Friday, 4 February 2011

The Joanna Show

Last night I returned to my Thursday evening English class after two week’s leave. They were so joyful to see me it was like walking into an enclosure full of otters just before feeding time. I know I should take their happiness as a compliment but as I sat down at my desk and looked into their bright, expectant eyes I suddenly felt enormous pressure. Was I really ready to give them the Joanna Show again? Did I even have it in me? And was my skirt properly affixed?( I lost my skirt once in class last year – yep it was just me a t-shirt, some boots and knickers – hmm perhaps they are really coming for the promise of occasional burlesque.)
Anyway I took a deep breath and began by asking them to imagine what flavour ice-cream they would like to be! (I find this to be excellent second conditional practice – and ice-cream makes me happy! I would choose peppermint chocolate or maybe fig just for the chance!) And so the show began.
Yet even as I performed I felt somehow like I was watching from the sidelines. Like I was there but not really there; that I was someplace else altogether. When the show ended everyone left with a big smile on their face but I could feel myself literally shrinking back into my purple docs. Like I was this miniature person sitting at a giant’s table.
I then walked home alone through the dark, cold streets and I imagined the moon looking down on me much like a Michael Leunig cartoon.
I do love Michael Leunig. Both for his drawings ( two of which I have attached to this page) and also for his poetry. Of course Hafiz is still my primo poet squeeze ( I am not that fickle) but there is a sweetness to Leunig's work that I cherish very much.

When the heart is cut or cracked or broken,
Do not clutch it,
Let the wound lie open.
Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt,
And let it sting.
Let a stray dog lick it.
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell,
And let it ring.


By the way did you know that today is Thank a Mailman Day. I can’t remember the last time I got anything in the post apart from bills but I suppose that is not the mailman’s fault.

It's also Ambrose's birthday.

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