Friday, 2 December 2011

Bognor From Birmingham With Added Poetry And Thoughts

We finished the latest exhibition at 4pm in St Martin in the Bull Ring on Tuesday 29 November, with the final poetry workshop by the very excellent poet Penny Hewlett.  It was a lively group of poets that gathered around Penny.  The theme was Moving Away, a fitting end to some quite powerful and emotional workshops run by Penny, to fit in with the A Graceful Death themes of loss, bereavement, hope and life.  This workshop was also powerful and emotional.  It is inevitable, when anyone is asked to work on their experiences of grief and loss, and to celebrate the life of those who have died, that it isn't going to be just a jolly moment or two of recollection.  Penny aims to get poetry out of the situation, and the work she encouraged from her workshops is very strong.  There will be a small booklet of the poems when Penny gets them all together and printed.  I for one, can't wait.  I love the poetry and responses from those that take part in the exhibition.  It is tremendously moving to read what people can write, and I always include any poetry in the exhibition as it tours.

So, Birmingham is done and dusted.  I am home, with all the paintings and assorted AGD stuff back in the studio.  Our next venue is the old and famous church St James's in Piccadilly, in mid March to about the 10 April.  I will post more on that as we organise it.

Birmingham.  What happened in Birmingham, and how did it go down?  It went down well.  I met some good people, and heard some interesting stories.  I was there for the beginning, and there for the end, and realise that I really do need to be there all the time.  The paintings and the words are powerful and moving, and it is not enough to leave people to move around in the exhibition without someone available to talk to.  If either I or someone who understands the exhibition are not there, something is missing.  I understood from this exhibition in St Martins, that the whole experience of AGD is the human contact.  It is about the human condition of life, death and life again.  To have lost someone, to have felt that grief and anger and bleakness, to have come through it all and to have survived the experience of bereavement is truly life changing.  The paintings and poetry and prose in the exhibition touches us all again, and we resonate with the messages and images.  We understand the whole thing, it relates deeply to our experience and that - that is where someone needs to be standing in the exhibition, ready to be a warmly human, and to listen and be there. If I could manage it, there would always be tea and cake for everyone to provide instant contact with the present, and to provide comfort.  The exhibition acts and a sounding board for those who need to speak, it acts as a spring board for those who want to go away and do something about their feelings (I mean something healing, like poetry, praying, art, speaking, and so on).  For the two weeks that I was not present at the exhibition, I feel that people may have found it difficult and confusing.  But, Penny was there for her workshops over one of the Saturdays, and that has been very positive.

I am going to take a few weeks to assess the next steps for AGD.  We are so very lucky to be showing over Easter at St James's in Piccadilly.  Both Eileen and I want to make it a memorable time for everyone, and we hope to grow our ideas of workshops and related talks and discussions.  Penny, our AGD Poet will be there.  Eileen will have her films and recordings, and we hope that Neill Blume will have finished our film about the creative processes behind the exhibition, and the effects that it has on those who are being painted.  Eileen and I have tentatively asked a wonderfully creative friend if she would consider doing some Dance and Drama workshops around the exhibition, and we have also asked our friend Stuart (who is painted in the exhibition alongside his wife Sue, and some of Sue's writings, before her suicide in 2008) to consider doing some work with us on the subject of suicide.  Eileen is producing her book, and we hope to have that for the next exhibition.  I have ideas too about asking certain people to give talks on subjects alongside AGD. 

In the meantime, Eileen is coming to stay this weekend, and we have a working weekend ahead.  We will be meeting with people who may be able to help us tomorrow, and on Sunday we are meeting the next person to be painted.  We are having lunch with her, and Eileen will photograph her.  We have done the interview, but may do another.  This lady, Sarah, has not only survived bereavement, but has survived cancer too.  She hates the word Survivor, so I won't use it for her.  Her story and her thoughts are very interesting and a bit different - she is a strong lady.

I would like, before I go, to thank an extremely kind lady that I met on the Soul Midwife course.  Her name is Storm, and she sent a donation to A Graceful Death on her return home, and has asked for us to come to Glastonbury where she lives.  Thank you Storm, thank you!  You are a star.  And yes, we will come to Glastonbury and it will be lovely to see you again.

