Under the OWLS


Under the Owls is a Leeds teen festival of music and live art in Millennium Square. Entry was Free with a Breeze Card and £3 without. The event is brought to you as part of Breeze Arts Festival by Leeds City Council, East Street Arts and Leeds Beckett University, supported by Leeds Community Foundation, Ann Maguire Fund & PRS for Music Foundation. We were there with Live Arts Bistro and East Street Arts, The Real Junk Food Project and others.

tumblr_nrw4hiqEpG1sojiz4o1_500There was a steady stream of teenagers, families and younger kids giving this day in Millenium Square a friendly atmosphere. Bouts of pouring rain. We covered the teapots but forgot about the spouts…so some slightly damp questions inside some of the teapots as the day went on. No matter. We had some greta conversations. here’s a little of what I remembered discussing…

When do you laugh at yourself? All the time. Thats a recipe for happiness i think, to laugh at yourself.

Is it fair? I think its tight when people take the mick out of you for being somewhere or because of what you are wearing or who you are. yeah i don’t think thats fair at all.

Do you count? Sometimes I think I do, sometimes not.

What makes you hopeful? people. Young people especially. Events like this where i see people making difference in their own way.

What stops you in your tracks? Kids. A beautiful view. Extremes…I guess literally obstacles do.

Where do you draw the line? Everybody draws lines differently. I think I would draw the line at harming another person….biggotry, xenophobia…Sometimes you don’t know until you’ve crossed someone’s lines that you have gone too far.

When is enough enough? Its always enough. What we each have in this moment is enough – we have everything we need. eastern philosophies say life is not about the destination but more about the journey. Life is more like a piece of music or a dance, so its always enough. it’s always now. Its the ups and down and every moment that’s important.

What’s your favourite word? Serendipidous…thats a good word. I like so many words, my favourite word today has to be mapping as thats what I’m doing…mapping the connections at East Street Arts.

Do you think before you speak? Always. I’m trying to find ways to think less.

What’s your favourite thing? Definitely picnics. I like picnics a lot. Any kind really. I thinks hugs might be on my list of favourite things. Oh yes i would definitely have hugs at my picnics. Sounds like my kind of picnic.

What is love? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I think sometimes i mistake friendship for romantic love…or at least people i maybe should have kept only as friends i mistake for lovers. I pick the wrong people generally. Not suitable for lovers. I think its quite easy to love people…perhaps easier than most people think. I used to think of it as this very precious thing that I could only express in a very exclusive and unique moment….that if it was everyday it wasn’t valuable. know I tell as many people as i can as often as I can how much i love them. Why not?

Questions and comments added…. How can people accept differences in other people more? When do you tell someone you love them? Tell someone you love them. 11059790_10152838561396685_4136271291090400595_n   11737827_10155826910920007_5105757076347230929_n

All Welcome – at Love Arts Leeds

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Love Arts Leeds – 2 days – 3 hours

One trolley, four chairs, many teapots, many people, many questions.

Quiet, flowing conversations…

Of listening…

And appreciating.

Of questions

Leading to more questions…..

Do we need to know each others’ names to talk about things that matter? Put another way can we trust people we do not know? Though I remember being taught as a child, never to talk to strangers, as an adult, it may be one of my favourite pastimes.

We talked about big subjects.


Can we forgive, we wondered? And even if we can, should we? Does an ‘eye for an eye’ leave everyone blind?  How do we forgive  anyway? Does letting go, moving on, finding ‘grace’ help? What about putting yourself in the other person’s ‘shoes’?

What do we actually want? How does ‘want’ differ from need?

Can you ever get bored of kindness, love and joy? We concluded not. Do we secretly crave misery, hate and selfishness? I hope not.

And more questions…..

Does the truth unfold you, or do you unfold the truth? What is peace? How do we achieve it? Can one person’s inner peace spread to bring peace to others? What is going to happen to our beautiful planet in your lifetime? What indeed.

Is it all about the individual?

Could we all just do something regardless of whether it feels like it has any impact?

Is spirituality a ‘dirty’ word? We wondered this as we (almost) whispered the words…
Good vibes and energy, spirit…. Such words can sound ‘off putting’ we thought. So do we censor the words because it might be seen as something for hippies and tree huggers? Should we all just start hugging the magnificent trees? I have hugged a few tree in my life – does that make my words less credible?

Should we sugar coat our message so that it is sweet for the receiver? Or should we just be honest? There are a lot of ‘should’s. Could we just stop ‘shoud-ing’?

If you had the power, what would you do? I loved the literal response that if one person had the power, she would be the ‘good vibes’ and actual electricity  for the whole world and this fuel would have a zero carbon footprint. What if that was possible?

Insights. Conversations. We thank all contributions offered.We look forward to meeting you at a future hostings.

And wonder, what do you think could be a satisfying conclusion?  How do more people share and contribute to this experience?

Could you pick one question and talk about it ? Could you leave us a question here? Which question appeals?

Here’s a few thoughts our guests left behind…

“How do we know what’s right?”

“Big up to raising vibrations of individuals and the planet! Beautiful idea, good to have avow-wow, we all need to connect….

“If you could invent magic drink what would it be? How can we increase our powers of observation? How can we appreciate more? Where can i get one of those magic teapots? Should there be real tea?”