You know what it's like – you take a micro-break to Cambridge to be a part of your partner's Great Niece's Christening and you stay 'open' to what the Universe may show you...
...when you're open 'stuff' happens.
We walk into the Grand Arcade, and my attention is captured by the amazing manikins in www.ctshirts.com
I ask for permission to photograph these signature-style manikins, made from recycled ties. Salesperson, Josh Wright, gives me permission, and I notice a tattooed semi-colon behind his ear. I'm really into the stories that sit behind most tattoos, and soon my life is changed, as I ask to hear his story...
Almost a year ago, one of his closest friends chose to commit suicide. Josh showed me pictures of his beautiful friend who'd dated Josh's sister for 6 years. I'm nearly in tears. I'm nearly in tears writing this... perhaps I should be. Perhaps we all should be.
Josh explained his tattoo. I quote from Wikipedia on "Project Semicolon" which explains that "a semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life".
Josh's perspective was even more powerful. The semicolon for him was 'pause' and the 'stop,' and then, 'move on.' He chose to have this tattooed behind his ear to remind him to 'listen.' He said that no one saw this coming for his friend even though the friend's dad and uncle had also committed suicide.
I'm not sure what to suggest other than taking the noble step that Charles Tyrwhitt in Cambridge have taken. They've become involved with Mind's Mental Health First Aid Training: https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/one-million-people-to-receive-mental-health-first-aid-training/
What I can say for myself is that every semicolon I use from now on will have far deeper significance. I will learn to listen more deeply.
May we all learn to listen... and then intervene so that each 'author' we meet may choose life – choose to continue the sentence.
A Moodscope member.