This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Apology... / 3 February 2015

I must apologise for my lack of new posts since before Christmas.
My partner has been in Intensive Care since New Year’s Day.  John and I have agreed to suspend the mentoring process until I have a bit less on my mind.
Perhaps some work will come out of this.  There’s certainly been plenty to write about: the long wait until five in the morning outside the resuscitation unit in A and E; the conversations with doctors anxious to explain the potential future; being, properly, told the worst that might happen and having to give a calm response; signing the forms giving permission for a tracheotomy; knowing, thanks to those serious conversation with doctors, what the worst might be but trying to retain a reasonably optimistic outlook, if only to protect myself.
Then there are all the sights and sounds of a busy ICU, including meeting, in the relatives’ room, other families, some of whom are doing the same as I, accompanying the long process of recovery, and some of whom are there waiting out what Dylan Thomas called ‘the dying of the light’; or the old lady all alone in a side ward, with a sign on the door saying ISOLATION.
But turning these experiences into writing is something that will come when I am able to look back on it all.
Wordsworth, in his preface to Lyrical Ballads, suggested that poetry was produced from ‘emotion recollected in tranquillity’.  Right at the moment, I’m going through the emotion.  The tranquillity comes later.