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Life’s Little Sparkles
By Paul Francis Mc Cann
Friday, April 26, 2013
Not rated by the Author.
Between the struggle of street life and sickness a talented girl wins out in the end .
Life’s Little Sparkles
By Paul McCann
Jane wanted to be a dancer but faced an uphill battle after getting kicked out of home by her parents who couldn’t cope with Jane’s angry tantrums. The constant arguments had started over the drugs Jane was taking and the company she was keeping .
At 14 Jane was thrown out in the cold , where the streets are a cold and merciless place . She danced on pavements for passers by who often felt intimidated by her street performances . There’s no doubt she had a talent but audiences of the street theatre scene did not welcome live entertainment as they walked along city sidewalks to jobs and businesses ,
Jane lost sight of what was real and then battle with mental illness began . The drugs she had been taking to make her feel good were no fun anymore . The friends she knew had all done the dirt and also abandoned her to her suffering and hurt . It was hard to be a stranger in the crowd where nobody ever hears the things you have to say . Its even harder to have people verbally abuse you when you’re dancing at dawn to the chorus of life as it passes you by .
On the day the ambulance arrives Jane could hear some one call her name out loud ,
“Jane , can you hear me .“
The paramedic squeezed her ear lobe and continued to shout .
“Jane can you hear me . Nod if you can .“
Jane nodded and then she squinted through her blurry vision and saw her Dad standing there in his ambo uniform .
With the help of another paramedic they lifted Jane and placed her in the ambulance . Next thing Jane knew she was in a hospital bed with 11 other people in a run down clinic known as Purdy house .
The other patients were mainly young people who were at their wits end all the product of either drug addiction or alcoholism .
For the first week Jane was tagged and jagged before family were able to visit . The first time her Mother came to the bedside she looked at Jane who lay there heavily sedated and she said .
“So is this the future you want .”
Jane was unable to respond .
Her mother continued .
“I warned you didn’t I but you wouldn’t listen . Well maybe now you’ll listen . You’ll never be a dancer , you’ll never be a daughter , you’ll never be a mother , you’ll never be anything unless you get off whatever it is that put you here .”
With that her mother got up and left the hospital ward ..
Said the girl in the bed beside Jane as went by Jane .
Jane was too weak to speak and too far gone to even know who had just spoken to her . The girl sat beside Jane on her bed and said .
“My name is Louise . Hey don’t worry it will all be ok . “
Jane briefly opened her eyes and kind of nodded before going to sleep .
Each day Jane had a visit form the mental health team and her Mother and father also visited each evening .
Jane was now able to recognise her parents and even talk to them about things .
The first time Jane self harmed in the hospital shower she had to undergo minor surgery and after that episode she was placed on suicide watch and visits from her parents ceased for a few weeks . With her slow progress Jane was now doing school work in the hospital and eventually was taken off suicide watch .
Jane was permitted to walk around the hospital grounds and one day she found a door to the basement and there was a little room there that was used for storing beds and other old furniture items . There was a small window near the ceiling that permitted a shaft of sunlight to come through and land like a spotlight upon the dusty floor .
That was the first moment for a long time Jane had the desire to dance .
She moved some of the furniture away to the side of the room and cleared a spot where she could move .
Then she stood there in the light of the sun and she started to slowly twirl then gracefully like a swan she glided across the floor as if it were a lake . She jumped and lifted her arms until a young man appeared at the door . He applauded and cheered .
“I have never seem anything as beautiful in my life . Who are you and what are you doing in a place like this . You should be on stage or in a movie .“
Jane had never had appreciation before and it wasn’t to accept .
She was about to run from the room in fear but then she noticed the silver cross on the young mans shirt collar and realised he was a priest . She stopped near the door and looked into his eyes and for the first time in months she spoke .
“Thank you Father .”
He looked at her and said .
“Don’t call me Father , my name is Ken .”
“Thank you Ken .“
“Don’t thank me , I want to thank you . You’re someone who has brought me some hope and inspiration . What I want you to think about is teaching young people from the ghetto how to dance , how to hold their head up again . Would you consider please coming over to my church hall once a week . I can guarantee you at least six people who would really benefit from you’re talent .”
He never had to ask twice . Jane was eagre to do it .
“Sure Ken , but you’ll have to ask Doctor Phil . I’m in ward three and am not sure when they’re letting me out .”
The priest looked and gently smiled and said .
“ I’m here to say mass for some of the patients and their families . Would you like to join us at the service today ?“
Jane replied ,
“Sure Ken . I haven’t been to mass since I was in primary school . “
Ken walked across the room and lifted small wooden pulpit stand as he lifted it he looked at Jane and said .
“Today I have been blessed . What is your name ?”
“My name is Jane ”
Ken lifted his hands in the air and said ,
“Thank you Lord for Jane , You have a given her a gift that speaks when she dance’s “
Jane shed a few tears , as she wiped them away Ken looked at her and continued
“Jane I want you to dance at the service this morning for the people . Would you do do us that honour ?”
