On the subject of schools, I ask Morris if she will be supporting the global general strike called by Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future movement. “I don’t think anyone would notice if I went on strike,” she replies, but she believes the school strikers need to be supported. “I know some schools are beginning to punish their children for taking part in the strikes. I saw something the other day where some girls had been told they couldn’t go to the prom because they’d been on strike. So I say to them, get the other kids out and have a prom somewhere else – have a prom strike as well.”
Children are putting adults to shame, “but I do worry for Greta,” she continues. “She says we have stolen her future, but I fear we have also stolen her childhood. I don’t think she should be monetised. I don’t like the management behind her, really, which we don’t really see. I just hope she’s OK.”
By helping words like ‘acorn’ and ‘conker’ to re-enter the national vocabulary, The Lost Words plays an important part in the message of the school strikers: by severing our connection with the rest of the ecosystem we are threatening the future of our children. However, the medium of music can take that mes-
sage deeper, Morris says. “Music can thread its way into the mind in ways other things don’t,” she explains.
“You see how tiny children respond to music, mothers sing lullabies to their children to calm them. At the other end of life, there are people living with dementia who remember nothing, but they can still play the piano. Somehow the rhythms of music thread into our souls, and I think that’s how it can carry the message deeper. I can make people cry with my paintings, but there’s something
54 Resurgence & Ecologist