THE GIFT OF TIME | REBECCA PARFITT, WRITERS AT WORK

 

At this festival we have been given the gift of time. We share and receive the time of each other and the time of guests and readers invited. It is the festival of ideas and we absorb them to the point of brimming and over spilling – we are full and contented with it.

David Mitchell demonstrated a striking example of generosity and kindness, for a writer of his stature there was no pretentiousness, no attitude. He spoke bravely of his son’s autism – without forcing judgement – and with openness to the opinions of others. Amanda Palmer spoke, listened, and sang to us (along with thousands of followers watching on Facebook live). She had no qualms with letting people in, sharing something of her life with the people who helped her to reach her stardom. The way others perceive us is important, and lasting, and mustn’t be taken for granted whoever you are.

I felt these encounters were gifts, they were meaningful moments and interactions that enabled us to feel the depth, warmth and pain of human experience – whether a stranger at the festival, or a superstar like Amanda Palmer or David Mitchell. It is a reminder that we should give our time whenever we can and never take anybody else’s for granted. We are all human, we all have ideas and we must make space for them so that we can be together.

Rebecca Parfitt is a part of the Hay Writers at Work programme, which is a long-term development programme for selected new Welsh writers.