I’ve just opened a letter to a £112 parking fine and I feel like whining about that for the next 120 words, but I won’t. Instead I’m going to write about the Waiting Wall. I cant remember how I stumbled upon this but every now and again I sit there and look at it for a while. Sometimes with a deep concern for a stranger.
Starting back in September 2015 on a digital advertising display at Brighton train station, created by musician and software developer Alan Donohoe and his creative partner Steven Parker to display the publics deepest, darkest thoughts. The inspiration behind this was a book written by philosopher Alain de Botton in which he suggests that ordinary people could share their private thoughts anonymously on advertising hoardings in our cities.
I haven’t been to Brighton train station lately so I haven’t seen the wall in all its glory but what there is is a website. Www.thewaitingwall.com shows anonymous messages which change every 10 seconds or so. It doesn’t take long until a dark message comes up, and then another, and another. Sometimes the odd message is relatable. Which, in my opinion, can be quite reassuring in the tough times. That sense that I’m not the only one going through a tough time. On the other hand, like me, there is someone else out there who is suffering in silence.
The messages range from people who feel worthless, people who are in love, people who are in love but with someone else’s partner, those who feel lost, the depressed and the suicidal.
I read one the other night the simply said “I think I’m going to kill my self tonight.” Which sent chills down my spine. I’m hoping, of course, that they didn’t. Maybe seeing the words come up on their screen helped them vent their frustrations and sadness and they opted against suicide. Maybe, they never intended to kill themselves but just become absorbed in the dark tone of the wall. They are anonymous so there isn’t anyway to find out.
Well, this was a little bit more depressing than I intended to make it, but I think if you have a few minutes spare and you’ve watched all of the Ok Go videos then you should have a little look at the waiting wall, you never know you might feel compelled to leave your own message.
One more thing, if you do find yourself feeling down with no where to turn and no way out. I’d just like to say that you’re not alone and if you speak out about it someone will listen. There are also charities out there who can give excellent advice and support. If you’re in the UK then I’d suggest the Samaritans.