Coloured pebbles in a basket, some catching the sun


Along with their songwriting workshops, members of the Pathhead Choir also had the chance to take part in two creative writing workshops led by Sophie Bancroft. Here are some of the results.

A shore full of promise

She walks slowly, feet shuffling along the shoreline dotted with colourful little jewels. The waves shush onto the golden sand lulling her into a childlike dream state. Nothing else exists, just herself, the shore, her bare, salty legs, sandy feet, the sharp cry of the gulls. Orange carnelian, blue agate, tiny cowries, shiny mother of pearl – what treasure! A shore full of promise! She feels the excitement pulsing in her heart.

Val Dijkman, inspired by the line ‘a shore full of promise’ from the song ‘I Remember’

Treasures can be found

Desert of sand, smooth, soft and golden from a distance. Step closer and notice that the texture and colour changes – the demerara sugar turns to builder’s grit and the rich burnished colour takes on many facets. Mussel and razor shells;  winkles and limpets;  abandoned crab exoskeletons and sand grains of many different grades.

Nestled amongst all of this the sparkling jewels of sea glass – glistening where the waves have given them a sheen before returning to a dull hue upon drying.

Peering closer the jewels multiply – the previously sharp, dangerous edges ground down to soft, rounded, comforting shapes. What to pick up and what to leave?

Shirley James, inspired by the lines “shore full of promise / treasures can be found” from the song ‘I Remember’

Autobiography of the rain

I am a small grey whisper lingering in a vast blue expanse, breathing quietly in and out …in and out.
Suddenly blown by some strange energy that takes me up and over the mountain tops where I see for the first time, others just like me. I wonder should I move, or should I wait, perhaps taking my lead from the others who seem to be combining into a pulsating, lingering breath, that sighs in bulging clouds.

Unexpectedly, without warning or knowledge, I start to cry onto the earth beneath getting smaller and smaller in the process.

‘Smirry’ is what they call me at this stage of life, and I hear many moans and groans from those on the ground, well at least for a short while, then as I cease my crying, I rise back up to join the small grey whisper once again.

Mags Bryan

Doing Nothing Is Fine 

Sometimes a word, a phrase instead of being read, actually ‘reads you’ and speaks right into your situation. One exercise during the creative writing workshops was to notice a word or phrase that stood out for you. That phrase for me was ‘Doing Nothing is fine’ and this was my response.

Acid Anger rises within my stomach travelling to my throat in response to 4 small words. Innocuous in themselves and yet a powerful line to illicit such a strong reaction… emotion.

The phrase comes as a whole unit, to make sense of it one can’t separate out the words like links in a chain, but needs to be screamed out into the atmosphere to be released…

“Doing nothing is fine!”

One would think that permission given, would bring peace or resolve, that it is ok to not be functioning intentionally at this time in life. But No, little comfort comes in fact only the frustration at my decreasing ability.

Being told doing nothing is fine feels like a conspiracy against life itself, especially when inside my younger self, my dreams, and my wild being still needs to be heard.

Doing nothing is fine is like giving into a diminishing capacity, when my young heart cries to be engaging with vibrant life opportunities.

Am I being unrealistic, do we all meet this phrase head on at some point? My ability to meet this task of older years seems like having a hard head butt with a stubborn sheep leaving me in a dizzy pile on the ground.

They don’t tell you that letting go is going to be so difficult. Who would have thought that the stress we experienced in our younger years, that a full on battle would take place with the permission to do nothing!

Beating me with a stick, saying we need to be doing more, seems so much easier to stomach than being told…

‘Doing Nothing is Fine’

And the Ego screams out, — if doing nothing is fine, then —

“Who am I ?”

Mags Bryan

Photo by Nicoleta Craciun on

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