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Disability Arts Online

Spike Island (focusing on the task in hand) / 11 March 2011

I exist in the unquiet.
I breath to the soundtrack
of a panicked heart.
My thoughts churn and leap without focus.
Nausea creates its own quake
as my horizon slides;
the floor slips to a diagonal
and worry drains me of energy.
My desire for reassurance
dominates with lingering
persistence and futility.

My journey to Spike Island is different. I feel vulnerable, exposed, as if I have forgotten something vital and I arrive with a feeling of being elsewhere. Familiar faces, coffee and mini custard-cream doughnuts vie for my attention. For moments at a time the task in hand claims me, and gradually I focus what is happening around me.

I allow the fascinating New Voices project to draw me in. The laptop is open at my homepage and the BBC silently keeps me in touch with Japan. My involvement is personal, my focus tiny. I’m not ignoring the death and disaster, but like most individuals, I’m helpless. The scope of this is beyond comprehension.

Projecting the DAO website onto the screen in front of us, Colin gives the three of us a preview of how our blogs will look. I am surprised to be so excited. Our discussions and feedback are positive as, with Colin’s encouragement and assistance, we finally see ourselves as bloggers.

As I become more familiar with this it becomes easier to take on board, the learning is faster and easier and I just don’t want it to stop.

The afternoon workshop with David Trigg focuses on styles of writing; on being appropriate; and on persevering. David shares the trials and delights of his own journey with us, highlighting how we too can learn from this vicarious experience.

He has read short pieces of our work and is generous with praise and some carefully constructive criticism. The day has been very good, but I hope this is not the end. There is so much more to learn.