What to say about this one… Well I think this post begins a number of nights ago, during a switch. So, in an instant, I’m movin like a night tripper, except this time, I transformed into the night heron, a little like one of these specimens —
Dusk was falling, and it was cold in the Lordship Recreation Ground. Tottenham people, walking through. Everyone in the city got to be somewhere. Still: I remained motionless as the twilight grew inkier.
This was the scene in Whitechapel (below) – but I stayed on, stock still, under darkening Haringey skies.
It had become one of them nights, and the park was quiet but for the songbirds putting themselves to bed. And there were people passing, none of them noticed me. Robert strolling along, old fellow, came over here in the late 1950s. He remembers when there was allotments before the Broadwater Farm. Fidan, chatting in Turkish, onto her mobile telephone. Belo, out and about in the park with her friends. Eventually, a hooded figure approached. Stepped off the path and wandered closer to where I was. He loped, revealing some nervousness, some uncertainty. Then, he paused by the stinking waters of the Moselle, pulling back the drape of the weeping willow. And then he gets out his phone. He’s talking to an American woman, something about making the difference. All of a sudden, he switches language. He’s talking some Eastern European tongue that I don’t recognise.
Slavic emphasis alongside Caribbean patois. He stops and turns round, looking straight into my eyes. Then with the most frightening face like someone possessed, he slams a finger into the keypad on his mobile…
And then there was this flash. And I left the scene behind. All black, no Heron. Resume ghost form. Move through clouds and smoke and vapour. Not talking time here but flying through some kind of space. Night sky. Stars above me.
Suddenly arriving in a strange landscape. Whole scene lit up by moonlight. I still think this was the same night. Came down floating over scrubland, my toes not even touching the ground speeding underneath me. I occupy the beauty of my surroundings, a strange mountainscape. Slowing down. Touch down on a rural road, I begin to step. Huge mountains in the distance. And it’s lucky that I weigh the same as the dew in the air. Don’t need to be well shod on this empty path, I move smoothly. I think it’s Europe somewhere…
I walked through this landscape. Many miles an hour. Until dawn hit the sky and I came upon this. I know not the reasons for this revery. What it meant, or what I was supposed to be seeing. Road signs in a foreign script. After a number of street-cine hits, I acknowledged the fact that I was in Armenia, looking out to the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex. This is it:
I had arrived in Yerevan, Armenia. And day was setting. As I’ve mentioned, struck dumb with the beauty. Ararat Mountain in the background. By this point, it was almost like my trail was pre-ordained. Why am I being led through the outskirts of Yerevan? And then I came to a stop at a spot on some boundary road.
Head got full up of images. And it became a bit clearer. Without even needing to go there, there exists some connection between Tottenham, Armenia and Ethiopia – in particular, Haile Selassie. I assume these images will make things clearer…
This, the Armenian Council in Ethiopia, (note they are all men!)
There was a large Armenian diaspora in Ethiopia
Here, the Royal Band of H. M. Negus Tafari (The Arba Lidjotch) and the conductor K Nalbandian, 1929
Look at this – the reason for my visit to the sports complex (I can only presume)… A picture taken at the Ararat Sports Club in Addis Ababa
And then it gets really interesting… The Emperor becomes involved and intertwined. Here is an Armenian chap demonstrating some Phillips HiFi equipment to him during an exhibition in Ethiopia.
And here, the spiritual connection yeah? Are you reading?
What has happened? I can only explain it as some dreamtime lesson. Certainly, this part of Tottenham is an important destination for new immigrant communities. And many different diasporas have moved here. A thin and perhaps minor strand of C20 migration and fascinating tincture of uprooted cultures moving across continents to drift and settle and see something different about the world that they had never known previously. That’s all.