Oh the places you will go...


It doesn’t take much to make me cry. And people still find that odd. Because no matter how well people know me they still find it odd that a man is so openly emotional. It’s something that has haunted me my whole life to be honest. Some of my earliest memories are of being called names because I was too emotional or ‘too soft’. And while that’s a conversation for another day, what I’m trying to get at is that sometimes even I find myself puzzled about my emotional response to some things. Which makes me curious about what it is that triggers these emotions…and what emotions they even are!

For example, I am often genuinely moved to tears by dance. Watching dance onstage really gets to me. Drumming also has a profound physical effect on me - perhaps because of my African roots. Mainly I think it’s down to two things tho:

  1. I have always had a wonderful imagination. Finding refuge in reading as a child means that I very quickly learned to allow myself be transported to a different place and/or time and really immerse myself in it. I get lost in stories, and music, theatre and dance always have such magical stories to tell.

  2. I have also always found I can really empathise with other people - which is sometimes tough to handle, but is always a blessing. So when I witness people pouring their heart and soul into something - especially art - I can almost physically feel the emotion and energy from them.

Over the years I have also realised how much my personal experiences influence my reaction to things like music, or TV. Programmes or movies involving someone being bullied or outcast really upset me - even if it’s in a light-hearted production. Things that touch on issues of injustice and inequality make me very angry - I can even feel my heart race and my face get red. And whenever I experience people being allowed to be who they really are - outside of societal expectations, it always brings me so much joy. I find it fascinating how these things can transport you right back to your childhood, or to another place in your life.

About this video….now I know that some people (usually those who have never been) find the Burning Man phenomenon a little odd - but I ask you to go with me here no matter what you think about it. You see, every time I watch this video I get emotional. And I have worked out why: Because I genuinely find it deeply inspiring. I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say that the combination of free-spirited people of all types and ages being totally free to express themselves, combined with the innocence and joy of a children’s poem, makes for something that makes me feel so incredibly hopeful and inspired and full of love for what we can all experience if we allow ourselves to play and connect. It makes me appreciate how powerful simple moments and words can be.

I saved this video years ago, because I knew that I wanted to be able to share it with other people. I watch it often, and it never fails to uplift me. I hope it takes you places.


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Kintsugi: The Japanese art of repairing what is broken or damaged with pure gold resin. Also a philosophical approach that teaches that our flaws, experiences and scars make us all the more beautiful and unique.

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