mask1May Day-not the distress signal-the International Workers’ Day is upon us. Traditionally, the day is commemorated to celebrate the social and economic achievements of the labour movement. Over the years, at least in the Northern hemisphere, May 1st has become synonymous with street demonstrations to highlight the many struggles and toils of those whose flame for a just world for all burns intensely.

It was in those street demonstrations, in and among that sea of humanity that I began to cut my teeth as an activist. Igniting a fire inside that would shine brightly on the path to follow for the next three decades. While the fire still burns unabated, in the last twelve months May 1st has assumed a more introspective and reflective meaning.

A majestic shadow, the kind that gives relief and respite from the searing heat during a long hike exposed to the elements has emerged. A tranquil place from which inspiration, musing and delight can be received to continue the hike with renewed zest and enthusiasm, and where the thirst for intellectual, spiritual and emotional connections can be quenched.

It was on May 1st 2008 that a boating accident in Sydney harbour signalled the end of the earthly journey of six young people, one, our much loved friend Savanna Holloway. Those who lived through that event need no reminder of the havoc that followed. The search for answers, the many ways to make sense of what seemed inexplicable. But feeding from Savanna’s resilience, we gained strength and courage and set off in many different ways to continue on our way, battered and bruised perhaps, but definitely much wiser about the contours of interlinked but independent life journeys.

Savanna’s passing served as centripetal force which moved many of us,including those unknown to each other, to a central point to continue on what were her dreams, aspiration and life commitments.

Well, Savvy, we talked about many things; whispered about moving our office to Malak, and here I am; we wanted a community space, we now have one; we even had our eyes on an underground car park, guess what? It feels that the many plans and promises we made have been coming to fruition.

The only one that has gone by the wayside is the Chang we were supposed to have on the border when you promised to visit me during my time there, never mind. I promise you that on the next leg of my journey I will have three Morettis, one for me, two for you because you’ve always done it harder than most of us.

It’s the realisation of so many dreams that have tought me not to miss you. One can only miss what is not there, but your presence is everywhere.

On May Day 2009 I will again be one of a multitude marching on the cobble stone streets of La Citta’ Eterna. A wonderful manifestation of the power of humanity that will finish up with the traditional alternative and anti-establishment music concert in the very heart of the opposition to radical thinking, transformation and justice. And here is another promise; in and among the mayhem and activities, I will do my very best to save some energy to retreat quietly, reflect, and importantly sing for you that song you inspired in the early hours of the morning when your cooling shadow brought me much needed relief and respite.

Felt your step, I heard your sound.
Felt the wind when you whirled around.
Are you here now? Are you happy now?

There was music in the air,
Felt like you were there.
Do you know how? Do you know how?

The band played at the shell,
A song that you knew so well.
I meant to ask you why, I meant to ask you why.

I saw your friends, I touched their thoughts.
I kissed their lips and felt the loss.
In the night sky, in the night sky.

Ch. Wanna hear that sound again
Here and now where I stand
Wanna feel it in my hands
Don’t wanna to think this is the end

We broke the rules, we played the game,
But nothing ever stays the same.
This one is true. This one is true.

Change your ways, change your means.
Can never tell what tomorrow brings.
Was it kind to you? Was it kind to you?

And if I get another chance
To talk my dreams and share my plans
I will let them know, I will let them know.

That we will never be alone
To reach the next milestone
If we let the laughter flow, if we let the laughter flow

Ch. Wanna hear that sound again
Here and now where I stand
Wanna feel it in my hands
Don’t want to think this is the end

This song won’t stand the test of time
An easy tune, a simple rhyme
Just to say, just to say

I miss you baby, I hope you found
What kept you here earth bound
You’re on you way, you’re on your way

Can’t change a thing, but if I could
I’d give it all for what you stood
And steal a memory, steal one memory.

I’d stop the world for just one day
Bring it back to the first of May
To sing softly, for you softly.

Ch. Wanna hear that sound again
Here and now where I stand
Wanna feel it in my hands
Don’t want to think this is the end

Blue Skies!