Towards the end of 2017 a man from Liverpool walked into my life. He came to Gamla Byskolan because there was work that needed to be done that suited his skills. We talked about employing him to become the man responsible for the maintenance of the school and to help us improve out buildings in the garden. A few months later he eventually started working with us. When I had the time I would assist him on different projects.
As we worked together the days passed into weeks and so on. I suddenly began to realise this man’s potential, not just with his practical skills but also with his creativity. All though he displayed a tough veneer, I could see that there was a very kind and caring man with a big heart behind that mask. A man of his word, who does good work. His creativity and unique intelligence showed more and more as we worked together. This man has an amazing artistic ability to create beauty through his work, and when he tells his stories of the past he touches people within and makes them laugh.
Working alongside the man from Liverpool was also a learning process for me. As we laughed, joked and discussed things I was soon to realise that we had much in common. Then I started to understand how being around him had affected me. This feeling that had been awoken helped me to regain contact with a part of myself that had been forgotten and neglected.
It is only in recent days that I have begun to realise that our souls have a connection. His friendly manner and everything he gives from himself is a gift for Gamla Byskolan and everything we work for here. During the time he has been employed he has enabled me to open a door into a room where I have not been for a long time. Without realising it I have become more grounded, because I have regained a part of myself.
I remember the time with a smile, when my wife and I were invited for a cup of coffee one Saturday afternoon, such is his hospitality we ended staying the whole night and not leaving until after breakfast the following day.
As I write this article I wonder how many people have taken from this man without realising the value of what he offers. The day he walked into my life I was able to reclaim a part of myself that had been long since forgotten. I ask myself: Why is it that meditation or therapy never offered me that key? I think I know why, he is a man of a similar culture of my own, somebody that I could easily relate to. When I listen to his stories about his life it reminds me of my earlier life. I can see that everything was not as bad as my memories tell me. When the days were dark, people like him, from time to time would bring the sunshine.
Graham, is the name of the man from Liverpool, for me he possesses a rare form of intelligence. It shows many different aspects. He is not an academic; he is just an ordinary man like I am. We both had to meet the challenges of our culture on a daily basis. One thing he has reminded me of is, whatever is going on there is always time to laugh.
Many people think to be a genius you have to have an academic background. Graham is in touch with his natural intelligence, an intelligence that cannot be found by reading a book, and he uses it every day. I have no doubt that Graham, without realising it, affects the hearts and minds of the people that he comes into contact with.
Thank you Ascala for sending Graham into my life when I was in need of something that I had forgotten how to give myself. You sent me someone that could help me not just with Gamla Byskolan, but who could help me rediscover aspects within myself that had been forgotten.
Thank you Graham for the work you do at Gamla Byskolan. Never ever stop being who you are.