Today we visited the Mai Tao clinic. A hospital which has been set up to help people who would normally die or suffer horrifically from their ailments. Land mine victims, amputees. Road Traffic victims. Premature Births…both mothers and children. .. People who suffer from life threatening illnesses such as Aids .. and people who simply face the risk of infection from a smile wound. Here we performed a show for the patients and all the amazing staff who spend their lives juggling heavy times to survive.We spent the morning performing, roving and interacting with the people, babies and elderly and all in between. Bubble blowing. Hoop spinning. Feather shedding and smile giving. After the show and a short play time we dispersed in pairs to visit those who were not fortunate enough to be able to leave their beds and join us outside. By beds i mean mats on the floor, or hard wood shelves… by hospital I mean a place with walls and a ceiling where they can exist… and little more in comparison to what i call a hospital back in the UK. I found myself greeting people of all ages and all abilities who were dealing with their ailments in all stages… from an old woman who clapped her hands with glee and exclaimed with word “Beautiful” in her language over and over again as i sat with her and played to a child on deaths door (possibly from AIDs, it was hard to know as few spoke english) who could barely turn her head away from us to express that she did not want to be faced with play. Many laughed. Many smiled. Some stared starkly from deep set eyes and twitched the corners of their mouth as an expression of gratitude as we placed a heart shaped sticker on their wrist.
I returned home to our comfortable guest house… our haven we are blessed to have…so so so blessed… and before i could even wash the make up from my face I sat and wrote a poem I would love to share.
I will leave you with it.
Much love to you all, from here….. my heart is burning, with passion, pain, love and joy. I am Alive….and blessed… and so so so grateful.
Looking into the face of a girl, who’s looking into the face of death…
…breath followed by breath….
followed by breath….
dressed in glitter and smiles, tops hats and wild hair, staring into her eyes trying to define if she can even see me..
…. the breeze in here is soft, almost still… blocked from the sun by blankets strung up on string,
covered in towels in the blazing heat of the day to keep away the incessant drive of the flys who strive just to rest upon her features…
…my eyes do too…. trying to see more than just those cheek bones, those gums that show how her body is responding to this world…
Just a girl… its impossible to give her an age, time does wondrous things to the skins of those who play that game, walking on the tight rope of life though so much is pulling them down they stay teetering for a while before they allow their selves to dive… she moves her eyes… and i know she knows.
I take a deep one. Breath, followed by breath… followed by breath
and yet here i stand, a simple string bracelet in my hand to place upon her wrist, its all i brought to give as she lays upon the boards of the floor the swarms of flys storming towards all our eyes and the heat of the day breaking open the soil outside….. where is her mind right now? A girl her age could play a million games in the imagination, and in these delicate days of drifting away from this place i wonder if she spends more time in this reality or the next….
breath followed by breath…. followed by breath
I smile, its all i brought to give. Looking through those brown pools to send it deeper…. testing my desire to recieve a responce of any kind, just passing Love eye to eye and trusting she gets it for what it is… a gift,… its all i brought to give….
… sometimes being a clown means more than just messing around, its that honesty which only a fool would show… and i know she knows.
A blue feather fell from my hand and landed in the dust.
I passed one glance around the room to the faces of adults who wait with her with baited breath, followed by breath, followed by breath.
I head for the door and once more i turn to her upon the floor, raise my hand to my lips and blow a simple kiss….
…its all i brought to give.