Where Did The Idea Come From?

My small local covered shopping centre has had a large open empty space at its centre for several years now. It used to be a cafe. Tables and chairs, people chatting, watching the world go by. Now it’s vacant. It’s not dark, because it’s part of the concourse, although a waist height wall and a roped off gap prevent access. The counter and serving spaces, sinks and equipment still remain along the back edge. It looks as if it’s waiting…

Every time I’ve walked past it for years now, in my minds eye, I see the lights on again, a few tables set up quite randomly, and across them and over some of the floor are strewn paper, and sketchbooks, and pens and pencils, and it’s filled with happy engrossed people – young and old – drawing.

Young mothers with their toddlers. Office workers on their lunch break. Older people rediscovering the joy of just drawing, some with their grandchildren, swopping ideas and observations. People who arrived on their own, are already tentatively chatting to each other, forming new friendships. Passers by, pausing around the edge, are looking on, at first puzzled, then intrigued, then wondering if maybe they can spare some time to have a go…

They’re all in my imagination, this mismatched group of happy people, brought together by the simple joy of drawing the world around them. It’s just a dream.

Or is it?

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