In the meantime, much to think about.  But after another pot of tea and some more cake. And, Tuesday 29 November is Steve's anniversary.  The exhibition came down on the anniversary of his death in 2007.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Resting In Motion At The Speed Of Light

I am so proud of the A Graceful Death exhibition.  So many people, too many to name here, are responsible for making it strong and simple, gracious and loving.  It exists because there are those who have a huge heart and a strong mind.  I include in this all those who help to transport, hang, catalogue, publicise and do workshops for the exhibition, and those who are painted and who tell their stories, and who write the poetry that is used.  Having the expert and excellent Eileen Rafferty on board as co-producer is another feather in the exhibition's cap.  This link to Eileen's blog shows some small films that Eileen has made, where we discuss the latest paintings for A Graceful Death, which is on the subject of the suicide of Stuart Pryde's wife Sue.

But I am now moving in a different though parallel direction.  I have taken on the job title of Soul Midwife, and have begun a journey that both thrills and terrifies me.  I simply do not know how to do this job.  And yet, it is quite simply the most important thing I have ever done.  I have been on a course in Dorset with the wonderful Felicity Warner, I have been inspired by the concept of graceful, gentle dying and the place of the Soul Midwife in working with those who are going to die, to create the best death that they can together.  The idea behind the Soul Midwife movement seems to be very like the ideas behind the hospice movement, and the work of all the most influential palliative care pioneers.  The beauty of the Soul Midwife is that we do not have to be trained medically or as a counsellor, we work alongside other professions and provide spiritual and emotional support.  We listen, we support, we are not afraid.  Many have other services such as reiki, healing, bach flower remedies, meditation to offer.  Some are experienced in helping the dying person to reconcile differences within the family, some are wonderful with music and art, and can help to unlock thoughts and memories that need to be celebrated or acknowledged.  The most important offering, I think, is a listening love.  If only we start with this, the rest is just icing on the cake.

Where am I in this wonderful new world?  Having done my course with Felicity, I am so far down the ladder as to be almost unable to see the starting rung.  I have spent a week letting my thoughts settle after the course, and making myself do nothing.  I can see how this work can be done, and I can see that it is so very important, but where on earth do I start?  I am paralysed by the enormity of the task.  How can I, with very little experience, possibly help another to die well?  I know nothing.  I know nothing.  It is the other way round, it is me who will be saying, help me.  I will be saying, will you help me to know what is going on as you die, will you teach me how to do this?  I need to watch and wait, I need to go directly to the dying and learn from them.  I cannot do this work yet, I have much to learn and a long way to go.  So I have decided to start at the beginning.  I need to learn. This new job as a Soul Midwife starts with some training at the front line.  It is fine that I know nothing, it is not fine if I stay like that.  So learn something.  Ask someone.  I am a Soul Midwife in Training.  It is fine to take my time, in fact, it is essential.  Maybe I will learn quickly and set myself up in no time at all.  That would be wonderful;  I cannot think of a more perfect job than that of a Soul Midwife.  And maybe, I find that I do not learn quickly.  Maybe I am someone who needs to sit at the feet of many many different people before I set myself up as a Soul Midwife.  Or perhaps a third option, in that I do a bit of both.  I don't know right now, I have not quite started.

Here is what I have done.  I have contacted the Snowdrop Trust, a charity that cares for children in West Sussex (where I live) with life threatening and terminal illnesses, in their homes.  I have asked to train as a volunteer, as their volunteers are highly trained and supported, and are not expected to do anything medical.  I will, I am told, be doing fun things with the children alongside the Snowdrop Trusts doctors and nurses.  A  lady from the Trust is coming here to my home next week to go through it all with me.  I volunteer already at my local hospice, where my role is to make teas and coffees and listen.  And finally, just as I returned home from the course, I received an email from a lady who I admire tremendously.  She is a highly intelligent, articulate and compassionate speaker on all subjects from palliative care to moral issues in the approaches to dying, legal issues at the end of life to matters around mental health.  I have found her willingness to help me work out how to best produce the A Graceful Death exhibition over the years so helpful and insightful.  Her email, received at 7.30am the morning after I returned from Felicity's course in Dorset, said that quite out of the blue she had been diagnosed with a possible terminal condition, and that everything in her life had been turned on its head.  The most extraordinary thing, she said, is that the tests that found this dreadful illness, were routinely given for something else, and that she still felt very well indeed.  And yet, she is extremely ill, and possibly has not got much time left.  I asked her to come and see me as a friend, not in a professional capacity, and she did.  The following morning she came for breakfast.

