Today I was decorating a wall together with some new friends who are seeking asylum in this country. Their temporary home has a blank wall and we decided to fill it with colour.
Some thought the colours were all wrong, some didn’t care about the colours but were happy to just get involved. Sometimes we chatted, sometimes we were quiet.
It was nice to be outside and it was nice to paint a wall in bright colours without thinking about what a client would think or if we would meet the deadline.
I left thinking about my immense privilege. I have a small desk in the hallway of our flat. I have paints and papers and pencils and pens and I have a heart full of stories. And I have time and space to follow those stories. I feel rich.
I remember reading about a charity offering welcome packs to people who arrive in this country with nothing. My heart broke when I read that there was a pack of crayons and a colouring book in the packet. I spent most of my childhood with crayons in my hand. I have always loved drawing. To imagine that some children who long to draw and colour, do not have the opportunity, truly cuts me up. Colours and stories are what all childhoods should be made of. Not war, not abuse, not empty hands. I hate that some children will never draw. In drawing, we learn about ourselves and the world. In drawing we disappear and live through our hands.
Does anyone run workshops or centers where children from other places, without many opportunities, can come and draw? Let me know, I want to help.
Crayons for all!