Jane lit up . No one had ever shown any interest in her talent before and for the first time in her life she felt good about dancing and who she was . The she said in a confident tome .
“I would love to dance at the church service Ken . Will there be some music there foe me to dance to ?“
Ken replied ,
“I have a brought a CD player with some reflective kind of music that I’m sure you could translate into movement .“
Jane responded ,
“ Sure no problem I’ll translate a dance for your congregation Ken and if you get permission from the head doctor I’ll so what I can for the ghetto kids .“
“That’s fantastic , leave it with me Jane I’ll speak with the hospital doctors today and let you know . “
Jane and Ken made their way from the basement to the little chapel in the grounds of the hospital . Inside the chapel a few people and already taken their seats .
Ken placed the wooden pulpit beside the small altar in the front of the church . As he went to put on his garments he pointed to a cupboard at the back of the chapel and said to Jane .
“There are some white robes on the top shelf there . You can put one of them over your pyjamas if you’d like and I’ll place a chair on the altar near me .“
From his mobile phone Ken rand the doctor in charge and informed him where Jane was just to cover himself and also Jane . As fate would have it Jane’s Mum and Dad were there waiting to see her so the doctor informed them where she was and what she was going to be doing .
At the beginning of mass Jane took her seat beside the altar .
Half way through the service Ken announced there would be a special moment and introduced Jane . Then after he put the CD on he took a seat . At that moment Janes Mum and Dad walked in through the door of the chapel and sat down at the back of the chapel . A beam of sunlight shone in through the windows of the little chapel . All the people in the pews sat back and watched Jane dance .
It was a beautiful moment of praise and worship for everyone and when the music stopped , Jane fell to the floor . She had given everything she could and was totally exhausted .
Everyone in the chapel applauded and Jane slowly got up off the floor .
As she did her Mum and Dad walked up the centre aisle towards her . As they met a few tears fell followed by a few kisses and hugs .
When things settled the mass continued and the impact of Jane’s dance had driven home to her parents just how talented their daughter really was .
After the service had finished Jane introduced Ken to her Mum and Dad and told them all about going to teach some dance form to some of the local youth .
Her parents were impressed and for the first time in her life Jane felt like she something to be proud of .
The days in the clinic were now much happier for Jane and she was able to speak more with the other residents and staff who noticed a huge improvement in her .
Jane couldn’t wait to meet the street kids and when the day came Ken picked her up and brought her to the hall where six young adults were waiting .
At this point in tome names weren’t important so Jane called her students Larry , Barry and Harry and Nona , Lona and Mona . She tagged herself Sparkles and had clicked with them immediately .
She knew all the street smart lingo but one thing more really topped it off .
Jane had a big favour to ask Ken .
Instead of using the hall she requested that they go to down the beach for the first dance instruction . All the street kids were all so grateful as some of them had never been out of the ghetto before so to get to the beach was brilliant .
Ken packed a few things into the church bus and then everyone piled in and off they went . When they arrived at the beach they all sat on the roacks looking out to sea . Jane found a flat area and put on some cool techno music on the CD player . and then she urged everyone to stand in a circle around her .
“ Ok everyone now do as I do .“
Everyone row the boat . They followed her movements .
Now throw a fishing line into the water .
They did as she asked and then the dance began .
She made it up as she went and introduced movement with theatre attached .
They followed her as she jumped into the air and lifted her arms .
They were soon all out of breath and laughing . After a few moments Jane put on another CD . It was peaceful and quiet .
Jane introduced them to ballet .There was an enthusiasm on their faces .
Ken watched from a distance and was quietly very excited about what he saw .
“Can you teach us how to do those steps Sparkles ?”
Said Mona .
“Yeah like that’s so cool ?”
Said Larry .
“It will take time but if you have time to spare I can make you all ballerinas .“
They all laughed ,
“How long will it take Sparkles .”
Barry asked .
“It depends on you .“
Said Jane and she continued .
“What if we do a show for the local community . A kind of mixed bag with a little ballroom and jazz tap then say a Ballet with some modern steps . It could be a big hit and we would all be the talk of the town .“
They were all eagre to give it their best and once Ken heard of the plan he was more than happy to help in any way that he could to provided funds and equipment or whatever was necessary .
At that moment in time Sparkles Dance Company had been found .
The next six months were very busy for everyone .
Jane was discharged from the hospital within a week and her overall health was in good order .
With the help of the government and the church she was allocated a small budget to get the dance company up and running .
Each week new people wanted to join the group .
It was more than Ken had expected and within the year , Sparkles dance company was ready to put on their show . It was the opening night of Local Commotion and the media were out in force as was all the who’s who of the community .
It was the proudest moment of Janes life to see her Mum and Dad tell everyone about their daughter who was the person who made this special event happen .
The show was a huge success and the Sparkles theatre company took it on the road with sell out shows where ever it went .
By Paul McCann
Site: Poetry Scriber
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