Guest blog: Debbie from the School of Hard Knocks

SLQ was pleased to collaborate with the School of Hard Knocks at our recent SLQ Celebrates! event. Here’s a guest blog about the experience.

“My name is Debbie. I am a member of the School of Hard Knocks Word on the Street and the Absolutely Everybody Choir.

I have been basically housebound and isolated close to a decade. I write a lot, spend a fair bit of time by myself and I feel pretty awkward socially. A few years ago, I joined a church I felt at home at and through that church, I joined a sacred music choir called Voices of Brisbane. Melissa Gill suggested I join the School of Hard Knocks and introduced me to Susan Gilmartin. I became a member of the School of Hard Knocks, where I have been blessed to meet diverse and accepting people. That fact made me feel more secure and accepting of my place in the School of Hard Knocks, and like with the Voices of Brisbane, it is something that uplifts me and makes me have a little more confidence to join in.

Debbie from School of Hard Knocks

Debbie from School of Hard Knocks

Libraries are one of my favorite places and overdue books one of my specialties. I was glad I could be part of the ten-year library celebration, to feel the joy and solidarity that I did while singing to an encouraging audience. There were stalls and markets from many cultures, artists, and musicians with so much talent.

A duo called Spirit Song who wrote mantras and prayers in many languages and religions, set with harmonious melodies to capture dream-like qualities for meditation. Another band named Hello China performed some die hard Aussie classics. They really involved the audience in the performances with humorous banter.

Young up and coming voices in poetry that were a pleasure to listen to performed original writings…

Poems about coming out, the love of best friends and protests about construction, a love for Brisbane and Fortitude Valley. Poems about flowers, the age old loves me loves me not obtained a poetic license that was endearing in its simplicity. There was a poem about the Stolen generation that touched my heart with the strong and vivid imagery the poet Pierre de le Croix painted in words.

There was a heartbeat behind the ten-year celebration and the beat was full of hope and inspiration.

There is not another institution that celebrates art more than a library. Rich or poor all can enjoy how the arts can enrich and inspire lives. The celebration was about art as it was about diversity, resilience, music and unity.

No more apt to celebrate art than at a ten-year library celebration that recognizes the importance of the arts and the written word. The arts make a difference, the arts save lives. Saved mine.

Absolutely Everybody Choir performs at SLQ Celebrates

Absolutely Everybody Choir performs at SLQ Celebrates

I am blessed to be a member of the School of Hard Knocks Absolutely Everybody Choir and Word on the Street with members who are a pleasure to be around. The ten-year library celebration was such a bright and beautiful day, that even the storm at the end couldn’t wash the bright away. I really hope that the people who performed and the audience felt that brightness too.

Ten years from now, I will remember exactly where I was and hopefully, get the chance to be part of a twenty-year library opening celebration. Hope I meet you there.”