It seems that the year 2011 is a very special year for me. Not only do I celebrate my 70th birthday, but, as some of you may have already seen, I have been awarded this year’s “Povelja Zmajevih decjih igara za izuzetan doprinos stvaralastvu za decu, za bezgranicnu odanost svetu detinjstva i najplemenitijim ljudskim teznjama.” Such an award is the greatest honour I could ever hope to receive, and I receive it with both gratitude and humility. The award will be presented at Cika Jova Zmaj’s house in Sremska Kamenica on June 1st. Before this I shall be going to Strumica in Macedonia to attend the international film festival Aster Fest, where they will be awarding me a special prize for my work with children. Earlier this year I received official recognition of my work from the cities of Nis and Sarajevo.
I hope that my mentioning all this in my blog does not appear as boasting. The reason I am including it is to express my heartfelt thanks to all the children I have worked with and for over nearly fifty years. Of course many of these children are now adults and have children of their own, but you are the ones who are responsible for any success I may have achieved, it is you who have inspired me and helped me to retain the child in me, something that I think is probably most important in life – for everyone, not just those who work with children.
I think this poem “Child” by Sylvia Plath expresses something of what children have meant to me throughout my life:
Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new
Whose name you meditate --
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,
Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical
Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.
Thank you all, children of all ages, from the bottom of my heart!
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