Friday, November 02, 2007

Shirley Wilson: teacher/learner; learner/teacher

I was stressed having not taken an ‘away from it all holiday’, so found solace in countless visits to Homebase searching for feel-good plants. I overheard a voice in the crowd – Ester came to mind. It was Angela.

I waited in the car park. I didn’t want to alarm her, as she quickly got into her car, windows up. I had to knock on the window. She looked through the glass, a little alarmed, so I gestured ‘wind the window down.’

“It’s me, Shirley Wilson, Ester’s teacher” (as if I had been the only teacher she had ever had). “How is Ester?” I had last asked Robin that at a conference on Race and Equality at City Hall last year. Angela did not speak – for a long while. We were frozen in a moment in time. When Angela said, “You don’t know...?” I began to shudder.

My world stood still, as I began to remember Ester. Angela climbed out of the car and we hugged, as we remembered Ester.

I was traumatised – I chose not to cry, but went immediately to the website to discover what had become of Ester. I bawled all afternoon as I remembered Ester. Tears of joy I wept as I read the messages on the website, which showed that she had been true to herself.

Ester championed the cause.
Equality, Rights and Justice.
I remember Ester.
Pure Spirit.
Wise beyond her years.
Challenging me – questioning me, always wanting to know more.
“Miss Wilson ……….?”
“Miss Wilson, you know what you said about ………., well ……….”
And on and on and on.

I remember Ester
Because she made me the learner
As we reasoned, on life.

Who was this child?
And who was her mother?
(In fact, Ester challenged me all year.)
Class teacher and Humanities Co-ordinator for the school – History, Geography and RE.
Ester loved RE lessons – challenge, questions, discussions, views……….
As a 9/10 year old
Ester and I shared – teacher/learner; learner/teacher - the inhumanity
And inJustice
And inEquality
We shared the Respect
And Love
That is needed in the world.
I loved Ester Gluck – Pure Spirit.
I think on Ester and smile.
When I think of Ester, I remember Angela, her mother—the womb of that Pure Spirit, wise beyond her years.
I was privileged to know Ester.
Love you Ester.
(present tense)
You are ever present in my remembrance
... and you chose to wear the colour purple—the colour purple.
I had shared The Colour Purple with you.

God, Jah Rastafari, Conquering Lion Of Judah , Jehovah, Father, Yahweh, Brahman, Allah knows best.