She is an extraordinary lady.  It was a wonderful breakfast.  We laughed, we ate, we spoke of life and death.  And here, in my kitchen, is the person who can teach me how to be a Soul Midwife.  She had agreed to talk me through her experiences and to be my teacher.

And finally, as the dust is settling, and I am making more sense of how to move forwards not only as a Soul Midwife but as an artist who is dedicated to producing the A Graceful Death exhibition as an ongoing Artistic contribution to the subject of death and dying and love, I am aware that the most difficult thing to overcome is my own lack of confidence.  One of the bonuses of being a Soul Midwife is the contact with other Soul Midwives.  We seem to care greatly about each other, and to offer a huge amount of support in all ways. I met and made contact with some wonderful people on Felicity's course, and am really, once I get over my confusion, in very good hands indeed.  And that is what I want the people I work with to say of me, that they are in very good hands indeed.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Photos By Eileen Rafferty And A New Venture For Me

A Graceful Death Exhibition
St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham B5 5BB

Friday 4 November - Tuesday 29 November

Open Daily
Come and write your piece in the Memory Book in the exhibition.  Write about you, write in poetry or prose.  Say what you want.  Tell us about who you remember.
These are some photos for you by Eileen Rafferty who has written of the exhibition in her excellent blog Photosynthesis - .   
Steve in shadow, taken by Eileen as the sun was slowly setting.

The paintings of Stuart and his wife Sue Pryde.  Sue killed herself in 2008 and this is an important work and comment on Sue's suicide.  Written in the three smaller paintings are extracts from Sue's writings, her suicide note to the police (not her suicide note to Stuart) and her letter to Stuart on their wedding day.  Sue is deeply missed and mourned by her husband and her friends.

We are very lucky indeed to have the services of Penny Hewlett, poet in residence at St Martin in the Bull Ring.  Penny is taking poetry workshops on themes taken from the exhibition.  These are a couple of photos from her first workshop.

Penny talking to a very interesting lady from her first workshop, on the subject of Facing Loss.

The same lady working on exercises in writing and thinking that Penny had set.

 These are the hands of a poet, Jenna Plewes who has written the poem on death below.  I am using this and at least two other poems of Jenna's for the exhibition.  Jenna is a warm, intelligent lady who's hands Eileen has captured in her usual excellent way.


 Spring sunshine brings the beech leaves
to a simmering mouthwatering greenness
and the bluebells beneath are a long cool drink of blue.
I walk carefully, but leave a bruised path,
and so I stop, and let the blue green day sift down around me.
Inside a voice says “hold on to this, remember this,
remember this when the busy world reclaims you,
see still in your mind’s eye the blue  and the green,
and the gentle sky.

Tomorrow I go to Dorset to start my training as a Soul Midwife with Felicity Warner.

I will be starting something that I am very keen to do.  Until I start learning about it, I am reluctant to say very much.  I am not trained to do anything professionally.  I am not a medic, I am not a counsellor, I am not even trained as an artist.  I know that I can help people who are dying, and I want to learn how to do it.  As far as I can see, a Soul Midwife provides emotional and spiritual support for those who are dying, whether at the time of diagnosis or later on.  A Soul Midwife will walk alongside someone at the end of their lives, helping to make the experience as easy as possible.  I will learn how to listen, comfort, discuss, do things, and when the time comes if requested, to be present as they die.   I will work alongside doctors and nurses, counsellors and other trained professionals, to make the experience of the end of life as good and peaceful as possible.

More on this as I do it.
In the meantime, please go to St Martin in the Bull Ring and witness the A Graceful Death exhibition. Penny's final workshop will take place during the closing ceremony of the exhbition on Tuesday 29 November, at 2pm.  The title of the workshop will be Moving On.  I will be there and am looking forward to doing another of Penny's moving and uplifting poetry workshops.  I hope to see you there too.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Quiet And Profound Opening

A Graceful Death Exhibition
St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham B5 5BB

Friday 4 November - Tuesday 29 November

Open Daily
Come and write your piece in the Memory Book in the exhibition.  Write about you, write in poetry or prose.  Say what you want.  Tell us about who you remember.

We opened A Graceful Death on Thursday 3 November, in the lovely old church St Martin in the Bull Ring in Birmingham.  Eileen Rafferty, the photographer, photographed some of the paintings in situ, and photographed the poetry workshop which was held by Penny Hewlett, poet in residence at the church.

