Sunday, November 23, 2008

and home again

Another train, in the dark, heading North. Bjork on the earbuds and a feeling of a job well( ish) done. Two events with mixed age groups of children today - the little ones in the morning appeared to be half asleep, verging on comatose; the afternoon group was sparkier and waaaay more fun in terms of audience participation. Go figure. At times like this morning I wonder, as I stand up there drawing and drawing and talking non-stop to fill up the endless yawning silences, I wonder what the hell am I doing up here?

Is it me? Or is it them? Or is it just that the us isn't working? So, for my partners in non-creativity this morning, I have this to say - it didn't work out, did it? It may have been me, it may have been all of you ; but no, there were small pockets of resistance, some of you smiled shyly, but the rest of you looked as if you were hoping it would all be over soon so that you could get back to whatever it was you were doing before your thoughtless parents dragged you out of bed/away from the tv/the playstation and forced you into a car/bus/train to make sure you participated in a free but ticketed event at a book festival that is stunningly, brilliantly, wildly enthusiastically run by a team of unpaid volunteers. 

The key word in that last sentence was 'participated'. Dear children, for the majority of you this morning, your sum total contribution to this event was... to look bored. Bored, bored and beyond bored. I'm sorry that you felt that way. Certainly makes me wonder what I was doing wrong, or even if there is anything I can do to wake children up out of that kind of depressing torpor because whatever it takes, I sure didn't have it. Not this a.m. 

However, there were pockets of resistance. Not all of you looked like the flesh and blood embodiment of that well-worn teen look of 'yeah, whatever'. Not all of you made me wish I'd chosen a more rewarding occupation like manual sewage operative. Not every single one of you looked dead from the neck up. the little boy and girl who made a big effort to make up for the embarassing shortfall in the audience involvement of this morning, a thousand thankyous. For smiling. For making an effort to join in. For connecting. Thankyou. 


1 comment:

Alwen said...

The presenter's deepest fear: the audience that sits catatonically, with occasional jaw-wrenching yawns. We'll just put them down to winter hibernation, shall we?