Thursday, 25 August 2011

Also, I wrote this in the café earlier today while waiting for my nachos...

I want you to know something.

I want you to know that I just had a free massage that made me remember my muscles again while listening to an artist whisper in my ear through headphones about islands and the sea.

I want you to know that I am the first person to order the brand new addition to the menu – Greek Salad Nachos – and that when I ordered them Alex, the volunteer who invented the dish, cheered.

I want you to know that three nearly identical toddlers have just been rolled in nestling nearly identical strollers, all blonde hair and wide eyed, and when they entered the café they looked at everything and it was new.

I want you to know that I keep running into friendly people who distract me from what I’m trying to tell you. What am I trying to tell you?

I think I’m trying to tell you that the room I sit in, catching eyes, admiring kilts, distracted by loud music, clammering plates, hand painted murals,

I want you to know that I don’t dare to imagine this room empty.

I want you to know that I hate the idea of the cleaners, who would laugh derisively as they paint white over a mural and gather and toss the bits that mattered to us because they don’t matter to them.

I want you to know that I despise the men in suits, figures and sums dancing through their minds as they examine what comes to a place that has been loved.

I want you to know that this is a space that has known generosity – that has known work and effort and reward and kindness, and that the first time I saw a performance in Bristo Hall, the walls sang.

I want you to know that this a place where we have all lived. Its foundations are now infused with a generosity of spirit that echoes its rooms like a bell.

I want you to know that this building knows kindness. And this kindness has made it strong, has furnished it with armour. It will fight you. It is a sullen teenager with piercings through its nose and pink tipped hair. It is a quiet student taking posters off the wall and putting new ones up. It is a bearded man in a kilt playing the ukulele with a long feather reaching up from his tam, reaching up to the sky. It is a child, it is an older man, it is a group of friends discussing theatre over a pot of tea for five. It is a man named Kenny taking out the recycling at 5 in the morning. It is a woman re-stocking beer in a long skirt with tatoos up her arm. It is a poet smiling when the crowd responds as though he is a rock star. It is a rock star. And it won’t let itself be bought. It won’t let itself be painted over. It will rail against your plans and figures. It will kick back and it will fight and it will howl and yell and trhow things and then you will know the arrogance and blindness of trying to buy life.

You are facing down an army of human kindness and devotion. This fighting spirit will shine like a diamond in the city – the glint, the sparkle of a place that is loved and loves.


Anonymous said...

Debbie, that's one of the most gorgeous summations of a Forest day I've read. Thank you. xx

Anonymous said...

Debbie, that's one of the most gorgeous accounts of a Forest day I've read. Thank you. Still fighting. R xx

Anonymous said...

Thank you, for all these things and more.

Keni xXx