Sunday, March 18, 2018

Remember kindness

I'm walking
I'm slowly and silently walking
Walking through a dead land
The fruit is rotting on the tree
There are no birds singing
Nothing moves
Nothing will ever move
Nothing will ever move again
All the windows are open
All the windows sag open
All the windows and doors
And the only sound
Is the windows
Banging in the wind
And I ask
What's happened?
And I walk through the country of the dead
and the dead lie where death has caught them

Young men.
Old men old women
children. babies.
babies and their mothers!

Who could do this?
And I come upon a child
Lying as if asleep.
And the spirit child
The spirit child opens her eyes and speaks

It didn't happen suddenly
It wasn't a flash of fire from the sky
Or a machine exploding on the earth
It didn't happen the way we'd been prepared
The way that we'd prepared for our defence.
It happened bit by bit
Birds began falling out of the sky
But one by one so no-one noticed they had gone.

And then we started losing colours
All the deep reds and the indigos
Bit by bit and one by one
And no-one, ever, noticed them go.
And everyone stopped listening to each other
But little by little
And bit by bit
And so we never noticed what we'd lost
And when we started not to feel things
And when we started not to think things
No-one noticed because we'd lost...
Because we'd lost the capacity to notice
And when we forgot
We'd soon forgotten what it was
We had forgot
And when we died
mostly we didn't notice that we'd died
And she takes my hand
And we walk on together
There is a kind of beauty in the stillness
And I don’t feel afraid
She is silent for a while,
And then she summons all her strength
All the strength of her brothers and sisters
the strength of all the dead!
And I hear them
I hear them very close

Don't settle for the easy option
don't settle for the "there is no other way"
Don't believe them when they tell you
human nature's just like that
and things will never change
I feel pity for you
setting out so full of strength and hope
setting out on so dangerous a road
don't be afraid remember kindness
its kindness that banishes all fear

This comes from a play I wrote in 1994. One called "Dreaming".

I wrote it for the Edinburgh Puppet Workshop, who are now called "Vision Mechanics"

They were lovely to work for, and I was so proud of the play. But this was before anyone had really considered writing ofr young people as a serious thing to do. We were way ahead of our time, did terrible business, and I almost bankrupted the company.

I am so glad I didn't. They are still producing beautiful work. You can find out about it here

The phrase "Remember kindness" came into my head yesterday in this blog, and I'm I've looked up its source.

I was writing in an oddly prophetic way about a process that we are now living through.

And must unite to resist....
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