Saturday, May 12, 2012

Travelling reflections

I am writing this on the train coming back from London. Such is the immediacy and accessibility of technology one can communicate all over the place. I knew there was a jolly good reason for treating myself to a first class ticket there and back. It was very civilised travelling down this morning and just the same coming back - free wi-fi too. Good news as well as York won the FA Trophy at Wembley – heralding a hopeful portent for their play-off final next week. All the fans I met today seem to be returning to Wembley next week – that’s being a true football fan. Little glory in the lower leagues. they take what they can. Think some of the hot heads in the Premiership could learn a lesson or two from these guys.

Anyway reflection on football supporters was not the plan here – I was going to report back on my presentation at the Poetry and Medicine symposium. Even though I say it myself it was a bit of a triumph and went really very well with some very lovely comments from participants and some very good questions from the audience in the Q&A session. I was disappointed last year as no one asked me any questions but this year I was asked some quite searching questions – both from a literary slant and a health care perspective. Managed to answer both and felt really quite confident about what I was saying. Discussions over a cup of tea with a couple of people suggest that I need to take things further – disseminate the work I did to a wider audience – possibly a book with the poems and an accompanying narrative that includes the exploration of a context and interpretation of the work I did. I shared a couple of the poems that we had written together and again the feedback was very positive with one of the comments suggesting a likeness to the work of Carol Ann Duffy – now that is praise indeed – shame I can’t share it with the lady I worked with but I will pass it onto her family…

I also became involved in a discussion about the deficits in a proper caring approach within organisations that are believed to be beyond recrimination. I am hopeful this might lead to some very fruitful collaborations and I certainly feel even stronger in my passion to spread the word about poetry and health care.

I have also had time to reflect on why I find it so much easier to read and write when on a train – I haven’t come up with an answer yet but close observation of my behaviour suggests it only takes me until Birtley for my mind to be freed up. It is a curious phenomenon and if I could replicate the thinking mode I find myself in on the train and the number of ideas generated I would be so productive!!

Any suggestions or explanations gratefully received – a caveat to that is not the one where I spend the rest of my life onboard a train. It has been helpfully suggested before with a number of possible motives behind it – it is not practical. What I want is that sense of focus and freedom that I only seem to get when sat on a train. Help please…

Patterns on rock at shoreline near Cober Hill.

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