Thursday, 16 February 2012

old happiness

“It was really good, imagining... I can't find the words. It touched me. Bringing back old memories, old happiness. I find it hard putting it all down on paper. Didn't think I could do it, but I did. Interesting, the old photos. Thinking of other times and other lives. I've started writing again because of this. Getting poems going, I'm always scribbling in my book.” D

“It opened your mind, to think of the good times. Put the bad to one side for awhile.” anon

This was a light-filled little day. It’s often the best way for good things to happen creatively, when people are feeling relaxed and open to possibility. We tried out a whisper game with a couple of poems; wrote childhood memories onto vintage photos from the local history archive and devised some self-portraits in words.

I often envy musicians because their work is to ‘play’, with all the connotations of that word. Play is a childish act and can bring the freshness of childish experience, but it's often lost among the strictures of adulthood. The looseness and humour of play is a good way to be in the world. It's my responsibility to move people in and out of the creative space without hurting anyone and play is an excellent means to do just that. But mostly, play is pleasure.

I'm writing this on the train on the way back from Blackpool, in between reading through the pieces people have written. I'm struck by the poignancy of the writing. There's much subtlety and sly humour. Beautifully effective writing too, not a word wasted. It's as if sidestepping seriousness has in fact put us right into the middle of it.

In any case, the best things happen without forcing them – so this week was one for play. Doing it and writing about it too.

“I'm still there in the past, in my happy moment. That's the point isn't it, to bring me out of myself into something good.” L

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