The Mentor Part 2 – An Introduction

July 7, 2024

The blank page is a place I love. Empty of judgement, quietly comfortable with whatever we want to bring and a place for private reflection.

The first keystroke, like the first step in a stroll around an unexplored idea.

Every word that follows gently jostling for attention and for its chance to be noticed in the mind of the reader.

Every sentence a way to be heard without making a noise.

Every shared experience, like pressed footsteps on wet sand, revealing where we have travelled from, but never defining when or where we must go next.

The blank page doesn’t tell us that our hopes are impossible, or fanciful or wrong. Instead, it offers to welcome all our words, however huddled, muddled, vulnerable or unsure of themselves they might appear to be. It is a place to rest our half thoughts and our uncertain ideas; but also a place of possibility, where we can see familiar words laid out in unfamiliar patterns that may speak to us of opportunity and the potential to make our difference. Words to make things better and words to advocate for our cares.

In 2023 I started a regular blog called “The Mentor”. It was a series of stories about moments and experiences placed in an imaginary exhibition to friendship, love and kindness. I wrote it to find where some of the pieces of me might be; not to justify things past, but to find a little more understanding in the present. I wrote it to help me see my place in today and to carry with me a note of gratitude and love for some of the people and some of the moments that have shaped me and my world.

I would now like embark on a new series of blogs with you.

We will start where we finished, on leaving the exhibition. We have moved from its entrance through to its exit, passing through rooms full of blessings and gifts, but now we are outside. The calm of a curated space is replaced with something less certain, less “placed” and less understood. The exhibition was a quiet retrospective, and very important for that, but we all know that before we are ready a fast spinning tomorrow will be blown on the wind and will scatter around us opportunities, worries, sadness and hope. To make our difference, to find our way, we cannot just look back. We must be ready to look forward and into the wind.

As well as every fast spinning tomorrow, at many points in all our lives great change will also visit and it will come with its noisy outriders revving their decibels of uncertainty, vulnerability and fear. I feel that sense of great change right now. It is not anything I relish and it is not softened by its inevitability.

The pages to be written are blank for now, but in the months ahead I would like to walk with you into the wind, to find familiar words in unfamiliar patterns that will gently jostle each other, to quieten the noise of change, and to find some peace in our hopes and needs revealed.

I hope therefore that we may walk together, leaving our softly pressed footprints for others to see where we have been; I hope we may carry each other’s cares so that they weigh a little less heavily on our minds. We will walk with some music to inspire our stride, with the words of great writers to refresh our minds, and I hope we will walk with some old friends (and new) that we meet along the way.

We will walk to reflect on our good fortune that we are together at this time, and we will walk to help each other be the difference in this world that we are meant to be.

What shall we call this new series?

I am not sure… but it will be the time we spend together that counts, not what we call it. Let’s settle for now on “The Mentor Part 2”.

Take care. Paul xx

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