Friday, 10 April 2015

…the door is ajar

Short and sweet again this week, but back to normal (whatever that is) very soon. For a number of reasons, I find myself coming back to Dennis Potter and his conversation with Melvyn Bragg in which he describes seeing the spring blossom with new insight, only possible - he insists - when you’re facing your own death.

It was and still is, a remarkable interview. I’ve just read a small collection of poems by Clive James, called Sentenced to Life. Coming to terms with his own mortality, James shares his powerful and personal ruminations eloquently and in a way, for my part at least, that would be beyond my ability. I could share so many of these profound pieces, but I guess it would be far better to buy the book, so here’s one that’s freely available on his website.

Event Horizon
For years we fooled ourselves. Now we can tell
How everyone our age heads for the brink
Where they are drawn into the unplumbed well,
Not to be seen again. How sad, to think
People we once loved will be with us there
And we not touch them, for it is nowhere.

Never to taste again her pretty mouth!
It’s been forever, though, since last we kissed.
Shadows evaporate as they go south,
Torn, by whatever longings still persist,
Into a tattered wisp, a streak of air,
And then not even that. They get nowhere.

But once inside, you will have no regrets.
You go where no one will remember you.
You go below the sun when the sun sets,
And there is nobody you ever knew
Still visible, nor even the most rare
Hint of a face to humanise nowhere.

Are you to welcome this? It welcomes you.
The only blessing of the void to come
Is that you can relax. Nothing to do,
No cruel dreams of subtracting from your sum
Of follies. About those, at last, you care:
But soon you need not, as you go nowhere.

Into the singularity we fly
After a stretch of time in which we leave
Our lives behind yet know that we will die
At any moment now. A pause to grieve,
Burned by the starlight of our lives laid bare,
And then no sound, no sight, no thought. Nowhere.

What is it worth, then, this insane last phase
When everything about you goes downhill?
This much: you get to see the cosmos blaze
And feel its grandeur, even against your will,
As it reminds you, just by being there,
That it is here we live or else nowhere.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, the European exchange programme for entrepreneurs is open for applications. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other Participating Countries. The exchange of experience takes place during a stay with the experienced entrepreneur, which helps the new entrepreneur acquire the skills needed to run a small firm. The host benefits from fresh perspectives on his/her business and gets the opportunities to cooperate with foreign partners or learn about new markets. The stay is partially funded by the European Union. The programme is open to new entrepreneurs, firmly planning to set up their own business or have already started one within the last three years; and experienced entrepreneurs who own or manage a Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise in one of the Participating Countries who would be willing to host a new entrepreneur. Read more at:

The Day I Stood Up Alone
I'd like to share a Ted Talk (for first and last time maybe, as a lot of them seem like hot air and self aggrandisement). Here however, is Boniface Mwangi and his story about standing up to powerful forces and utilising the arts. Our arts/health field seems saturated with the genteel benevolence of affluent middle England - (thanks to MR for sharing this) - showing that beyond the gated community of Albion, there are people not just blowing their gilded trumpets, but attempting to address social and political change.


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