The Spark That Makes My Fire Grow.

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 12:19 PM

How delightful it would be to have Josh, my seventeen year old, greet every morning with the enthusiasm he demonstrated today! I guess a trip from Old Trafford to Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club on the supporters coach, is considerably more appealing than the hour bus journey into college. His passion for Manchester United is one that’s intensified since his first home game, at the age of three. A furore he shares with his older brother and Father. His Father, a ‘Mancunian’ as indeed I am - has followed his beloved team since the Bobby Charlton days… The days when he stood in the ‘Stretford End’ with his own Father cheering on the ‘mighty reds’.


Football has the uncanny ability to arouse a vast array of energy and, emotion in my otherwise apathetic son. Witnessing his vigour on getting out of bed this morning was somewhat refreshing. The tedious morning ritual of repeatedly yelling; “Josh will you get a ****** move on” was replaced with

 “Ah Good Morning son, how are you? Have a nice day” 

It would be much easier to start the day on a positive note, rather than the negativity which usually governs!


Dragging myself out from under the duvet following a night of interrupted sleep is arduous. My vision’s blurred, my joints are painful and the overwhelming fatigue which continually blights my existence does little to arouse enthusiasm. Couple that with a stroppy teenager, who needs a rocket up his backside; then it’s not surprising I find the temptation to crawl back under the duvet, hard to resist.


This morning was like no other - Josh was up, ready, and eager to go! I, on the other hand, was not eager to go anywhere. However, I was up; unusual pleasantries exchanged over breakfast, and a positive start to Wednesday commenced.


The sun’s reflection through the window fooled me into thinking how nice it would be to venture outside. Maybe take my beautiful bound notebook, a tool every writer should possess - and go and sit by the river; tap into ‘Sanctuary’ the little place inside my head, where I record my thoughts in rhyme! Sadly the sight of the trees blowing relentlessly in the wind, were enough to alert me to, it not being a ‘Janey day’ My aversion to this weather, has and always will, cause anxiety.


I’ve spent a lifetime disguising the anomaly, with my hair! Goldenhar syndrome caused my auricular deformity and hearing loss, which fuelled the abhorrent feelings within myself. The intense need to remain covered at all times manifest itself at a young age. I wanted to be like other girls, wear plaits or pigtails and feel my hair blowing carelessly in the wind. I guess the ridicule at school did nothing, but reinforce that I was different; fuelling my belief that I was in fact ugly. No amount of reasoning will have me believe otherwise, and being outside on a windy day is akin to being naked in public! I guess it’s just another cross I have to bear, albeit a self limitating aspect of my life.


Josh gone, I sat at the dining room table admiring the scenic views through the living room window, I sat quietly for a while watching the trees wavering in the distance.

“Why can’t I laugh and toss my hair? And feel it sweeping in the air” the words from ‘Why Can’t I See’ a poem from “Raw Emotion” suddenly sounded in my mind! I really do cherish the little place inside my head. Losing myself in writing has become my deepest passion. I jot down thoughts and ideas in the little notebook, or tap away at the keyboard whenever I’m inspired. It didn’t matter that I would spend the day inside. The creative juices were flowing, and the warmth of the sun through the window proved comforting.


In a couple of weeks it will be the first anniversary of Shared Experiences. I couldn’t have imagined twelve months ago what opportunities would present themselves; doors are opening and more projects are on the horizon. Physically life will always be a struggle, but mentally I’m feeling good - Hmmm!!! Providing Manchester United secure a win at Chelsea this evening; otherwise I will have an enraged Josh to contend with on his return.


A year ago, whilst fraught with emotion I made a pledge to myself. “Never give up on my dreams and never lose hope” Losing my ability to work robbed me of self worth, thrust me into isolation and exacerbated my depression. Channelling emotional energy into something creative has been a most cathartic experience.


I was delighted to receive a letter from Denise Robertson of ITV This Morning, who said:


“Your poetry certainly touched my heart and I think the reason it works so well is two-fold. Firstly, those who have known suffering will be able to identify with your journey and your sorrows. Secondly, it gives those who have been more fortunate a glimpse behind the ‘condition’, the ‘problem’ and the face that is presented”


I was honoured to receive endorsement of my work from a popular figure and, as the respected author Denise is. It gives me great satisfaction to know that my little book is ‘out there’ and has been received positively.


Inside all of us is a fire; often just smouldering embers which need reigniting from time to time… A belief in ourselves, or a fiery passion which has the ability to lighten the darkest day. Whilst Manchester United may well be the spark that ignites many a fire, I’m content in having found mine… Writing - which truly is, the spark that makes MY power grow!



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