It was a good decision - and because I didn't get this or the other story on video - I'm posting it here... hope you enjoy it.
It's easy but quite boring for Gary, so he tells little stories in between dances. The night I was there he told this one:
I've got a guest tonight (he said) my brother Mike. He's over from Amsterdam, in Holland. (I get some applause – give them a wave. They know about Holland – it's that little place near Germany. And they know about Germany because they can all remember the war vividly. Gary goes on...) You know – when he left England I was a bit upset. I said,
why are you going to Holland? And he said,
I'm going to Holland to be an illustrator.
And I was shocked – really shocked. I ran to my dad and said
-Dad, dad, Mikes going to Holland to be a spy.
Dad said - WHAT?
I said - He's going to be a spy.
He's not going to be a spy – where did you get that from?
- That's what he said.
- He said he's going to be a spy?
- Yes, sort of... He said he's going to Holland to be an English traitor.
Gary's story wasn't true of course – but the story I'm going to tell you now IS true.
And it's called
And if you can't answer, they'll answer for you. I was good at drawing – oh he's going to be an artist, they'd say. I used to make things in the garage, all sorts of things – oh he's going to be an inventor...?! And if you're unlucky they'll force you onto a path: he's going to be a professional footballer and play for England– she's going to be a prima-ballerina – he's going to be a lawyer, a doctor, just like his father, and his father before him...
One thing I knew I didn't want to be was a plasterer like my father... dirty hard work, low pay, long hours, working on Sundays...
But the system wants to know. And as you grow, you're groomed towards one or another of these pigeon holes – and if they can't fit you in one they label you...Scurvy Elephant.
Another game we played was “Cowboys and Indians”, and again, me being the good guy, I was always an Indian. And often I'd play this game alone, but then without cowboys – because being an Indian for me wasn't about shooting arrows and fighting cowboys – it was about connecting with the earth, being ONE with the spirit of animals and trees and the mountains. And when I played alone, I'd build a teepee in the back garden facing the farmer's fields at the back of our house. And I'd sit cross-legged in front of my teepee, feather in my headband, naked, except for a little piece of cloth hanging from my waistband. And I'd sit and contemplate the eagles soaring high in the blue sky, and over the red mountains on the horizon. I'd listen to the bubbling rivers and see the swaying pine-trees, and I'd watch the buffalo grazing over on the prairie.
I was at peace in these moments, oblivious to my mother hanging up the washing around me.
When grown-ups asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I really wanted to say “INDIAN”... but you can't do that – you can't be an Indian when you grow up.. that's childhood stuff. I remember saying to my dad at the time, It must be really boring being a grown up – you can't play cowboys and Indians anymore....No, he said... but we have 'other' games to play...
And on your way to being a grown up, you hear the same things over and again: what do you want to be, what do you want to do, you can't do that, you can't be that, this is what you should do, this is how you do it... But I knew too though, even in my fantasies, that my game wasn't real. And that was okay, because it wasn't about BEING an Indian, but about experiencing the essence of what being an Indian meant. And I felt, even then, that my life would be a journey, to find and understand that essence.
Pretty enlightened for an 8 year old don't you think? But you see, I'd already had my first awakening... and I knew, whether they liked it or not, they weren't going to squeeze me into any pigeon-hole.
That first awakening came when I was 5 years old, not long after I'd started school. Now I was raised a Catholic – luckily not strictly. Dad was really easy about it, just took us to church on Sundays – when he wasn't working. Mum was a Protestant anyway and never went to church. There was no bible-thumping or God-fearing in our house. But in the school...
There they were pretty fundamentalist. Church Sundays AND Fridays, and confession every month, and whoa be anyone who didn't confess their sins every month. They had their belief, we were all born sinners – period.
The headmistress of the infant school was called Mrs Cook – a frightening battle-axe of a woman... scary as hell. The headmaster of the junior school was even more scary, Mr Keegan I think he was called... always frowning, always angry. But the scariest of all was the parish priest... he could make the other two tremble at will. And all three together ruled the school with a hard hand of fear, in that good old English Catholic tradition.
So there I sat, one Monday morning in class. The teacher, who happened to be Mrs Cook that day, called out the register and then said: “Hands up, anyone who DIDN'T go to church yesterday”. Well dad had been working all weekend, and mum never went to church and my older sister was only 7 so she couldn't take us, so I hadn't gone to church. And I raised my hand... and I was the only one... I was the only sinner in the class. Mrs Cook pointed to me and called me up to her desk... smacked me across the kneecaps with a wooden spoon, and sent me to stand in the corner for the rest of the morning.
