Doorway Writing Group October 2017

Posted on October 8, 2017 by Categories: Homelessness, Mental Health

Doorway Writing Group October 2017
We had a quiet but fruitful session this month as we resumed after a short break.
A number of guests had a go at the crossword: some working together – discussing the clues in groups, some taking a copy home to try out later.
We wish K good luck with his new tenancy. We will miss the intriguing circus anecdotes but here’s to his next chapter in a more settled life.
J contributed a poem – as thought-provoking as ever – and part two of a story. Read on and enjoy!

Tadpole Village (a poem by J)
“Life is waiting”*
The tadpole village is emerging
That the planners have spawned
Transplanted from the drawing board
New houses, new roads, schools,
New beginnings.

The village of Hannington
A little farther on, also, is a new village
Transplanted in the aftermath of the
Black Death Epidemic
The old village deserted, buried, abandoned…

Like Blakehill airfield, after the war
Now the flight path of westbound geese
Honking at sunrise in V formation
While amongst the brambles and thorns
A new heart is beating, in chrysalis
By a single thread suspended
And waiting for a butterfly
*From The Cider House Rules (1999)

Part 2 of story by J, first posted in May 2017 blog, (renamed A Pilgrimage of Chaos)
Bright autumnal sunshine.
Freddie tossed a pie crust across the path in the park.
Repeats… That was Freddie’s CV for today.
“Hi,” said a voice on the bench beside him. It was Nigel, his adviser from an hour ago. Freddie was a little surprised.
Nigel took his sandwiches from his briefcase.
“I always eat my lunch here, you don’t mind sharing the bench, do you?”
“No, not at all,” said Freddie. “I won’t be here long.”
They began eating together in silence while pigeons squabbled and fought for the crusts beneath them.
Nigel paused, mid-sandwich and swallowed.
“You know I saw you an hour ago, you cleared your throat and a most peculiar thing happened.”
Freddie felt his brain jolted as he anticipated the thread of the conversation. HE KNEW THIS PERSON.
“20 years ago at least,” Freddie ventured hesitantly.
Nigel nodded. “You were the boy in the car park over there that night.”
Freddie tried to straighten himself clutching his knees, almost shaking as his brain reeled back the years to an empty car park in the small hours of a drizzly Sunday night.
Freddie sat absorbed, as Nigel continued, picking at imaginary threads on his jeans.
“Yes a long time ago, but what a night. After you panicked me I went back home before my parents knew I’d gone. I just lay there waiting for morning, you know life is worth hanging on to I told myself, and I learnt that emotions make a tyrannical master.”
“Yep,” Freddie nodded.
“When you weren’t there I was sure you’d jumped. I never ran down those stairs so fast. I paced up and down for over an hour in front of the car park and I came back next morning and as I stood there looking up…” He paused.
Nigel nodded eagerly, encouraging.
“Well, I felt that…my life had… HUMAN VALUE!”
“And now here you are, so many years later.”
“Anyway strange meeting eh!”
“Take care.”
“Yes, good luck!”
Freddie walked the familiar lanes back home, musing under colossal, portentious clouds.
Nigel walked away, patted his briefcase and turned, just in time to see two screaming seagulls circling the air with the remains of his lunch.

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