Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Generosity


If you know me, you’ll have already heard (and been bored to tears by now) that I met my favourite rock star, John Lodge of the Moody Blues recently. We’ve had very brief encounters before, a quick autograph, a wave as he’s dashed from the stage door to the waiting tour bus, and the moment he kept still on stage when he noticed I was taking a photo of him. I’ve spent hours waiting outside venues, ever hopeful, often in vain, but in true rock chick style, I’ve never given up. A Sunday evening in Shrewsbury during his recent solo tour was the best. I had a front row seat, booked an eternity ago, and of course, the concert was fantastic. I have his guitar pick for a memento. Later, some of us waited in the upper foyer by the stage door. I expected a fleeting glimpse as he was rushed past by minders, but no, just the opposite. He mingled freely with us, relaxed and unhurried, chatting as he signed things and posed for photos. He was friendly, very down to earth and genuinely interested in his fans. It won’t matter if we never meet again. I enjoyed a conversation with him, during which I mentioned the song he had written for his grandson and he showed me a photo of him. He made this senior rock chick incredibly happy by being generous with his time.
 

Having time or making time for those who need me is a priority shaped by my upbringing. I’m thankful to have had a childhood in a close family that gave me lots of contact with all my grandparents and other relatives. I was always welcome, nothing was too much trouble for these generous people who were happy to adapt, to share and to help. I know how fortunate I was. I know how different it can be for others.
 

I confess, I’m new to the work of Lemn Sissay. I was listening to a condensed account of his biography on the radio and I wept with overwhelming sadness at the separation from his mother and loss of his true identity. I felt shocked at his turbulent upbringing yet proud that he found the strength of character to grow into who he is today, writer, poet, Chancellor of the University of Manchester and MBE. He was twenty-one years old before he discovered his birth name which helped him to find and become reunited with his mother. Learning about him touched me deeply. His poems reflect his generosity of spirit, the spirit of his nature which I feel is what carried him through his childhood.
 
INVISIBLE KISSES
 
 Written by Lemn Sissay
 
If there was ever one
 Whom when you were sleeping
 Would wipe your tears
 When in dreams you were weeping;
 Who would offer you time
 When others demand;
 Whose love lay more infinite
Than grains of sand.
 
If there was ever one
 To whom you could cry;
 Who would gather each tear
 And blow it dry;
 Who would offer help
 On the mountains of time;
 Who would stop to let each sunset
 Soothe the jaded mind.
 
If there was ever one
 To whom when you run
Will push back the clouds
 So you are bathed in sun;
 Who would open arms
 If you would fall;
 Who would show you everything
 If you lost it all.
 
If there was ever one
 Who when you achieve
 Was there before the dream
 And even then believed;
 Who would clear the air
 When it’s full of loss;
 Who would count love
 Before the cost.
 
If there was ever one
 Who when you are cold
 Will summon warm air
 For your hands to hold;
 Who would make peace
 In pouring pain,
 Make laughter fall
 In falling rain.
 
If there was ever one
 Who can offer you this and more;
 Who in keyless rooms
 Can open doors;
 Who in open doors
 Can see open fields
 And in open fields
 See harvests yield.
 
Then see only my face
 In reflection of these tides
 Through the clear water
 Beyond the river side.
 All I can send is love
 In all that this is
 A poem and a necklace
 Of invisible kisses
 
 
Thank for reading, Pam x
 
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