Now, I don't remember crying, but I must have cried – and I don't remember the pain, but it must have hurt. And I don't remember feeling angry, or abused. The only thing I remember is that I had this feeling...there's something not quite right here.
And they would never know it, but in that moment, instead of creating a god-fearing catholic member of society, they'd created a scurvy elephant.
So I'd had a revelation, I was awakened, and I kept my eyes open. Skeptical from that moment on, I witnessed many more occasions of this tyranny throughout my school life. Not just to me – and often not because I was careful and followed their rules calculatedly,kept my mouth shut and didn't try to rebel – this scurvy elephant was just waiting and learning. And I learned to see through their charade and lies and beliefs, and I knew it was all wrong. And if they were wrong about this they could be wrong about everything. And if everything was wrong, then what was right? I'd have to work that one out myself. And so began my journey, my quest. I didn't know then what I was looking for, or where to look, or when I'd find it, but I was compelled to search, and I knew I wouldn't find it on the path that everyone else seemed to be following. The trouble was – I was also compelled to stay on their path for as long as I was at school. So I would have to be patient... because 16 was a long way off.
My second awakening came in high-school. I was already pretty estranged from the flock by that time... I felt sometimes like I was on a different planet. The tyranny carried on down to the playground – there was a lot of fighting and bullying. If you didn't play football or fight you were a softy or a wimp and you needed thumping. I didn't care for football or fighting, so I never felt safe or comfortable. And to make matters worse, I could draw and write poetry... that didn't go down well with the macho crowd. I had a couple of friends, but in class mostly I kept quiet, counting the time to when I could leave school for good. I was pigeon-holed by others, and I couldn't escape them and re-invent myself because all the same bullies and footballers and fighters went to the same school, same class from 5 to 16. So I just watched and endured the narrow mentality of the world I was stuck in.
And then, at 14 or 15, I found the book that would lighten and guide my life. It was my sister's book, but it became my Bible – and it was called Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Jonathan was... a seagull.. but an outsider – different ideas and beliefs and values that upset the flock. He didn't live for their rules or traditions or expectations, he listened to his own heart and it told him to fly. For this he was cast out from the flock and labelled a scurvy elephant. And I felt like I was Jonathan, only I wasn't flying as he was.... not yet.
There came a day in English class when the teacher asked us to bring in a book that we were reading and to read a piece for the class. I hated this sort of thing, and I was only reading this one book, over and over, and I knew they wouldn't understand. But there was no getting out of it. So the day came and everyone read aloud from their books. The girls read girl's-adventure stories and romances – the boys read boy's adventures stories and tales of war or football. And it was my turn, and I read a chapter relating the following:
Jonathan had been practising speed-flying. Climbing high into the sky then free falling to gather speed, but every time he hit 150 miles an hour he'd stall and lose control, tumbling and toppling in a flurry of feathers until he hit the ground. He could never get past that 150 miles an hour and became disillusioned and frustrated. In his frustration he thought: maybe the elders have got it right – maybe a seagull isnt built for speed, maybe we weren't born to pursue the art of flying – maybe we just have wings to fly out to the fishing boats and circle around for scraps of fish, as the elders tell us... that's what seagulls do, always have, always will. And any seagull who thinks different is mad and a trouble-maker. So Jonathan decides to stop his activities – become a normal seagull. Squark and flap and chase the fishing boats with the rest of the flock. And he set off back to the beach – and as he was flying, the way a seagull is supposed to fly, he's thinking – of course I'm mad – if I was meant to soar like an eagle I'd have an eagle's broad wings....if I was meant to do acrobatics I'd be built as a swift or swallow....If I was meant for speed I'd have the short sharp wings of a falcon or...... and he blinked, and in that moment he forgot all about the flock again and instead climbed up into the sky – 500 feet, 1000 feet, 1500 feet and then dropped.... speeding down through 100 miles an hour then 125 miles an hour, then he folded his wings in and left just the tips sticking out from his body, 150 miles an hour and he didn't stall...faster and faster...200 250 300 miles an hour and he still had control with just a twist of a feather....he soared through the sky and sped across the sand and through the resting flock like a tornado, to land safely on the end of the beach.....
