Monday, 2 June 2014

The Wood for the Trees

With just under 3 weeks to go till our event, "Turning up the Volume on Poverty" things have become somewhat hectic around the Poverty Truth Commission.  To do lists multiply, diaries are squeezed, panic begins to set in...

And yet of course important though the number of rehearsals, the numbers attending, the number of microphones and the number of press interviews are - this is not what it is all about.

I have a folder holding all the script information for the day.  Occasionally I can be seen manically flicking through it.  What happens here?  Why are these pages still blank?  Will we be ready in time?  This I know is the way with organising a large event - and yet...

There is one piece in that folder that makes me stop.  It has been finished for a while.  It's completeness makes me calm.  And when I glance at it I remember what the whole event is about.  

For this story tells the truth about asylum so honestly and profoundly, I know that if it was the only story told on the 21st June, the event would still be of extreme importance.

"...When you claim asylum, no matter who you are, no matter what you have achieved in life, as soon as you claim asylum you are crushed.  It's like being told you have done something wrong and you are nothing now.  But I am still the same person.  I am still Aimee..."

Of course it won't be the only story.  Each one that is being so carefully crafted and rehearsed in these last few weeks has a dramatic importance and quiet authority.  To be there on June 21st when the volume is turned up will be a privelge and experience.  To hear the truth publicly told - things will not stay the same.

I am glad to lift my head from the chaos of organising and to hear the leaves of trees of the wood rustling in anticipation.

Elaine Downie

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