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Archive for the ‘Free thought’ Category

The girl outside the lift

I was at Tate Modern recently, waiting by the ever busy bank of lifts, hoping to catch one going down.

Then I saw her, a pretty girl, aged about eight. With her father and younger siblings, on an access day out maybe? No mum seen. With the youngest asleep in the buggy and the middle child holding on, he pushed his way into the lift. Leaving his eldest child teetering at the lift entrance.

She was willing her legs to walk her in, leaning forwards, hoping. Impatiently, her father, minimising her feelings, demands she join us. But all too quickly the doors shut. Leaving the girl, on her own, outside.

Surely no mother would do that? Would the girl be ok, did she manage to navigate the escalator? Instinctively, I had to wait and check. Being cross, that her father could be so unconcerned, unbothered about her safety. Would he have behaved in the same way in a busy shopping centre?

Fortunately, all was well. She re-joined her father and the younger ones. But, why did he not help his eldest child overcome her fear? How could he let her stay apart, heedless of any risk? Minimal though that might have been.

Enclosed spaces can be scary, bodies pushed against each other. As a wheelchair user I’m protected, safe from unwelcome contact. But that young girl was left alone, her fear un-faced. Excluded, her needs unmet.

I watched, as her father walked on, nothing said, she trailing behind. Why no interaction, why no concern? The English un-noticing, or too reserved to comment, much less intervene.

Will her mother be told? How will she feel? What help will the girl receive to conquer her demons?

I’m left wondering, concerned. Wishing I could have made a difference, a positive intervention.


A Stone on my Shell

Bang! Crash!

I thought it would break me. But my shell remained intact. I woke, peered out, trying to stretch fingers I can’t yet feel, puzzling as to what was going on.

Then realisation hit, the roofers were back. What they were doing dropping debris outside my bedroom window onto the scaffolding, is probably impossible to fathom.

Why, after the cleaning and painting of the exterior, should the roofers ascend to the heights, is a conundrum none answers.

Communication is limited, their language not English, my knowledge of Baltic tongues non-existent. I hoped the arrival of the amazon forewoman would produce some relief, but she has disappeared without trace, leaving mute colleagues behind.

Damage has already occurred, breakage of a window to the outside world, first covered up by darkness, and when replaced leaving an interior trail of dirt, dust and glass.

An exterior gate, off its hinges, padlocks missing, lays forlorn at the end of the patio steps. Unable to be replaced till the disassembling of the stickie-brick scaffolding. Leaving me vulnerable to attacks from below, they’ve happened before, will he ascend from his depths again?

Following foraging for food, I crawl back into my shell, warm and safe, immersed in the words. Intact until the throwers leave, when I can once again, venture into an uncertain world.

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