Blind man and the poet. Highlights of the Week (8th – 14th feb)



On Thursday  morning  on  Euston Road in central London  I was walking a few feet behind a blind man. He was swinging his white cane as if it were a lead on an hyperactive terrier.  It was distressing to see.  Ahead the tree embedded in  the  pavement  slanted backwards towards us as if pushed by a hurricane.   So the white couldn’t make make contact with the trunk, not before his head did – Thud.  it shocked me  and him.   It was painful to see.  I asked if he needed help.  “No”  he said.     I stood and watched  as onwards he  twitched and thrashed . How was he to know it was a slanted tree?

It’s been a stimulating week though.   In each spare moment I have been learning
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
for a performance on 27th 28th February and 1st March at The Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of Imagine Children’s Festival.    An article on myself came out in Community Care the most popular magazine for social workers.

The last time I spoke to poet Shane Koyczan was in Vancouver and he was looking for a place to live and dealing with money issues.  This week he was opening the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with a poem about his country – Canada.  It’s history in the making:  the Canadian son of polish heritage.

 I got a call  from my agent this week from Manchester requesting I introduce Gil Scott-Heron onto the stage in  April .  But I’ll be  in Namibia and can’t do it.  By coincidence the man who is hosting me in Namibia was at the Southbank on Friday.   

Friday’s when I received  the final edit of an  half hour documentary  on myself from Babycow productions called The Writers Room.  It’s  includes Hal Wake of The Vancouver readers and writers festival:  the man who has supported
Shane Koyczan since his early career.   

Friday’s when  I received a letter from the chief executive of Wigan  Metropolitan Borough -  the guardians of my entire childhood.  It was a letter sharing delight at my award.  Only eight weeks ago I made a documentary for BBC Radio Four requesting my files from that time: the records of eighteen years of memory.  I was told they were lost.

Each month at Southbank Centre I source then circulate a poem for the people from the CEO to the security guards.  This month’s poem which went out on Friday was by Elizabeth Bishop called Invitation to Miss  Marian Moore. On Valentines day (Sunday)  I was gifted  Bioshock 2 from the journalist (so happy) and an  excellent vintage scarf.  Her sister is staying  over with us this weekend so  my present was a surprise:   on Thursday I made a meal with  flowers by candlelight.

Of the blind man there is a lesson.  It takes a little thought to notice  those
who have the ability to see  and yet  twitch and thrash down their own high streets. I am not comparing them to the blind man that would belittle him.  He has the wisdom to be in the process of learning.


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