The Power of Perseverance

by Geoff Hall on September 3, 2014

August 2014 – The power of perseverance

Mentoring support for word, image and performance arts

Mentoring support for word, image and performance arts

On 1st September Jeanette and I celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary. On that day we both looked wonderfully contemporary, until someone (a friend from America – Florida) posted a photo of Jeanette and I with our first small bundle, Mark on Facebook! It was taken around 1986, I know, ouch, but I was reminded of what a good looking hunk I was back then. Jeanette looks beautiful and Mark was his gorgeous self, a baby who would cause the good people of Hartlepool to stop me in the street and gawp (at him).

Despite the good looks and the idyllic appeal of the photo (which actually shows me with hair), it hides the fact that this was taken at a pretty stressful time for both of us. This was during the reign of the Evil Ice Queen Thatcher,  who despoiled most of the North-East of England and I was just about employed on an MSC Scheme, working amongst the unemployed of Hartlepool. The town was known, thanks to that bastion of truth and good taste (The Sun newspaper!) as the Dole Capital of England – as if we had planned it all.

A year later, thanks to a great reference sent to Bristol Polytechnic and written by his holiness Richard Russell, we left for the city that is now our home. I have meandered job-wise for the last 9 years, but these mornings I awake and feel like a fiction writer. It’s true, I do. There is nothing yet in the public domain to show that I’m not blagging it, but sooner and not later there will be.   In all the meandering, the One and Only has been there, teaching me to translate the invisible wind. I’m reminded of a few lines of poetry by a little known middle-eastern saint, which goes as follows.


“we also revel in our sufferings,

because we know that suffering

produces perseverance;

perseverance, character;

and character, hope.”


Today I feel, some 28 years after that photograph was taken, that we are moving on towards hope. What I’m sure of is that I couldn’t be here without friends, patient friends. I also know that I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if an actor friend (Russell) had not encouraged me to write for film and I certainly wouldn’t be ‘here’ writing a novel, if it wasn’t for a souldude (Chris) who told me he was looking for a ‘particular voice’ for his publishing company and I was ‘it’. (The latter I decided is prone to madness, but the novel is complete and we are about to have lots of fun with it).

Perseverance is never a walk alone.

Our gifts do not develop in isolation, but in relationship to other gifted luminaries. Perseverance, character and hope all work along the same lines.

And hope is always best shared liberally. So here’s some now!

Oh and if you’re wondering about that photograph…here it is. Peace, Geoff

Geoff, Jeanette and mark 1986

Geoff, Jeanette and Mark 1986

One comment

I had wondered where Howard Jones hailed from!

by Marco Cazzulini on September 4, 2014 at 8:36 am. Reply #

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