Romsey Arts Festival: Pearls of Wisdom


The festival finished off on Saturday, October 10th with a wonderful Enchanted Tea dance at Ditchburn Place, Mill Road. Amongst the endless cups of tea, yummy home baked cakes, art, dancing and magical butterfly – we also showcased the launch of our collaborative project ‘Pearls of Wisdom’

Working with the Turtledove girls and Cambridge Art Salon we spent a week visiting various groups of elderly throughout east Cambridgeshire and asking them to help us make art and to pass on any wisdom they felt they had to give. It was amazing how many of them didn't feel like they had anything to share at first but after talking to them for a while we had lots of pearls of wisdom. These pearls were displayed all around the Enchanted Tea Dance and I will show you some here: 


I was also commissioned to write a poem for the people involved in the project and I was able to read them to them at the event which was a great honour. I wrote a few little ones in response but here is the overall poem that I wrote:

Pearls of wisdom

 They were older
Hands curled around cups like paper crumpled in the fire
Arched backs and weathered eyes
We were young
Straight backed and stubborn
Jumbled up in tangled thoughts
With the hesitance of an unenlightened mind
But the moment passed and we grew bolder
We asked for pearls of wisdom
To enlighten our young minds
So we might prepare for the task of growing older
The response was blank faces and raised eyebrows
Smiles crossed faces
As confusion passed
A man stepped forward with kindness in his eyes
You ask us for polished pearls with a hungry mind and widened eyes
But all we have to give is sand and soil
Your hourglass has not yet to turn
But you will surely learn
We ourselves are only just learning to live.
We can only tell you the things you already know
To look before you leap
To take it slow
And that time heals all
No matter the wreckage, things will get better of this I promise
A key still fits an ignition despite there being nothing left to drive
The world was never perfect, but it sure will keep on turning
Always help others especially those who can no longer help themselves
Give freely
Let kindness spread like sunshine through a window
Pick your battles
Sometimes peace is more important than righteousness
Seek not for what you want but what you need
Because if you look after the pennies, the pounds will watch themselves
Call your mother
Forgive your father
Don’t wait – life passes quicker than you think
One day you’ll blink and all of this will have passed
The things that you’d thought you’d be
And the places you thought you’d see
Will be forgotten.
Deep water currents continue unhindered by the ripples upon its surface
But stones settle deep below
It’s the little things in life that will soon begin to mean the most
This life is what you make it
So make it good and make it fair
This knowledge is yours for the keeping
So use it wisely and use it well
It’s never too late to keep on learning.