Sunday, January 09, 2011

So long since I last posted an entry here.

Feels like months.

I've been struggling to resist the onslaught of old age on my mother-in-law. A really pitiless and cruel assault, that had a bit of a respite over Christmas, when I managed to persuade her to accept help from the hospital.

And such intensity, too, between me and my lover, that is so private I cannot write about it.

And trying to write my new play, TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, to commemorate David Hume. The madness of it: the constant having to stop, go back to the beginning, and start again. A cast of 6 going down to 4, and then 3, and then 2, and now going back up to 3 again.

It's all been too much. Too much to record here, at least.

And suddeny again I couldn't understand why I persevere with this.

Lately a remarkable young friend of my daughter's, called Heather Marshall, asked permission to use a couple of entries from the blog as an exercise with her youth group.

She writes:

"I’m sitting in my studio, watching while my students work. Today we’re working on two of Jo’s Clifford’s blog entries which she very kindly gave us permission to use.
I asked Jo if we could use her work as I feel that her writing is so descriptive that you can see exactly what she’s talking about. Its there right in front of you. I felt this was perfect for my students as we’re exploring the idea of relating to and identifying with text.
What I didn’t expect was how much they’d fall in love with both Jo and her writing. These kids have never met Jo. They’ve heard me mention my friend Katie’s Dad and about plays she’s written but they know no more than that.
The power of Jo’s writing is that its real. Its not melodramatic. Theres nothing exaggerated. At points she often plays down something that others would dramatise. Because she’s so truthful the kids trust her and they believe what she’s telling them through her blog.
They’ve all just written down the points they identify with in Jo’s piece. There are far more than you would ever think. I didn’t expect a 17 year old girl and a 60 year old playwright to have so much in common. But they do. Jo never believes me when I say that she’s cool. But she is. She someone the electric kids can identify with. They’re fighting so hard to be themselves and Jo is leading the way. Its ok to be who you need to be, who you are."

The full entry is on
... and it leaves me moved and humbled and proud all at once.


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