A scene from ‘Elvis’ led me to a childhood moment that encouraged me now
I have found myself at ‘the Flicks’ the last two Friday nights. Some people may walk into a bar on a Friday night to celebrate the end of the week I walk into the cinema and get drunk on a film.
Last night it didn't matter what was on, it happened to be Elvis. I wouldn't have chosen it, but I was here to have a cinematic experience.
I began reflecting on the scenes in which he was brought back to his boyhood. His father had gone to prison and he and his mum moved to the poorer end of town. It was here he was influenced by the Black community in friendship, music and faith.
I particularly identified with the scene in which, on hearing the music and singing from a Gospel Tent he and his friends ran to it. Once inside he seems to have what seems to be a spiritual experience manifested through his body shaking.
I was reminded that often what we do today is inspired by our childhood experiences. I was sitting there in need of some direction for how, once again, I would push through the tasks awaiting me. And then I remembered a scene from my own childhood. I was about 7 or so. We had ‘The coal shed’ where in the days of ‘coal fires’ the coal was kept. We were all electric so with no need for coal the coal shed became a place for me to create. This day I found quite a piece of leftover wood. It was large enough for me to use as an improvised wall to create ‘an office’. Inside I placed probably on an improvised table a typewriter which probably belonged to my sister. And then I wrote on the wood ‘Office’. I assembled a few books and for a moment I felt myself to be in an office.
Forty-five years later guess where I have found myself for the best part of 28 years? There was something about the film and the jogging of this memory that gave me what I needed to meet the tasks. I felt moved to write once again ‘Office’ and reconnect with that 7-year-old who imagined, created and then inspired his middle-aged self.