This is a small update for you, I will post another account with photos from Eileen next week.  Our new works, Nushi Khan-Levy and Stuart and Sue Pryde, were received with interest.  People were heartened by Nushi's image of Cancer Chic, and the account of her decision to live one day at a time.  Her obvious beauty, even while undergoing chemotherapy, even while losing her hair and feeling so very ill, made people smile with recognition.  If Nushi can do it, we can.  And Stuart and Sue Pryde's story stunned a good few people.  Very powerful, they said.  It is very powerful, and the fact that some of Sue's words are displayed as part of the artwork, is very touching indeed.  Sue has left behind an account of her decision to kill herself, which will start a profound discussion about suicide. Her writing is difficult to read, she is extremely articulate and holds nothing back.  I have only used a fraction of it in the paintings, but what I have used is very good.  Her husband, Stuart, is a brave man to allow this subject of his wife's suicide to be made into an art work to try and touch others who may be in the same situation.

I was very fortunate to meet at last, the Rev Al Barrett and his wife and children, who came to the exhibition on Friday morning.  I know of Al through friends in Birmingham, and though we had corresponded, we had not met.  Now we have, and very lovely it was too!   I was touched by his and his wife's response to the exhibition.  As a priest, Al has to deal with bereavement and the end of life.  It never gets any easier, he says.  He often doesn't know what to say, but just being there is all he can do sometimes.  The painting that meant the most to him was the Tea And Hope Diptych.  There is always, he says, just the simple act of making tea.  Sometimes, that is all he can do.  Al wrote a wonderful piece about the exhibition in his very excellent blog below.

 Tea And Hope Diptych.  This is the painting that the Rev Al Barrett liked the most.

It is worth mentioning that Al's enchanting little son aged 3, when asked how Steve was feeling in one of the paintings, said without hesitation, Grumpy.  

The poetry workshop was so moving and so excellent.  Penny Hewlett ran quite a challenging session for us, and I recommend that you who can, go to Penny's other two workshops.  They are

Workshop 2: Saying Goodbye    Saturday 12 November 11 am - 1pm (if you are coming to this workshop please bring some photos)

Workshop 3: Moving Away      Tuesday 29 November, talk 2.00 and Workshop 2.30 - 4.00 pm 

 Penny will be compiling a small book of all the poetry that is created from these sessions, which will be available at the next A Graceful Death exhibitions.  To end today's update, I want to add a poem that Penny wrote in response to the painting below.  It made me cry.

Letting Go

What do you see,
my love, as you sit in this bath
with bubbles and yellow ducks,
touches of life and loving kindness
in the midst of desolation?
What do you see,
from your tired eyes, heavy lidded,
No longer looking out at what
is all around you, the gentle hands
that hold you, wash you,
bringing you this gift,
last as it was first.
What do you see,
now the world is disappearing,
as your strength leaves you
and light no longer brings you
gifts of sight?

I see that you are leaving me,
even now, you who are the life
that breathes colour into my days.
I see that you have passed into shadow,
as even my touch slides like water
from  your skin.
I see there are no hands
to hold me now, no last look
to say goodbye, though I say it
for us both, through the fierce
pain of separation.

Penny Hewlett

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Stuart and Sue Pryde and Nushi Khan-Levy Finished Paintings

A Graceful Death Exhibition
St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham B5 5BB

Friday 4 November - Tuesday 29 November

Open Daily

Opening Event Thursday 3 November
2pm - 4pm

Poetry Workshop with Penny Hewlett
Poet in Residence at St Martins 

from 2.30 - 4  "Facing Loss"

All Very Welcome and Tea and cakes for all

I have finished the paintings of Stuart and Sue Pryde.  Sue committed suicide on 7 August 2008, leaving her husband Stuart bereft, confused and devastated.  Stuart has worked with Eileen Rafferty, photographer and co-producer of the A Graceful Death exhibition, and me to produce these images and allow me to reproduce some of Sue's words and her suicide note.  I have not used Sue's suicide note to Stuart, just the one she left for the police.  

The image I have used for Sue is an image that Stuart came upon by accident, it was taken without her knowing only a few days before her planned suicide took place.  The photo shows Sue without artifice, as she truly was at that moment with the knowledge of what she had planned and set up taking up all her thoughts.  No one knew of her decision, and the photograph was just a quick snap of a friend on an uneventful afternoon.  What it actually captured is evident in hindsight.  Sue was withdrawing from the world, setting things in motion for her death and most of all, keeping it deeply secret.   Who could have known?  Taking this photo was the last image ever taken of her.  Who could have known that within a few days she would have arranged her own death in a deeply thoughtful and precise way.  Sue left no space for failure, she wanted to die and killed herself with gentleness, peace and deadly thoroughness.

