It’s funny, although I’ve never lived there, Battersea (and its surrounding areas) will always be a place of special significance for me. My life has held many chapters that have taken me to the area for different reasons.
At first it was visiting my sister Becky there when she set up home there post University, but then it just seemed like I never ran out of reasons to keep going back. The hotch potch majesty of Clapham Junction station. An inexhaustible amount of trains and people flowing through, with me often amongst them. Whether passing through at speed, stuck as a passenger on the tracks, or meandering around the streets; somehow it became mine too.
I spent the most time in the area when I worked for a recruitment company called Bullet in Balham. That company was such an important stop for me, full of brilliantly passionate and supportive humans. It was under their employment that I underwent the biggest amount of personal change, so that area formed the back drop for some of my most significant evolution, that of being caged to setting myself free.
I can remember so vividly, once the dust had begun to settle post divorce, viewing the world with completely new eyes, and eyes filled with wonder. My other sister, Jessica, likened me to a child who thinks everything is exciting, new and never been seen before. I think that’s a pretty fair description of what I became, and actually what I still hold on to a lot of the time to this day. I’m always ‘down’ to go and see, hear and experience something new, and make it my mission to do so as often as I can.
It’s so important to re-visit the places and people that have an imprint on our souls, and Battersea absolutely falls into that category. For me, taking the time to check in on my past, helps to keep me focused on moving even further forward to brighter things.
Tonight I experienced that tenfold. Not just for the area I found myself in, but what I was there to see. A few years back I met a brilliant boy named Sean Mahoney, and one that absolutely left an imprint on my soul. He was performing at Remedy Raw at the Ben Oakley Gallery (courtesy of the brilliant Music is Remedy) and from the moment I met him I was spellbound. This boy vibrates at a frequency that very few can ever hope to emulate.
An extremely talented and much loved regular on the spoken word circuit, his honesty and straightforwardness were the things I loved about him the most. He’s 100% real.
Tonight he was performing in his very own self penned one man show, Until You Hear That Bell. My only sadness in seeing it now, is that I didn’t see it 2 weeks ago to tell you all about it sooner (there are 2 nights left – GO!). He took us all on a journey through his childhood, in the most humble and charming way. He absolutely held our attention, and produced a performance that really made us feel like we were watching a snapshot of his life, like we were right there with him.
If you can’t make it down to the show, make it your business to try and catch Sean performing somewhere one day. Here is a little excerpt I found to whet your appetites.
Spoken word as an art form, is something that I have found profoundly impactful along the way. It’s like people are sharing a little part of their soul with you, as we experience across many different art forms, but this really can be felt in the most direct way.
Lastly, try to also make it your business to reconnect with the sights and sounds of your past, both good and bad. Try not to be afraid of them (as I know I have been before), but choose instead to see them as another brilliant part of your incredible life story. Revel in the memories, and make walking through those well worn streets like re-watching an old favourite film. And just like watching that favourite film, you might just discover some new bits that you missed the first time round… you never know.