Mcfadzean

I already have an almost complete blog post written up for this weeks deadline. It’s about Comedy School. But after our experience on Tuesday with Dave Pearl it feels like I should get something down on paper. Virtual paper at least. Dave formally introduced us to Street Wisdom. I’m going to share it with you. 

I had no idea what Street Wisdom was. And being told to be ready to brave the rain and wear warm clothes didn’t excite me much. Yes. I know. I’m Scottish. But still. I didn’t really understand why we were going out to ‘talk to the street’. Pavements don’t have a voice. And it’s not that I’m unwilling to humour the idea, but full of the cold, I just felt myself resisting this unidentifiable slot in our Google calendar. 
However, you’ll be pleased to hear it surpassed my expectations. Walking around with a question in my mind, I sought an answer from the street. And today, self reflecting on yesterdsay, it would seem I was actually almost having an entire conversation with Brixton village.
Turn your eyes outwards. Dial up. Use your senses. People. Not customers. Hairdressers: bubbles of intimacy. Like the warm confines of the café. Imagine the conversations behind the glass. Eyes smile. Household products look different stacked and stacked and stacked. Colours that mimic the fabric shop. Stand out. Stand for something. School kids trundle past holding hands. Diversity. Human interaction is leading. Spin away from the rudely obtrusive. Sensitive senses. Respect. A Star Wars carpet. Be playful, child. ‘Where will the N.25 take me?’ I didn’t help him. ‘Are they brothers?’ The second time I replied that I had no idea. No idea? Aren’t I supposed to have all the ideas. 
I got back to school a bit confused, maybe slightly over or underwhelmed. I wasn’t sure which. I realised I have ‘unknowingly’ engaged with Street Wisdom for years. I’ve spent hours talking to the ‘off track roads’ on the island where I grew up. I spent months talking to the streets of Toronto whilst I studied abroad. And I’d drag my feet home from University in Edinburgh waiting for something to shout out at me. Always looking for answers, mostly not knowing the question. Other times I guess I would hold that question, very specific, at the forefront of my mind, and  for weeks. But I always thought I dreamt the answers up. Apparently not. Dave offered a kind of scientific reasoning here but I can’t do it justice. So I’ll try to sum up in my own words. 
Ideas and creativity and solutions arent born in our heads. It’s always a conversation. Connect with the world around you and listen and take note. Something happens in the space between you and something or someone else.  This summer I got worried the longer I was spending in London the more lost I was getting. Time was passing, I was scrabbling for something. Dave Pearl taught me yesterday that I was lost because I was lacking a  conversation. I might have been looking, but I wasn’t seeing. I wasn’t surrounded by creatives. I wasn’t asking any questions. I wasnt engaged with my own subconscious. I now know I need a purpose whilst wandering. No question equals no conversation and no answer. 
Since starting at SCA I’ve felt all my senses and creativity and focused energy slowly dialling back up. I wanted full speed from week one but this year is a marathon and I need to click through the gears I suppose. I’m just grateful back in July when I was lost and took a moment to look up and listen I discovered such a place as SCA exists. 
Thank you! 

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