‘How the Light Gets In’ – Light Night teaser | In Praise of Cracks
On October 3rd, Leeds-based, award-winning writer Clare Fisher will be running a brand new interactive storytelling installation for Leeds Light Night – ‘How the Light Gets In.’
As part of ‘How the Light Gets In’, actors will perform micro-stories on the theme of light, dark and how we find our way from one to the other, whilst audiences can contribute their insights and reactions to a display wall. Clare has written these stories through running a series of creative workshops and sparking creative conversations on twitter, thanks to funding from the Arts Council as part of the SHINE emerging artists scheme.
Leading up to Light Night, TSOTA are exclusively publishing a small selection of 4 of Clare’s micro stories that will feature in the installation.
Read the first – Helping Elbow.
The second to be published is In Praise of Cracks.
In Praise of Cracks
For much of my childhood, there was this poem magnetted to the fridge: blessed are the cracked for they let the light in. I didn’t get it; when I looked in the mirror all I saw was smooth pot-bellyish skin. What did this mean –I was cursed?
Whenever something bad happened, my mum would read out the poem in a voice high enough to break into the world that lay on the other side of the cracks – the side with all the light. This light world, I thought, must be the one she went in search of when she meditated behind closed doors, and which glimmered in her eyes every time I returned home from school with a fresh prize.
Prizes! How I loved them; they swam around my dreams and slowly fattened the cardboard folder of achievements my Mum kept in the red filing cabinet downstairs. Eventually the folder would get as fat as it could possibly be; I wouldn’t have to win any more prizes; I’d have whooshed straight into the world of light – bright-eyed, smooth-skinned, 100% crack-free.
But as the envelope fattened, I paled and thinned. I could sit in a crowded room for hours without saying a thing, not even when someone asked, ‘Where is she?’ I had more prizes than my friends and yet they were the ones who swelled and laughed, who glowed with a light I couldn’t see. When I looked in the mirror, I saw nothing; no crack no skin no light – no person at all.
Learning to live with cracks – both my own and other peoples’ – and with light and darkness and every shade in between, will win me no prizes. But I don’t care. I’ve been doing it for years now and it feels like life.
If you mention meditation to my Mum, she will wince and laugh a shy laugh which opens a gap between the person she is just then and the person you otherwise assume her to be. As for the poem, it’s buried under leaflets whose big red angry letters tell you to stop a war which has long since started and if it ended, no one bothered to tell me.
Clare Sita Fisher
‘How the Light Gets In’ will run from 5pm – 10pm, October 3rd at the Local Artists Space, Central Library, Leeds.
Clare Fisher is Leeds-based writer, blogger and creative-writing teacher. She writes mainly fiction, and in 2013 Clare won the Spread the Word Writing Prize and the Cinnamon Press Writing Prize. With a firm attachment in both Leeds and London, Clare is currently working on a novel set between the two cities.