A Journey to Great George Street

Published on Tuesday, 8 April 2014, 8:42pm

It was dark. Very dark. A pit. A hole, and I was at the bottom. How I got there I don’t remember. Perhaps it had been a gradual slide. Perhaps I had taken a step too far off a precipice. But however it had happened, there I was.  Surrounded by blackness, no glimmer of light to be seen. So I curled up and hid in the darkness.

I was aware of hands and arms reaching down towards me, offering love, support, refuge. But I wasn’t ready to receive them. I turned my back on them and basked in my numbness.
After a time I roused myself and reached out, touching walls and floor. I turned around and found – nothing. So I curled up again and turned inwards.

Then one day I turned, and there, high above me was a glimmer of light. Unreachable now, but a promise to be treasured and nurtured.

Gradually I shed my protective shell. Those loving arms reached out to me, lifting me, calming me, soothing me, guiding me. I leaned heavily on them to begin with, letting them direct my actions as I still wasn’t able to help myself.

I rose up the sides of the pit slowly over a period of months. It was by no means a smooth journey; those caring hands wearied and needed frequent rests. Progress stood still. I often rejected their help wanting to race ahead of myself. Sometimes I slipped, but they never let me fall.

And slowly, oh so slowly, I reached the top of the pit, and rested on the uncertain ground, looking at the bleak empty horizon of my future.

Tentative steps back to work over rocky ground and unfeeling attitudes. Teaching is all or nothing I was told again and again until once again I crashed, falling back into my deep pit, turning and tumbling, reaching the bottom with a crash! Once again my world was upside down.

And so the journey started again, but this time I had an idea of what to expect, how hard it could be and how long it would take. And this time I had the added benefit of a path smoothed by a wonderful employment specialist who held my hand and took me to Inspire and Ali, Barney and Kate. They, in their turn, led me into the winding paths of the world of art and creativity which I have followed from Belle Vue Road, Trinity Church, Malham House, Hyde Terrace and Kirkgate Market to Space and Great George Street. And here I pause a little on my journey as I watch the scenery and take in the sights.

HL – Inspire Art Group


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