Winter. Season of slippery pavements and dark evenings. Last month I tripped over while jogging. A lovely woman with a kind face checked to see if I was alright and reassured me, when I said how stupid I felt, that only she’d seen me. I limped away glad of the 4pm dark to hide my face in.
When I next went out, my body was sore and over-aware of its ability to fall over. The incident reminded me of a story I heard when I started my writing residency at York University’s CoMotion centre which is researching the link between mobility and wellbeing among older people. The story concerned a visually impaired woman who fell over in the street and was told by a passer-by that ‘she shouldn’t be out of the house’. The comment was enough to send the woman back inside her house for six months. Both stories show the effect we can have on other people’s journeys. The passer-by I ran into lifted me up – emotionally if not physically.
As part of my CoMotion residency, I’ve written a sequence of poems which are featuring on 100 buses across York and are intended to encourage people to be considerate towards their fellow passengers. This Friday, we’ll be doing a photo-call on the buses. We’re also making a film and planning an exhibition – of which more later. But for now here is one of the six bus poems. You can find the full sequence at www.annawoodford.co.uk.