Conversations (1)

The aim of the early workshops was always going to be creating a safe and comfortable environment in which stories could be shared: drinking tea together, having informal conversations about our lives and the things that matter to us, becoming friends. These will remain core values throughout the project: but after two weeks of doing little more than that, last week we had our first more focused session, beginning to explore how we share about our lives.

One thing which never ceases to amaze me, as a native English speaker, are the great depths of meaning which those who are express themselves in their second (or third, or fourth ...) language are able to communicate. It is almost as if, by stripping away some of the complexities of language and the cultural constructs which go with that allows more profound truths to be shared. Even simple statements can suddenly sound like poetry.

Using the wonderful resource "Paint Chip Poetry" we explored the colours and shapes of our emotions and our lives.

From the simple starting point of "choose up to three colours which represent how you are feeling right now"; we heard:

"White for the future because everything becomes clear. Right now nothing is clear for me, but in the future, maybe it will be"

"It represents freedom in the soul. Whatever is happening, however hard life can be, your soul can always be free."

"Red is for the fire, the energy, burning. But this one is for the water which puts out the fire. I feel both"

"I chose grey because it's a nothing colour. It is emptiness. That's how I feel."

"Under the water makes me feel calm. I have had many months of too much stress. But right now, I feel calm. I can relax"

"Yellow is shining with joy"

"This is the colour of my home"
For the simple starting point of "take those cards, and arrange them, together, how you wish"; we created random patterns "because that is like us, we all come from different places but we can all live together"; we created staircases, railways and ladders "because we are always, always on a journey", one which "isn't always directly, there are so many turnings and sometimes dead-ends"; we created an eye with a white centre "because you have to be able to see clearly";but an eye that was open ended because "you have to be open to see", and "you can't see everything only with your eyes".

Together we made poetry, maybe without even really realising it.