A short discussion on the inspiration for '10'.
"I'm not a Saint. Because I would rob every penny from this Calendar if it
would buy me just one more hour with him."
- Calendar Girls, Tim Firth
Ok. So I'll concede that Calendar Girls may
not be the most traditional source of inspiration, but it was here; uttered achingly by Julie Walters as she confesses that little matters compared with the grief she feels over her lost husband. Distracted by sunflowers and well placed scones, it could be easy to miss. But re-watching the film this time her soul-baring statement caught me and wouldn't let me go. I paused the film and sat, admittedly quite dramatically, and thought what had just been said. (Luckily I was alone, saving me from strange and frustrated looks from my fellow audience). I could relate.
Though, despite the fact Julie, as she always does, takes us to a place of what can feel like a 'never before spoken truth', this was not the first time I had heard this said.
I'd heard it from my mum on the death of her mum and subsequently on every anniversary since. I’ve heard it in plays, in songs on the radio, in interviews on various BBC charity gala nights, from mum's and dad's grieving their young son and from teenagers dealing with the loss of a grandparent. Why? Why do we long so desperately for what feels like stolen time? And why always such a short period of time? People tend to ask for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour maybe but never a day. Never a weekend. Never a week.
Maybe it's because we know deep in our brains that to cheat death in this way is too un-human. So we ask for a small slither or time. A couple of minutes so unrecognisable, so unmissable that even the laws of physics wouldn't notice. Surely no one could deny us. No one could deny us considering the pain we feel. What's 10 minutes between friends?
Or maybe we know deep in our hearts that it just wouldn't be right. So we try to reach for a glimmer of light in the darkness of 'never agains'. Some relief from the despair of never hearing their voice again. Never seeing their smile or watching them laugh just one more time.
I also had questions:
How far would I be willing to go to see that person again?
Will they be as I remembered?
Is 10 minutes, 5 minutes, an hour ever going to be enough?
Could I really say goodbye to them all over again?
Ahh! It's painful, thats true. Yet certain. And arguably, unbeatably human. The second we are born, the only guarantee is that we're going to die. It faces us straight on; glares at us dead in the eye. Unwavering and solid in its own surety. So innately okay with its necessity that it never questions its own existence. Still, nothing can prepare us for it. Millions of years of evolution have not eased the suffering we feel when losing a someone we love.
Death. The steel bulletproof wall. The last soldier standing over us in the sand.
Immoveable and uncheatable.
But what if we could? What if we could cheat death for just 10 minutes? Just 10 more minutes.
Check back here soon for the release of 10. We can't wait to share it with you.