When I was finished reading I looked around. Blank faces everywhere. They didn't get it, no-one, not even the teacher, got it. I heard mutters – stupid story about a seagull... The teacher said “NEXT” and they moved on. I just didn't belong here – I didn't want to belong. They had nothing to teach me so it wasn't worth listening to anything they had to say. I got interested in photography round that time, and there was a darkroom in the school, but there was no-one who knew anything about it. In my last year the careers-advisor came to visit. In my session with him he asked,
What do you want to be?(????) I said:
-Oh... and he leafed through his map... P, P, P, photography, photography.... No. Nothing here. Do you want to be anything else?
That was my 30 seconds of careers advice. I was on my own – but I didn't have much longer to wait. As far as I was concerned this flock could squawk and flap and chase after fish as much as they wanted... I was Jonathan, and I was going to learn to fly.
I left school at 16 with just enough qualifications to get into photography college. I worked a year first in a darkroom then did 3 years of college. But the study was set up for career-seekers – you did your study, got your certificates and a portfolio, went to work in a professional studio somewhere, worked your way up, got your own studio and so on. It was totally the wrong place for me, but I didn't realize that until it was too late and I left with nothing concrete... I didn't want that path anyway right?!
Maybe I should have just gone travelling instead of college, but I'd made my choice and you can't go back. But there was some gypsy in my blood and I spent the next 10 years in different places learning to break away from the programmed conventions around me. I never worked longer than a year at any place – mostly quit a job after 3 months – had a lot of jobs. In my early twenties I joined a rock band and made up for a rebellious puberty I'd never had. I drifted through those years with very little money but a very lot of free time. At 24 I lived 3 months as a hippie songwriter on a Greek island – best time of my life until then. I went back and repeated the experience the following year, with a saxophone instead of a guitar... I drank, I partied, experimented with consciousness-enhancing substances... and had a lot of exotic foreign girlfriends.
At the time I was also reading another book by the author of Jonathan...called ILLUSIONS. And this convinced me of the possibility of this reality being an illusion, and I played with some of the book's concepts... like manifesting, and trying to disintegrate clouds with my thoughts. I never got THAT good, but a lot of things happened in those years that I can only call magical...
And that magic brought me to Amsterdam.
I'd been dumped by my girlfriend after 7 years and was feeling down and frustrated to find myself back in North England, alone, with xmas approaching and – the worst of all things – working with my dad as a plasterer... no no no, what am I doing here...this can't be...! But I had some money for once.
I needed to escape and headed to London with the intention of jumping on a bus to Belgium for a few days, just as a break. Stopped at a friends house and he said “don't go to Belgium – go to Amsterdam".
So I came to Amsterdam. It was cold and wet and miserable – early December – and the cafe's were empty except for other drenched and miserable tourists. I roamed the streets in the drizzle for 2 days and on my final 3rd day I was defeated. Walked from the city centre to Amstel station to find a cafe to write in and kill the hours before my bus home – but there were no cafes there in those days, so I walked back to the centre, and stumbled on The Balie by the Leidseplein. And the Balie was lit up and full of people and chatter and merriment – something was happening, I didn't know what and I didn't care – I just needed to be among the crowd.
I bought a beer found a place to sit and just looked around at all the pretty girls – and there were a lot of them, and I was aware of my loneliness. But there was no way I was going to go up and talk to any of them because I'm not good at that sort of thing, so instead, I called to the universe in my thoughts:
-What I want, is a pretty girl to sit down at my table, and for us to get talking, and like each other, and for her to invite me to spend xmas in Amsterdam.
Then I let it go – that's the trick to manifesting. If it was going to happen it would happen. If not then it wasn't my fate. And I turned to my writing.
It happened so: 5 minutes later, a girl asked if the seat at my table was free, and she was pretty so I said yes and she sat down. Then she Pulled a plastic viewing frame from her bag, something used by photographers and filmmakers, and laid it on the table. It was like the cardboard one I had in my bag, which I took out and laid on the table. This started our long conversation. She was studying film and photography and she was at the Balie for a film festival and said I really should go see this particular film before I left. I said I only had 4 hours, she said the film was only an hour and so I found myself in a cinema next to a pretty stranger watching Christo wrap bridges in paper – and I was thinking... thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou.....
We ate together after the film and she brought me to my bus. After our farewell hug I said if she wanted some company for xmas she only had to call. 3 days later I got the call and the invitation, and came back to Amsterdam for xmas... and stayed.
