Yesterday I had the honour and pleasure of joining with the family, friends and past colleagues of Liz Willis OBE to celebrate her extraordinary life. Liz, together with her long-time partner, Jenny Daisley OBE, created Springboard for Women, Navigator for Men, and a raft of other ground-breaking personal development programmes that continue to transform lives right around the world.
It was a poignant delight to learn about the many, varied, kind and creative facets of Liz. Jenny created an environment in which memories were easily shared, mementoes were enjoyed and the love for Liz was palpable.
We were each encouraged to take away a copy (or several) of Liz’s most recent collection of poems. Also, in typically playful fashion, a Lucky Dip poem by Liz. I unwrapped mine this morning, absolutely loved it and have reproduced it for you below, to enjoy with me.
Thank you, Liz, for a new word (and how appropriate that we celebrated your life on a Tuesday) – and thank you to Jenny for bringing such a diverse collection of people together for an afternoon that was truly a time for sadness and for laughter.
Rather beautifully, I was treated to a bright rainbow on my drive home.
Remembering you with affection and gratitude, Liz. My word, but you set the bar high.
Bleached blue light leaks into mole black sky,
It could be day or night –
light in the sky being an unreliable indicator
at this time of year.
So I turn my alarm clock to
determine whether to: force myself awake,
ease myself back into sleep, or wander with the
World Service through the bleary in-between.
What day is it?
For a few suspended moments – I don’t know.
Life rouses, preens, feeds,
breeds, buzzes, hunts and kills –
according to the angle of the sun.
Plants slap their PV panels out, channel the power
and burst upwards, regardless of the day of the week.
I am a creature of instinct, snuffling in the leaves,
roused by light and subdued by darkness.
In tune with the turning of the Earth,
drenched by rain and restored by rainbows.
Living with no care for the future or concern for the past.
A creature free of diaries, calendars and clocks,
entering a day that is as unencumbered as
a vast blank canvas that’s poised to absorb
all my possibilities, wildness and dreams.
Poised to accept all the smelly, jangly, spotty and shiny
magenta and gold of today.
And then I remember –
Liz Willis, 14th July 2014
Note: Queriday (noun) = the sensation of not knowing what day of the week it is.