A memorial to Emma Lindley

From Matthew Holmes, Pearl and thoughts

A rendition of Pearl, a poem in middle English by an anonymous author, recorded in Beijing by Matthew. One of Emma’s favourite poems. A modernised version was read by Jeremy at Emma’s memorial event.

      Matthew Holmes-Pearl

Thoughts from Matthew:

She was a warm loving girl who stole my heart with her killer smile in a crowded ski-lift somewhere above the snowy Alps; she could be wonderfully fun to be with and I will always remember her laugh.  Anyone who knew her properly knew also that as well as her great joy at life, she had a capacity to become very low and depressed, which was enormously difficult for her and people close to her.  But her illness was also somehow part of what was amazing and brilliant and captivating about her.  She had a huge effect on the lives of people around her, partly because of her mischievous love of chaos,  her Elfin side, which meant she often challenged people, bringing out the craziness in them, and catalyzing changes in the way they saw their own inner and outer worlds.  She was certainly one reason I left England and moved to China.  When I heard from my father of her death, I was just about to go on stage and sing in a small bar in Beijing.  I dedicated a song to her, and called her an English diamond, thinking about Pink Floyd and Sid Barrett.   My father asked me in that conversation to help him prepare a modernized version of Emma’s favourite poem, Pearl, by the same anonymous author as Sir Gawayn and the Green Knight, for a reading at her memorial service.  So I went home that night and began reading it; something I had skived my way out doing when I was supposed to at University, for which I think Emma once chastised me with her usual gentle mockery.  Apologies to anyone who’s Middle English is less rusty than mine, somehow I can imagine Emma laughing disgustedly at my barbaric attempts at the Elfin language, but anyway, this recording from Beijing is for her, because it is about what she was, not only a diamond but also a pearl, a crazy English pearl….I can imagine that so many people will miss her so very much.


One Comment

  1. chloe

    Yea, i look forward to hear the poem again and your Dad’s great talk at Emma’s memorial. which covered a lot. yea, Emma really put a lot in to everything she did. xx we’ll miss her


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