We love it when our amazing community sends in their thoughts about Twilight School events, and we’re even happier when you grant us permission to post them online to share with you all! In order to make sure your thoughts get the attention they deserve, we’re kicking off the ‘Community Testimonial’ section with this touching response from Twilight School attendee Barbara Deen.

Warmth and Sincerity

I was invited to come along to a talk at the Twilight School about a year ago by a friend. I am so glad she suggested that it would be something that I may be interested in. I have been both pleased and surprised with the guests, topics and informal and inclusive way in which the evenings are held.

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Photo credit: Amanda Piper

I remember chatting to you [Bruno] in the gardens at Rupertswood on Mother’s Day. I was telling you that I was facilitating a women’s group in Sunbury and would love to be involved in a poetry group, where people can recite their poems. I was involved in a group like this previously, but had moved away to Queensland. It was a fantastic experience. Many of those who came were very experienced writers, some with works that had been published and some who had worked on stage or in the media. Others, like myself, were just beginners who had always loved writing, especially story telling. Telling the story is what gives the words their life: that’s what I love most. I am still very keen to be involved or even run a group, so if you can give me some ideas around that, Bruno, it would be appreciated.

The main reason I am writing this, however, is in regards to the discussion you held this week around the subject of mental health. It was one of the most informative, honest and at times moving insights into the often very misunderstood and sometimes taboo subject.

Each speaker spoke with warmth and sincerity, and I came away so glad that we have some professionals of this calibre in this area.

Reading through Barry Garner’s piece, ‘Season’s’, summed up the man entirely for me. I suspect that every step of his path so far has allowed him to write and make a connection with the world at such a deep and insightful level. The true essence of his spirit is found in his words, and when at times he feels he has no where to turn, I would ask him to go inside and find that beautiful soul that is so deserving of respect and admiration for his continued struggle.

Thank you again, Bruno, for an evening that enriched us all.

Barbara Deen

Barbara Deen is a Twilight School regular who kindly gave us permission to share her beautiful and inspiring words with the rest of the Twilight School community.