I woke this morning to an astonishing reminder of a very important anniversary for me. Facebook told me that ten years ago this evening, on April 4 2008, my poetry play, Dreams of May, opened it’s four week run at London’s Pentameters Theatre. Ten years….very hard to believe. But the truth is even more astonishing. That big night happened not in April of 2008, but in September of 2006 — nearly twelve years ago! But nonetheless, it got me thinking about all that has happened since, and the importance that a few attached poems can have on a life.
Of course, back then, I had no idea that that opening night would lead to many more performances throughout the UK and the US, nor that the play would land on the syllabus of a creative writing degree program. That in itself is astonishing. But my small cycle of 22 poems did even more than that. It ushered me into a career, or actually four careers…as a writer, as a theatre-maker, as an arts administrator, as a global educator. The road from Hampstead to Siem Reap is not nearly as long as I ever would have believed.
Many people have been saying lately that I should write a memoir about how all this has happened. At first, I thought it was a crazy and presumptuous idea. But it did get me wondering how I ever got to where I am today, and how I can answer truthfully the question I am repeatedly asked, How did you ever do this? A proper answer will take lots of thought and lots of writing, but what first comes to mind is courage. With all these years of hindsight and knowledge about what it takes to write, to publish, to produce, to organise, to teach, I can’t help but believe that I have been ridiculously, perhaps recklessly, brave. But where did this bravery come from? I think that my courage came from a very special recipe:
Take a base amount of creativity, add a dollop of talent, then pour in huge amounts of naivete and stir together with a steady stream of desperation. Set aside to simmer, then do it all again. 
That was, and continues to be, my recipe for courage. And if I’ve learned nothing else over these past astonishing twelve years, it’s that we all need as much courage as we can muster, in whatever personal recipe we can concoct.
So, here’s to Dreams of May and twelve years of having the courage, not to mention the incredible support of family, friends and colleagues, to figure it all out on the fly.