That was 23 years ago.
21 years ago our son was born.
That 21 years was a different sort of journey – one I never planned for or imagined. I led a conventional life with a regular job and wage, and my personal path became an inner-journey of spiritual growth and patience and self-reflection. There were enough demons of frustration and stress to encounter and conquer... but I don't regret anything. My relationship ended along the way, I took up illustrating for extra income, gave up songwriting 10 years ago and started blogging, and I manifested a house... but that's another story.
And I always held the intention that when my son was full grown and independent, I would set off again on my path to continue my personal quest.
21 years passed, and begin last year I quit my job.
The first 6 months were the hardest, I didn't have that much financial security, and I didn't know what I really wanted to do or which way I was headed, but I put my faith in destiny and believed that I would be guided. After a few months I got desperate and applied for funding from the government – which I could get if I started a business. So I set about starting a business as an illustrator, making my own children's picture books. I didn't really want to be an illustrator, I didn't want to run a business, I didn't want to make business plans and learn about administration and tax and marketing. What I wanted was to be free. To sit at cafes and contemplate life, and discuss it with others, and travel, and dream of mountains and eagles. I wanted to fly with seagulls and walk with scurvy elephants. Get back the connection with the essence and the miracle and wonder of life. Back in touch with the spirit.
And one year ago a series of synchronicities began that would take me away from Amsterdam, lead me to my holy grail, to confrontations with dragons, and right back to where I started.
In August, halfway through my second book, I was glancing through a magazine called ODE which I had a subscription on. I'd bought the subscription as a birthday present for my ex a few years earlier. But she didn't read it anymore and said I should cancel it, but I kept missing the cancellation date so it kept coming. Being so short of cash, I finally cancelled that year, but had a few issues still due. This was one of the last ones.
In that issue I read an article about a storytelling club in NewYork and it excited me. I thought, there must be something like this in Amsterdam so I went on Google and found the Mezrab. Went to the Mezrab blog, and there was an English story night that evening. I called a friend and we went... and it changed my life.
It was an oasis of promise and peace and magic. I thought... here be indians and seagulls and scurvy elephants. This was it, I wanted to tell stories. But I've never done storytelling, no, but wait, I could maybe sing my songs here... my songs are stories too.
I was captivated. I went home and picked up my guitar for the first time in 10 years... started playing all my old songs...Passion was burning inside of me. I'd given up writing 10 years earlier because I wasn't going anywhere with it, and I wouldn't because I was always too scared to go out and sing in front of an audience. But now I felt inspired again. I started writing new songs... I did this every day for a week, and all the time the unfinished second book lay on the table awaiting my attention.
It took a while, but as I kept looking at the book and imagining the work I still had to do if I wanted to run that business, and then played music and felt my joy and freedom... I knew I had to make a choice. This was the proverbial fork in the road. And I chose to follow my heart, giving up all I'd done in the last 4 months. I put the book and paints and pencils away in a cupboard, and went back to my songs.
I wrote a song for the Mezrab – thought I could sing it one evening – tried it and was overcome with fear... stage anxiety. Tried it again, and the fear remained. I needed a plan – and I wasn't going to give up because this is what I wanted to do. So I made a new plan, an ambitious one.. and went to a friend to find assistance and financial support. And a project was born.
I wrote 15 songs in a month, and we made an album together. I built a new website, and when the album was completed, 4 months ago, I bought a camper-bus and set out on a journey to become a travelling minstrel, singing and telling stories across Europe,and selling the album on the way.
I said “become” a minstrel, because I wasn't one yet. I was still afraid of performing. But that was the true purpose of the journey – to find the essence of myself, to free myself of my fears, to trust in my heart and discover my truest passion... MY purpose, my holy grail.
I've never really taken much interest in folktales and legends and sagas of old. The messages and wisdom hidden in those parables that speak in metaphor of man's journey through life were too abstract for me... but there is one I CAN relate too, the story of Percival – one of the knights of the round table.
Percival was an innocent naive young man who dreamed of becoming a knight himself after having met one. He left the protected world of his home and set off to King Arthur's court. He battled with and killed the Red Knight on his way which helped others to take him seriously and believe in his intentions. His quest and path took him from innocence to knowledge, from learned courtesy to righteous gallantry and led him eventually to the castle of the Fisher-king and the Holy Grail – something all other knights had searched for in vain.