Stuart loved his wife and loves her still.  Eileen and Neill have both filmed him when he came here to discuss this work for A Graceful Death, and we were all struck at the depth of his love for her and for her love for him.  But Sue had too many terrible demons in her mind, and nothing it seemed, could still them.  Her own death was the only way out.  Here are the paintings
Both Stuart and Sue loved gardening and these are the flowers that Stuart suggested for the paintings.  The deep blue sky is a memory of the skies of Sue's childhood in Tanzania.  Below are three smaller canvases that go in between Stuart and Sue

The words are Sue's suicide letter, some words from Sue's diary, and finally Sue's wonderful letter to Stuart on their wedding day.  The text is set out below for you to read.  It is very important that you read these words, Sue was articulate and amazing.

First Painting
To whom it may concern
I have taken 40mg of diazepam to decrease my anxiety, and some more (crushed) to depress my breathing and decrease my likelihood of convulsions.  Some Tramadol simply because it makes me dizzy; around 6 units of alcohol and 30mg zoplicone.  The helium is self-evident.  There is no cry for help here; I do not intend to be found; I intend to die.
My plan is to have taken enough drugs and alcohol to fall into an unnatural sleep.  Before I do so, I plan to turn on the helium in order to suffer oxygen deprivation and die.  I am afraid of pain and do not want to suffer.  I think and hope that this will be a peaceful way out for me.
I do not have a mental health problem, and I feel that I have made the decision to die as a rational choice given the nature of my life for the past 40 years.  I have decided that I can’t tolerate my feelings of helplessness and disgust (for myself and the rest of the world) any longer.
I am not afraid of death
but I am afraid of dying.  I have been waiting for the right time to do this for many years, and now it’s here, I look forward to just not being here anymore.
Should I be found alive, this will be a mistake on my part, because I intend to die.  I ask that no attempt be made to resuscitate or treat my condition.  I request that I be allowed to die.  Should I end up unconscious and in hospital being treated, I request that I do not be treated in any way other than by being given

oral care.  There is a Statement of Values attached here, and this document specifies the conditions under which I would like to live and die.  If necessary, please revert to that document for guidance.  I know it is unlikely that my organs will be of use, but I’m on the organ donor register all the same.
I offer my sincere apologies to the staff of Premier Inns, and in particular to the staff member who was unfortunate enough to find me.  I hope that the anonymity that suited me
 will help them to keep what has happened as an abstract concept that does not intrude too heavily on their life.
I would like to add that I did this entirely under my own steam.  Stuart nor any other person has any knowledge of my plans.  No person helped me in any way.  No person or organisation that supplied me with equipment had any knowledge of my intentions, and I took great care to act in an appropriate manner when making purchases.
If I could somehow do this with making no impact on anyone’s life, I would.  I am more sorry than anyone can know that I will make people look inside themselves to see what they did to drive me to this.  I truly hope that those who know anything about suicide (either from experience or study) will know that this was a decision I made all by myself, and that nothing anyone could do was enough to keep me from this path.
The people I love most in this world are Stuart, Maureen and Tara.  The rest are irrelevant to me.

Second Painting
If life is sacred, then we shouldn't have to drag it around like a death thing all our lives.

This is such an alone place to be.  I don't choose to be here - I choose to be someplace else that no one else can understand unless they feel suicidal.  It's cruel that ther is nobody to help me simply because suicide is such a taboo.  A dying cat or dog can be cradled in its owners arms.

I see myself as being stuck with these terrible feelings for the last forty years, and when I think of just how long that is, I want to lie down and sleep forever because I'm so tired of it all, day after day of loathing.  It makes me choke and vomit in the morning, each time I awaken and realise I'm still here.  And that it won't end, and witll be the same until I run out of steam.

Third Painting
Sue’s statement on our wedding day, 26th June 1998.

When we are done, and they see the pages of our life, bound and nestling together, I want them to turn to each other and say: “Theirs was a good book – such characters; what a story.”

Some will see the life and laughter; some the pain and death.  Some will see God and love.  But they’ll all know a good book when they see one.

And when I read our book, I want to read about all the laughter and all the pain; all the life and all the death; all the God and all the love, because a good book has it all.

