Stop all the Clocks: 11th February 2020

In class today we talked about Dushka Zapata meditation on life and W.H. Auden’s famous poem about our inner lives and our perspectives.
As always, the debate was interesting and lively with multiple perspectives on the topic. Everyone could relate to the assumption or expectation ‘you want what I want’ from both sides. Discussion focused around the pitfalls of not examining this stance in life, and the dangers of seeing one’s closest people as one; not separate.
Auden’s poem meant that grief was discussed too and how separate we can feel when we are grieving.
Two of the students talked about travelling from prison to court and back again in the prison service bus. They watched from behind the reinforced windows people walking or driving to work and wondered what their lives might be like, what issues they face. They wondered if those people noticed the bus, or saw them passing by. Did they think about us as we thought about them? Do our loved ones think about us as we spend so much time thinking about them?
These questions led to our writing activity of the day. Some wrote prose, others poetry, and one student wrote a debate piece.
TH wrote the following opinion piece on the subject.

I Can't Stop Thinking About You But Do You Think About Me?
By T.H.

They don’t know what you’re thinking; they are not you. When you are stressed or grieving don’t expect the world to stop. You may breathe the same air but everyone has their own mind.
Yes, they may be thinking about you but not in the same way you’re thinking about them.
When you’re going through something, don’t expect people around you to know what is in your mind. You can’t expect them to stop living their life for you. Our feelings tell us nothing else exists and others feel what we feel.
They may sense something is wrong or know the circumstances, but they do not understand how you feel.

In the words of WH Auden ‘Funeral Blues’
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

When someone is no longer in our lives do we stop thinking about them? The answer is no, there is no quid pro quo in thoughts, but it doesn’t mean they still think about you.

Creative writing class from Langata Women's Prison, Kenya


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