In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk

Riding the Hyphen – a ten minute film


Here is the link to a short film :  It records – in my opinion beautifully – an evening event held in May this year, which combined live performances of new music and drama, an exhibition of photography, and a reading by me of some of my own poetry. The event marked my retirement from mental health social work and was held in the Large Meeting Hall of the Quaker Friends House, Euston Road, London.

The hyphen of the title refers to whatever connects people seeking community, a bridge across turbulent space, the skills we need to secure that bridge, that precarious span built largely of hope. The image is suggested by a book by the theologian Martin Buber called “I and Thou”.

Last year, in August, I produced a book of poems also called “Riding the Hyphen.” Here it is. Hard copy versions are available. Both last year’s book and this year’s arts event seek to celebrate and affirm the skills of human connection and creativity across difficulty and difference. The event was surely one of the last to take place in the Large Meeting Hall before that beautiful place was closed for a major re-design. Gandhi had once spoken there. So had Bertrand Russell. The evening was funded by CNWL NHS Foundation Trust and by NHS Westminster.

The cameraman had only minimal equipment and just filmed events as they arrived in front of him and edited as he saw fit. He refused payment and wouldn’t even let me put his name on the credits. I find his editing brilliant and the result beautiful. I recommend it.