So now we move from waiting in the wings to the full glare of the stage. Exciting and daunting in equal measure.
I'd like to thank everyone who has supported Seas of Snow and helped me get to this extraordinary place. I am so deeply humbled by and appreciative of you and the generosity you have shown. Thank you.
I'm abroad at the moment surrounded by mountains and the chill of the September twilight. The wifi here is at best patchy - so I plan to write more, and personally, on my return.
In the meantime - given an issue that is close to many of our hearts at the moment, I thought perhaps the best way to thank everyone who has got me to 100% at this point in time might be to share a poem I wrote a little while ago inspired by an assignment filming in a refugee camp.
We were on the Liberian border with Ghana. The heat was blistering. Flies massed in blackness and stickily flying in and out of the raw human waste clumping and oozing on the ground. There was a little girl in a makeshift classroom - lessons giving this humid, rank place the patina of normality. She caught my eye partly because of a bright pink dress she was wearing - filthy and too big for her - but a pretty shade of pink. She was about the same age as my god-daughter at the time. Her sunny optimism was heartbeaking and yet compelling. Inspiring. Brilliant. I wrote this in tribute to her and hope you will find a moment to read it as other refugees in other parts of the world face their fate.
A place faraway (in her hand)
She touches it, smiling
Warm, clean, safe.
Sunshine glows, beckons (hush your tears)
She’s feeling it, whispering
Not. Long. Now.
Children chatter light (why be scared?)
Unknowing truth, playing
Life goes on.
Her pink cotton dress (hand-me-down)
Worn through with holes, aching
Small bare feet.
Rivers of sewage (staining deep)
Horizons stretch, longing
Eyes look out.
Flies cluster in pairs (buzzing soft)
Blacken the dead, eating
Sun beats down.
Laughter ringing out (someone’s drunk)
The men gather, smoking
Tar and piss.
There’s nothing to eat (just some maize)
People grow thin, shrinking
One. Day. Soon.
They tell the stories (round the fire)
Memories sharp, living
Home feels real.
Time keeps passing by (one more year)
Children fall sick, dying
Still they hope.
A five year old
who has never seen her country
holds it gently in her hand.
Its warmth beckons her.
It feels safe.
It feels clean.
It feels hers.
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