The Friend

Pain. It’s tough being told by a close friend on their birthday, that they have cancer. It’s not easy to take it when you are fifteen. It’s not easy to then try and spend the rest of the weekend trying to enjoy a couple of nights out with that friend and others on their birthday.

To quote Pablo:

“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” Pablo Casals

A while ago I wrote two articles about music tuition and the lack of equal opportunity in the Highlands. It was met with both approval (as emails to myself stated and thank you to all of you) and some derision by those who didn’t quite understand that I was placing my own circumstances in the public eye, and that of my son’s as a metaphor of how the working classes are treated unequally when it comes to music tuition. The political is personal, always. But we don’t care about those who don’t care about inequality -it works both ways. You don’t care -well back at ya!

There is of course another story to tell. My life is relatively stable compared to many working class people, I consider myself to be ordinary, very lucky and very loved -so does my kid.

The story of the friend is different. He feels unloved by his family, and will spend most weekends away from home -camping when he can. He struggles to get to band practice on most days. He is studying music, but there is no tutor for guitar available at school, and he needs the help and support to improve. He loves music. Along with his friends, it sustains him. He is friendly, polite and smiles a lot. My son has offered to teach him to improve his guitar skills. But he just never makes it over.

When I have trained in child protection, I ask trainees to name different types of child abuse. They get all the ones expected. But everybody misses this one: Failure to Thrive Organically. It would make a good title for a song, wouldn’t it?

So why is music tuition important in this particular child’s life? I tell you what, I won’t patronise you by stating the obvious. But hey, the child must know that he is a miracle, that he has equal rights in society, that what he has to offer the world on the day that he is born, and no matter how short his life, is to love and be loved. And for the short time in his existence to bring the power of music into everyone’s lives.

We’re not going to let him slip away btw.We are all equally responsible for all our children.

Enjoy your day.

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