Waking up in my university accommodation to the sound of birds in the tall trees on this beautiful old campus I try to imagine how these few weeks will develop. There are many organised sessions and also many things that are awaiting confirmation. It is a strange limbo that is only heightened by the current state of the nation in Hong Kong.
First a planning meeting with the team at Gen Ed to define my role and plan the sessions here. Will we have to be sensitive to the outside politics or are the students, once they come on campus, just getting on with their lives? They can't tell but have added 2 "Umbrella Story" sessions - one each afternoon.
I open the ConFest with a OMB parade round the campus area in Arts and Humanities and the smiles are all around - I sing "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around, Gonna keep on walking, keep on talking, walking to the Freedom Land" as I parade!
There are many students around and Chi Chung is very happy with the impact. Hooray!
An afternoon rest before heading into Kowloonside to meet Mok and the friends at CCCD and see their new space and start talking strategy. Eric has been working with the organisation recently trying to focus energy and vision and make a long term plan (much as we have been doing with More Music in the UK) and so I am interested in how Mok and the team are thinking. There is no fixed plan yet and the great new spaces they have rented at the Creative Arts Centre, where they have been based for many years, are waiting for a real sense of purpose even though there is a clear desire for an Arts Therapy Centre. The whole JCCAC centre is in a community but even more separate from many of the locals than we are in Morecambe with very low connection between the disadvantaged people and the arts and creative organisations who are based here. Hmmmm.
Next stop, Mongkok.
Nancy takes me there on a 'tour' of the protest site explaining what has been happening and where and translating the 2 minute speeches made by anyone who wants to in the main crossroads in the district where again the traffic has been barred. HK is so short of communal outside space where people can gather and meet that these protests have opened great new spaces for conversation and discussion. I listen, watch and wait for the 21 year old son of great friend, Hugh Nankivell, to come and meet me. He is here for a working trip and we chat and share experiences of the city. He is as surprised as I always am at the lack of cultural activity that is interesting, radical, new or exciting.
The evening then becomes very exciting as I meet my musician friends to make another episode of the "24 Hours in a Revolution" song making. This time in Admiralty at the entrance to the LegCo building.
From 10pm - 2am about 15 musicians arrive and work with people in the square to write songs, record them and perform them. It is great. I make 2 new songs with people and stay as long as my energy can take it before heading back to the HKU accommodation for sleep.
There is purpose to my travelling
It is also just the next stage of my life.
It is focussed, in context, yet open
It is edgy, insecure, keeps me so alive
I just don't know when
I will relax and stop all of this questioning