That Feeling

by Neil Farrelly | 11 September 2018

Everyone who was there knew what they felt and walked away from it with that feeling.

What to say here? What words to write down? So many moments in Phnom Penh – Epic Arts from Batam Bang, the Cambodian Killing Fields, the homeless boy on the other side of the camp fence begging tourists for money. The performances by the local group Epic Arts where one of them mid-performance held the wheel of his wheelchair and hoisted himself vertically into the air—the whole troupe on stage sharing a joke when something didn’t work so they tried it again and again—all the myriad in-between talks between artists in-between the work. The realisation only half as much work could be done because everything took twice as long in translation and the feeling of humility that without those same high school translators, none of it was going to work. And how, at the end of the show, no one could get any proper words out to actually thank everybody due to a surfeit of emotion.

If the world is such a dark, cynical, rotten place where people only look out for themselves and nobody out there trusts anyone else, how come there are so many Danny Wallaces in it? You know – that BBC guy who helps you across the street if you need a hand, the one who buys you a drink if he thinks you’re feeling lonely. He set up a company, website, the lot – all about lending a hand and saying yes to each other – the rule being that once you’ve done the good deed, you walk away and don’t hang around for praise.

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