I had to walk away from the news tonight. The slaughtering of pigs, of hunting hounds, the slaughtering of people.
I had to walk away from the broadcasting of yet more pain and misery. I turned my back on melting snow and forest fires. I had to leave the images of volcanic dust and burned out villages behind me.
I turn away but force myself to believe that humanity is good. I must remain rooted in the belief that humanity is kind and caring.
I had to turn the radio off for even words now make painful listening, picking apart the suffering that is happening everywhere. It’s certainly not the first time that we have damaged each other and it won’t be the last. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if people just stopped hurting each other. Sometimes naiveté is a good tool.
Holding onto memories of innocence when the four seasons did their thing. The spring sprung and summer hung in the busy air of bees and butterflies.
When autumn always smelt of brown earth and winter offered up red berries and muddy potatoes. That time when we lived the poems that were handed down. ‘January brings the snow’ but whatever happened to gilly flowers? Cobwebs and firesides, oranges and drizzle.
And time it was that people sung in harmony, and hung around a stained piano. And time it was when we had a sense of optimism. For it feels, doesn’t it, like we are walking through fog, trying to find the next step in murky times.
I had to walk way from the news as the poor spoke about getting poorer, and a helplessness descended over me. So many people now, however wide they spread their arms, cannot make ends meet. 21st Century blues, when the olduns amongst us can remember the smell of toast that accompanied the end of a day, when every day was the first day of the rest of our lives.
I had to turn away from the television when I saw bloodied carpets and bestial ignorance being celebrated by some and recorded by others.
I am poleaxed in such times of injustice and corruption.
It’s not even anger that makes me shut the door on the noise of destruction it is deep sadness. A helplessness and powerlessness, a paralysis of pain.
I try and read the small print but sometimes it feels like I just haven’t got enough time to ingest any more words, comments or briefings, and yet I feel guilty because I am turning my back on it all.
So I listen to Molly Drake and her whimsical songs, I watch ‘Ted Lasso’ with its deep sense of compassion and I watch ‘Grace and Frankie’ to pick out the bits that enable me to carry on listening to Molly and watching Ted and finding the space to read up-lifting books and talk to friends.
Tonight I felt bereft at ‘Old Spot’ pigs being killed because a group of people cut our ties with so many countries and their people. That we are again, swirling around in suspended animation waiting for winter deaths, waiting for petrol, waiting for tankers, waiting for shortages, waiting for peace, waiting for love to be the top story.
Today I drove to our organic farm shop to buy spinach and rocket, chard and beetroots but the shop was shut. So I drove along a country lane and arrived at another farm shop that had buckets of pink and yellow and red dahlias that were so big I couldn’t see my feet. I bought bananas and bread, then drove to the spice shop and bought skinny red peppers and Indian gooseberries, then took my self off to a tea shop that sells home-made cakes and is populated with young women spinning around as they drop off your coffee, laugh wildly and bump bums as they dance to a soundtrack of drums and sunshine.
Boosters and flu shots, the certainty of side effects and an acknowledgement that should any of those jabs be refused then there will be even more of a divide, ever more bitterness between the Brexiteers and Remainers, the vaxers and the anti-vaxers, the old the young, the ill the well, the comfortable and the uncomfortable.
I’m leaving everything to the young although I know that I still have to do my part, have to do my bit. There are those amongst my friends who have given up on God, who have given up on politics, those who have given up on optimism. There are those amongst my friends who believe in the multiverse, who believe in humanity, themselves, and proportional representation. But even optimism is polarised now.
The old git and I drove to Lewes to have tea with two old friends. the discussion turned to usefulness and what is to be done. And four of us, in the sunshine, agreed that we are living through something that is inevitable. Although it is that inevitability that makes me turn away from the television and the newspapers. Do all civilisations end up like this? Tired and frightened? Weary and resigned? Is this the cycle of life?
Are we in the autumn of our our planet? Are we waiting for the ice flows of winter to arrive when we won’t hear cuckoos anymore or see swallows? Is that when we will begin to trust again?
For like all relationships when trust dies holding onto a gaze can be painful, smiling into the eyes of another is impossible when the trust has gone. Handing out love to our youngsters, listening and encouraging them to believe in themselves and the earth again is a monumental job. Or is it? And do they even see us anymore as they witness our betrayal with our empty promises and unaccountable clichés.
This a time of melancholy, a time or readjustment. When all we seem to be able to say to each other is ‘I know. I know. I feel like you. I know. I know, what is to be done?’
What IS to be done?
I trust that we will figure it out – because we have to -because we owe it to each other.
I leave you with Molly Drake and her take on melancholy.
Molly Drake – I Remember – YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch