PlaySpace Newsletter August 2019


Tributes to Tom Leonard

Tom Stephen and Sonja


Autumn Leaves 1 PlaySpace has three new publications in the last 6 months: Words Work Well for All, Autumn Leaves by Tom Leonard, and Tributes to Tom Leonard

At the beginning of 2019, I wrote this:

it is all there                                                                                                                                           the pain and the pleasure                                                                                                             the ugly     the beautiful                                                                                                              mystery and clarity                                                                                                                    your loss and your gain                                                                                                                 war    and   peace                                                                                                                          your birth   your death                                                                                                                 the little girl in you                                                                                                                        the little boy in you                                                                                                                        wealth   and   poverty                                                                                                              sickness and health                                                                                                              courage and fear                                                                                                                         your joy    your woe                                                                                                                             it is all here

 And now this:

First Day                                                                                                                                                for Mel Arlo & Ossian

When a baby is born                                                                                                                           on that first day everything must stop:                                                                                   there’s no more striving no more pushing                                                                                     no stress no strain no more waiting                                                                                                no working no sorting no rushing no wishing                                                                            just loving then more loving and stroking and feeding                                                            and changing and cleaning with lots of celebrating                                                                     to welcome this new being into our world . . .

When a baby arrives squirming and kicking                                                                               we drop everything to come and gaze with wonder                                                                   to hold and behold – to listen to the breaths of new life                                                              to hear the mother/father/child story told again and again

Once upon a time . . . .                                                                                                                    How wonderful the 1st July 2019!


Forthcoming Publications and Events

Living Our Dying – anthology of essays and poetry about everything to do with before and after death.  Edited by Larry Butler and Sheila Templeton.  Most of the text will be by Professor David Donnison who died last year alongside contribution from members of the Die-a-log group: ” Let’s talk about death and dying – this Lapidus Scotland initiative continues to slowly expand.  The more we die-a-log the more we live. The first Die-a-log group (8 members) started in the same front room where the Bank Street Writers meet and has been talking and writing about death for over two years; and has spawned four other groups: Edinburgh, Reading, London, Dorset.  Caring talk, reflections, inspirations, resources, practical information and news about death and dying, sharing and giving compassionate support, guidance and encouragement dealing with all aspects of death and dying

G R E A T   Grief

Grieving the State of Our World

A public talk with Ted Bowman

followed by Q&A and Open Mic

Ted Bowman

Only recently in my long career as a grief educator have I heard, often at the end of a session addressing personal losses, someone to speak first timidly but with growing strength that they do not stay awake in the middle of the night or perseverate during the day about their personal loss. Rather, the grief that threatens their emotional well-being and resiliency is the state of the world. And this has happened too often for me to not notice. A writer in The Guardian, called this the “Great Grief”—a feeling that rises in us as if from the Earth itself. Perspectives about and tools of response to GREAT griefs will be presented and discussed.

Ted Bowman, a grief educator / writer who specialises in change and transition in families, an organisation, or communities. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota but travels to the UK where he works with Lapidus Scotland trainers.

When? Saturday 7pm 11th October 2019

Where? Centre for Contemporary Arts – 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD

Free event: booking on eventbrite – (we welcome donations on the door)


Embrace Tiger Return to Mountain – 18 to 25 October 2019

Tai-chi, Poetry & Meditation – 7 days residential in the Dhanakosa retreat centre by Loch Voil.  Each move is a metaphor – Tai Chi & Qi Gong, writing & poetry have much in common: form, structure, sensitivity and a striving towards essence. Whatever arises from our practice we will use to play with the reality of our inter-connectedness – write about it and share our stories.

Creative Words for Wellbeing in Scotland – a two year project starting June 2019

The SPL, in partnership with LAPIDUS Scotland, was awarded a grant from the Scottish Libraries and Information Council’s Innovation and Development Fund to undertake a mapping study of the words for wellbeing landscape in Scotland, and to work with key stakeholders including libraries, publishers, public health bodies and voluntary organisations to develop a shared vision and plan of action for realising this vision.


  1. Map current words for wellbeing projects and initiatives across Scotland
  2. Facilitate the co-creation of a jointly owned vision and action plan across stakeholders
  3. Lay the foundations for a collaborative, multi-sectoral network of bibliotherapy services across Scotland

Scribble in the Kibble

Writing for Health & Wellbeing                                                                                                   in the Kibble Palace Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Many people find using journals, poems and words helps them to understand and find new ways of coping with stress and illness. Lapidus Scotland offers writing workshops which are open to all abilities. They are mostly about ‘getting things down on paper’ and not worrying too much about spelling and grammar.

A useful way into writing can be through keeping a journal, as it can provide a private place to express thoughts and feelings.

In Writing for Health and Wellbeing we explore the ways in which words and writing can inspire and help us through difficult times and beyond.

Winter to Spring workshops on Wednesdays                                                                        4th, 11th, 18th 25th Sept, 2nd, 9th Oct 2019       12:30 to 2:30pm

Further information and to book a place email: