So I’m just thinking about, well I have been just thinking about this whole sense of community and the layers of what I feel is community in my life and I have come to the conclusion that there are three kind of senses of you know people who form community in my life. So firstly they are family, friends and people that are maybe neighbours that I come into contact with. But the three senses that I get with communities, for me, you know there are people, not many of them, admittedly, who, well I say that, I mean there are a small number who I can rely on no matter what. Then there are those that I can rely on a little bit less than, than there are those that I, you know they’re in my life and I’m happy to have them in my life I couldn’t rely on them if I really needed help, support, guidance, advice, but you know we share some commonality.

And it’s funny because one of the things I was doing is looking at the actual definition, outside of what my thoughts are. The definition I read is a group of people living in the same place, or having particular characteristics in common so it’s really interesting to me that after the fact because for me that really does speak a lot to what my sense of community was when I grew up because as a boy, that’s exactly what my understanding was I didn’t know the word community because it wasn’t necessarily a word that you’d hear, as a child growing up in you know the neighbourhood that I grew up. We called it our area, we didn’t call it our community, even block because I grew up in a council estate but the other thing really and this is the, I mean really it’s unfortunate but in more recent times, when I thought about the word community or what community means to me. I think about the Grenville Tower. And, you know, it’s not about me, but at the time of Grenville Tower I was sat in a prison cell and while I was in that prison cell, watching the fire engulf the block, and all of those events playing out until one in the morning. Afterwards I just felt really sad, but also in the months afterwards, I can remember that somebody created a small piece of artwork with the words “Come” and “Unity” fused together. And I think one of the things that’s happened in recent times, particularly since having that thought is that whenever I think of community I think of Come Unity. So it’s about coming together. That’s how you know, it kind of is depicted in my mind, in my mind’s eye. And the other thing really is that I have this sense and I guess really this is the other thing about how I feel about community and all those layers and things is that while I was saying that prison cell and this was the reason I mentioned it,  I felt really hopeless and helpless because what I wanted to do in those moments is I wanted to be of help. I wanted to be at Grenfell, helping in some way, I don’t know what that might have looked like but I wanted to be there, helping with the efforts that we later saw playing out on the TV, because I think it was really sad and you know I think really, just to kind of end this. I feel that in some ways, community comes together, because you know the whole thing about unity, when there are events of commonality, but very often those events will be tragic events and I think that’s such a shame. I think that one of the things and really it’s a kind of an introspection on that is that I need to look more I feel I need to look more having thought about this has been a very thought provoking opportunity I guess about what I have in my life and the reasons I have them in my life, but really, you know, those are my main thoughts around the word community.

– 15th March 2021