Monday 29 April 2024

Crossing Boundaries

Change is inevitable. In the study of Physics there is entropy, which means the general trend in the universe leads inevitably towards disorder. 

Many artists cross boundaries. Sometimes its at the edge of things we find the truths of human existence. Burns (like Dylan and Shakespeare also) lived in turbulent times, when the first newspapers and pamphlets had voices calling for reform and votes for all men, late 1700s. 


Some creatives cross boundaries in big ways. Our bard Robert Burns for instance. His father travelled down from the north east of Scotland, eventually to Ayrshire and he married Agnes Broun, who had a large extended Ayrshire family. She knew and sang all the traditional Scots ballads. While Burn’s father was well educated and taught Burns at home. Burns travelled across Scotland on several tours.


In the National

Lewis Waugh wrote – (Language matters when we talk about Assisted Dying) - that he told one MSP – “the reason he was sitting before me was that someone, onetime had crossed a line and let the ordinary person have the vote. Universal suffrage, votes for women, gay rights, disabled rights, all were viewed in their time as descent into some manner of chaos. He smiled, “One person’s ascent to civilization is another persons slide into barbarity. Please discuss!”


The questions remain over why some of us embrace change, while other fear change and cling to the status quo – even while they can see the present system is clearly not working. They cling to safety while rejecting progress at the very same moment.

(Re Assisted Dying Bill. I much prefer Canada’s term – End of Life Options for Palliative care. We don’t wish to let animals suffer, so why our loved ones?)


The other day I walked past a busy local Orange Lodge, and I wondered for some who continue to celebrate divides over 340 years old (Battle of the Boyne 1690) – their tribe is far more important than any present day problems. We might wonder why many cling to past expectations or the status quo. The UKs Ill-advised Brexit was about ‘take back control’ to past British empire days, that no longer exist here….


Which led me to think that crossing boundaries and bridges is crucial to moving debates forward and to attaining progress from backward-looking ideas. To embrace change. The past should inform the present, but not control it.


Many passages and journeys in life help us cross boundaries – travel, further education, reading, culture, art, music and history. To learn empathy of others stories and understanding of the other: meeting others from different backgrounds. To have open minds and hearts. And embrace the challenge and debate of new perceptions and ideas. 


Most of us who believe, much more strongly than even a decade ago – that Scotland’s future is best served as an indy nation. We’ve watched the undemocratic failings at Westminster. Its a mess. More than that though, the British state is an undemocratic and failing one. Is there is any vision, its in the independence dreams of how we can build a better one, dependent on local voices and not centralized global control.