We have built our castles and planted our trees, and I thank our God for what we have done together.  If one of us dies today, we will have had a beginning, a middle and an end, and if we live to be a hundred it will be the same.  I know that had our pages, our lives, not been set this way, we would not have found this love: Circumstance and coincidence have long ceased to explain our magic.

Nushi Khan-Levy

 Re reading Nushi's notes taken when we discussed the painting, I realised that I had not painted Nushi's love of cherry blossom.  I have taken out the yellow patterned halo, taken from a Hindu Goddess painting, which did not really suit Nushi, and replaced it with a softer more sympathetic cherry blossom halo.  Nushi is still a goddess, she is warmer and softer with this pink colour and style.  I have improved her eyes, and I have painted in the lower right hand corner, the small cut glass perfume bottle that she talked of.  If, she said, she could distill all the moments of love and understanding, the close and intimate moments of empathy and kindness, shared with her husband during her illness and treatment, she would put them into a beautiful perfume bottle so that when she is better, and life has returned to normal, she can dab a little of that perfume on each morning to remind her of how close they were.  

This image below, is taken by Eileen Rafferty, the official photographer and co producer of A Graceful Death.
So now, come to the exhibition if you can.  You are all welcome, and write in the Memory Book all that you want.  I will be there for the opening on Thursday and for Friday morning, and then on the 28 and 29 November for the closing prayer and poetry workshop with the amazing Penny Hewlett.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Painting And Preparing For Birmingham In November

 A Graceful Death at St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham B5 5BB

Friday 4 November - Tuesday 29 November Daily

Opening Event with Poetry Workshop by Poet in Residence Penny Hewlett on Thursday 3 November, in the church.

Amazing how time flies.  I first planned this Birmingham exhibition over a year ago, and thought it was always too far away to worry about.  And now, it is here.  The exhibition opens at the end of this month.  I am getting everything ready, including the following items -
  • I am developing Nushi Khan Levy's portrait a little.  When I read the notes we took when we interviewed her, there were references that she wanted to her life which I had missed.  I have given her a cherry blossom type halo now, and have put in the pretty perfume bottle that she said would represent the closeness she felt with her husband during her chemotherapy treatment.  If she could distill these precious moments, she said, and put them in a bottle of perfume, she would dab a little on her wrists every day later when she was well.  There are a few more touches I want to add, like leaves.  And more words.
  • Painting Stuart and Sue's portraits has begun.  For some reason, Sue has turned out smaller than Stuart.  They are facing each other in profile, with a bright blue sky behind them.  I will add flowers and plants that meant a lot to both of them, and see what happens.  Already I want to add a golden outline to Sue.  The photo I am using is the last one of her, taken a few days before she carried out her planned suicide, which is leaving me feeling very sad.  I like her face, though it is not very easy to see in this photo.  I like her, and I want to do something that says she is special.  Stuart is coming on very well.  He is blessed with a face that is very easy to see.  Some people have features that seem to merge into each other and the face, and thus are hard to distinguish.  Stuart does not have this problem, his is a face I can do!
  • Penny Hewlett's poem May Remembrance needs to be re written and re presented.  I have not done it justice, and so, will do it again.
  • I am writing the prayer I wrote after Steve died on a larger piece of canvas.  The original is on a block of wood and is difficult to read.  Possibly because I was so disgusted with God when I wrote it.  But I want the words to be read clearly;  we are often very angry when someone we love dies, and want to tell God in no uncertain terms what we think of the whole thing.  It is part of the experience of loss.
Poetry Workshops During the Exhibition by Penny Hewlett  

St Martin in the Bullring has a poet in residence.  Penny Hewlett is a fine poet and a deeply thoughtful lady, very experienced in many areas of life and living, and dedicated to her craft.  I am so lucky to have Penny to take poetry workshops for the A Graceful Death exhibition, and these are the dates and times -

Workshop 1: Facing Loss          Thursday 3 November: opening 2.00 pm and workshop 2.30-4.00pm
Workshop 2: Saying Goodbye    Saturday 12 November 11 am - 1pm (if you are coming to this workshop please bring some photos)
Workshop 3: Moving Away      Tuesday 29 November, Talk 2.00, Workshop 2.30 - 4.00 pm 

I hope to see you all for the opening on Thursday 3 November,  where we will not only have Penny's first workshop on Facing Loss, we will have tea and cake.  Perfect.