by RAIMUND WONG

Giving

Last week I gave a performance at a certain place, storied in my own history, on the occasion of the final event to be run by a good friend of mine, and I gave a short speech. It can be very enjoyable, using an occasion to speak about life in general, and I was very pleased to be saying what I said. In fact I am even pompous enough, to reproduce it here:

What we generally have to thank people for best, I find, are the things they were just going to do, anyway. Whether it was good for you or not, they would’ve done it regardless. The gifts most generous of spirit, one gives to and of oneself, equally.

Bristol represents spring, for me, and this is because I found something new in myself, for coming here.

Mine is an easy life, and I am even lucky enough to know it. It’s easier for me than it is for most. But those were the more dim of days, before these.

I’ve seen, done and learnt things I hadn’t ventured hope for, these past few years, and I’m about to go on a new adventure. But none of this would be so but for the incitation to a better world that was the Eldon House in Bristol, with all those faeries and pansies down there, who love mud and meals and trees and porridge and pills and cider and dancing…

You’ve done great things for more people than you can know, and if we haven’t thanked you for it, Emma Harper, it’s because we don’t have the words to do so.

Luckily for us, as we fail as poets, you don’t do it for thanks, but for good, and for a good time.

So I suppose we’d better make do with that, instead, ladies and gentlemen,

GOOD, and a GOOD TIME