I have not posted for a long time now – not just because it is summer and I am out a lot – mainly because I have too much to say, or too little.
Some pictures of a happy place, a contrast to the writing I have now thought to post.
Far away, a plane is shot down in Ukraine.
A school is Schools are shelled, rockets fall. 1,900 lives are lost in Gaza in four weeks while my tomatoes grow. They have fruit and farms and gardens too, places to live and grow. So do Ukrainians, and others not now in the news. How many are now hurt, displaced, traumatised, suffering? Know there will be no growing now for a while?
While violence silences and disempowers all of us everywhere, I am in the middle of one of the loveliest summers I have had for a long time. As well as the bike and the beaches, and our kids, everyone here whatever their age, swimming, playing, growing, enjoying. I picked my first of the season tomato and cucumber. [I do not have a garden, these are pot-grown on a deck 20 feet long by 5 feet wide.]
can’t couldn’t write – the contrast is too great. But, at least I can write.
This morning I decided I want to say that however BAD, SAD, and utterly shocking and disempowering the dreadful violence is,
IT IS TIME THAT PEOPLE ESPECIALLY LEADERS EVERYWHERE SPEND SOME TIME HAVING A REAL THINK ABOUT DESPAIR.
That is, the stuff that happens before during and after the shells fly and the rockets rock, whatever it is that they do, or think they are doing.
The history of powerful vs powerless (think Apartheid, think slavery, think jewish persecution, think some history or even a tiny inconsequential discriminatory unfairness you know about) is a history of feelings experienced, feelings of shame, humiliation, anger, fear, and above all
in the helplessness of “I did not ask for this” lies the real despair
“I can’t help it and it is going to happen again, and again, and again”
I can’t get on with ordinary living
Because those in Power do NOT hear the drip drip drip of what it is like to be prevented from living a fair enough life, the steady attrition of hope in a future, often not for oneself, but for those who depend on one’s provision. You see your child/elderly parent/partner/friend in need, you know what they need, you know how this sort of thing is done….
BUT YOU ARE PREVENTED FROM DOING IT
Imagine it, think into the despair, like as if the baby is hungry and you are too and you can’t get food – or thirsty – or needs to learn/work/play – or needs anything – and you are prevented. Sanctions and blocks do this, it is another kind of unasked death, just different from explosion.
YOU ARE PREVENTED FROM LIVING
prevented by decisions others make, creating poverty, inequality of life chances. It is not true that people can do well if they just work hard enough or learn enough. Remember that list, the slaves the persecuted jews the punishments once deemed ‘appropriate’, now thought barbaric. People do well, cultures and beliefs change when some have said: STOP
STOP VIOLENCE … it is a giving up of finding the response to despair.
THEN STOP PRETENDING THERE IS NO DESPAIR
The people perpetuating these things are, by history’s hindsight, seen to have been blinded by something of their own: FEAR, un-named maybe, causes another kind of desperate attempt to fashion the world as it is wanted, not as it is.
Attempts to contain FEAR: road blocks, checkpoints, poverty, punishment for speaking out … think, as above, all the things that have happened before that were a result of not hearing that despair … yeah … there is something wrong going on here… STOP
I want every person who has any place to say it … to say: STOP
ENOUGH: NO MORE ARMS SOLD TO ANY ONE BY ANYONE, and the buck STARTS here, where I am, where I hold a vote where I can write to a representative where I can DO at least one thing that is not the kind of reaction doing that makes the fear and despair worse.
THEN FACE FEAR and TAKE AWAY ANYTHING THAT IMPEDES LIVING
START ALLOWING ALL A CHANCE TO LIVE
YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL RESULT but DESPAIR WILL WEAKEN