I see myself sometimes in these terms – dressed in my comical suit of armour called ego, false pride driving me to battle with dragons called fear and insecurity, on a quest to find a grail called self-awareness... the grail castle eluding me so long I remain on paths that are not true to my heart.
And this is not just my life-journey... it's everyone's.
So.... in my guise as Percival I set out on my quest... My route took me first to England on the pretext of visiting family, but mostly it was because I was a little scared to set off into the unknown... this was a tentative first step to get me used to the road.
I visited my sister in Yorkshire, my brother in Cumbria, my father in Lancashire and finally my youngest brother Gary in Staffordshire... and there something special happened.
Gary and I are alike in many ways and we're on parallel paths of self-discovery. We have a special bond – like twins have. We think the same, have the same visions and values and beliefs...we even look similar... except that he's younger and better looking than me.... but I have more hair.
He lives in an old stone cottage which he's completely renovated with his girlfriend over the last 6 years – and now it's almost completed they realize they don't want to live there. It was part of their path, something they had to do and it had its purpose – but it wasn't the dream.
And while I was there, our dreams merged, our paths joined and we decided to continue our journeys together... destination Spain. And this new dream and path became my grail... and the stone cottage became the fisher-king's castle that would fade with the mist when our quest continued.
But before Spain, I still had a dragon to slay, my fear of performing, and I had to face that dragon alone...
I headed for the Black mountains in South Wales where a friend was himself performing at a music festival. I had the chance there to play my songs... but Wales IS dragon country, and I wasn't ready. I followed my friend to London where he lives and he invited me to open-mic evenings where I could sing... but my dragon had followed me and I wasn't ready. On my friends suggestion, I headed for the Atlantic coast of France – visions of singing on golden beaches like I used to do all those years ago in Greece... but my dragon was there too, breathing fire hotter than the summer sun, and I wasn't ready. So I headed inland to the Dordogne and found a small camping. As I entered through the gates I felt I'd arrived at a place of serenity and harmony... a kind of sacred ground where dragons could not tread. It was here that I felt ready... called my challenge to the dragon... c'mon c'mon.... but he never showed – and there I played my first real concert for a crowd of 80 people, without any trace of fear, or nerves or sweaty palms and pumping heart. I felt liberated, and suddenly a future of opportunity and potential opened for me.
With this new-found sense of liberty I felt strong and confident... I could sing anywhere. I set off to Germany to busk in the streets like a real minstrel. My gateway to Germany was Freiburg in the Black-forest region. I booked a couple of days at a camping to acclimatize myself to the language when a friend called from Amsterdam to say he was on his way there too. So I booked a few days extra. Then, on my second day I got a text message from my son to say he was on his way there too. This was a joy in itself, but when he arrived I realized that my house in Amsterdam would be empty for the few weeks he was travelling... and I heard a call to home,.... and that call was Mezrab...
I saw the week out and headed for Amsterdam – feeling guided by the hand of synchronicity.
My journey has brought me full circle, and two weeks ago I came to tell a story for the first time at the Mezrab. The atmosphere that night was serene and intimate like the camping, but I still felt the presence of my dragon...faintly though. I still wasn't free of him, so I looked around, ready for confrontation, ready for battle, ready to slay him finally.
And when I found him, he wasn't the terrifying monster I'd imagined – that monster was in my mind. My dragon was no bigger than a sparrow, the fire emanating from his defiant flaring nostrils was no greater than the flame from my cigarette-lighter. His power was an illusion. How could I battle with this? How could I slay this helpless creature. I picked him up in my hands, could have crushed him in my palm – instead, I lifted him into the air and set him free. And as he flew into the distance he was joined by other dragons in his wake – dragons called doubt and envy and mistrust and insecurity, pessimism, ignorance, prejudice, judgement, regret.... a swarm of dragons who'd been hiding in the shadows of my ego, holding me back from the truth of myself... now all freed from their illusory hold on me...
So I told my story that evening and felt again the overwhelming sense of freedom and potential that I'd felt at the camping in France. And I'm here this evening to exercise and experience and celebrate that sense of freedom one more time before I leave again.
When I left Amsterdam 4 months ago I got a text message from my ex – it said: I hope you find what you're looking for. Well it didn't take a year, and I didn't travel all over Europe... but I did find what I was looking for...it wasn't about the traveling, it wasn't about the singing, it wasn't about the selling of cd's – it was about finding that elusive essence of being I sensed when I was a young Indian.
And when I look back over all those years I can see how rich that journey has been. I never had a career or even a well-paid job. I never owned my own house or a new car or anything other than 2nd hand clothes. I never had all the latest gadgets and luxuries that money can buy...I don't have a pension...
-But I've raised a son who is everything I aspired to be at his age, and I've traveled Europe with him in a hippie-bus, and climbed rock faces with him and walked with him for hours on end discussing life the universe and everything.
- and I've sang songs for teenagers in schools in Germany
- Drawn cartoons with 200 kids in Cambodia
- I've lived in a bamboo hut on the sands of Naxos
- I've played jazz on a saxophone in a piano bar for drinks and tips
- I've busked on the streets of Paris and London
- I've made girls cry with my songs on the port of Pireaus
- I've swam naked in the Mediterranean at sunrise, and had the ocean all to myself
- I've slept on stone under dark bridges in far off Canadian towns
- I've woken in my tent to the first snows of fall in Algonquin park
- I've seen the northern lights flikker and shine above lake Ontario.... while tripping.... wow! Wow!...
And if I died tomorrow and found myself standing before a white-bearded god in front of his pearly gates, and he asked me: “well, what have you got to say about your life?” I'd have one word....thankyou.
But the great part is that my journey's not over. My grandfather died an old broken man at 53 – my father is 85 and still strong – I'm 55 and life still stretches out a long way ahead of me...
And I've learned that there is always a fork in the road, always a choice – and the road less travelled is always the right one to take – because it's your own personal road.
And it seems scary sometimes, full of the unknown – but it's your road
And it seems dangerous, overgrown and rocky – but it's your road
And it seems hard, full of disappointments and uncertainties and mountain high obstacles – but it's your road
And sometimes it seems to lead you in a circle right back to where you started – but it's the right road to take because it's your road, the road of your heart, the road of magic and fulfillment and happiness and insight and knowledge and love and Indians and seagulls and scurvy elephants and.....
Okay... what IS this with those scurvy elephants?
Scurvy elephants is a term Wayne Dyer uses to describe a certain group of people who've been important throughout the ages. From ancient philosophers and prophets to more modern poets artists writers leaders. He calls these people self actualizing people – they live according to their own beliefs even when they become persecuted for doing so. They are independent of the good opinion and approval of others. Some have given up their lives for their views, been crucified, vilified, executed – cast out from the flock like Jonathan... people like Socrates, Jesus, Galileo, to Gandhi Thoreau, Martin Luther King... they are trouble-makers, disturbing to the authorities...
And Dyer calls them Scurvy elephants because of the following story...
Wayne Dyer was raised in foster homes for the first ten years of his life... so he could be a handful himself. He recalls one day when he came home from school and asked his foster-mother;
-What's a Scurvy Elephant?
She said - I don't know, I never heard of that term. Where did you hear it?
Wayne said - In school. I heard my teacher talking to the Principal, and she said that Wayne Dyer's in her class and he's a Scurvy Elephant.
His foster-mother called the Principal at the school to clear the matter up.
The Principal laughed - Oh that's Wayne, he gets everything mixed up. She didn't say that he was a Scurvy Elephant... she said that he was a DISTURBING ELEMENT in the class.
So... now you know.
My camper bus is covered in scribbles – some texts from my songs, and inspirational quotes that inspire me.
One of those quotes goes: The world is full of magic things. I liked it so I used that line to write a song:
The world is full of magic things to take your breath away
Miracles are everywhere to brighten up your day
The beating of an insect's wings the logic of a flower
Infinity within a grain of sand, eternity within an hour...
And I was going to end this story with another quote - by TS Eliot – one wayne Dyer has used – which seemed fitting because it was about paths leading you back to where you started. But I couldn't remember the quote so I googled it:
TS Eliot Quotes.
I came to a site and a page with all these quotes by TS Eliot and the one I was looking for was right at the top. I wrote it down, but before I closed the page I thought – wait a minute – maybe – maybe synchronicity has something else for me.
So I went along the alphabet at the top of the page and chose a letter at random. . . "J" - and a page opened with all these names beginning with J - writers and poets I'd never heard of. Then I went down the list and chose a name, again at random. . . Helen Hunt Jackson - and a page opened with quotes by this writer. . . . .
. . . and this one - just for me :
"I shall be found with 'Indians' engraved on my brain when I am dead. For A fire has been kindled within me, which will never go out."
The world is full of magic things...