Listening to difference

On the long long way home … the time difference is twelve hours. The plane from Beijing to Boston flew over the Arctic – at least according to the flight map it did as it was impossible to see anything – and it appeared to me that it went the wrong way.

from worldatlas.com
from worldatlas.com

Well, I mean I expected it to go west – sort of via europe and UK only further up – but it went East, over eastern Siberia, the Bering Strait and Alaska crossing the date line (backwards?) and over arctic Canada to reach Boston. So you see my state of mind, not only twelve hours sleeplessly out of kilter but feeling that nothing is as I thought.

And I have been awake so had time to catch up with various blogs I have been missing. I saw Speccy’s post on being interviewed on local TV about rare disease. The interviewers asked different questions from those that had been previously suggested would be put. While away (with few english books except for the hard-to-read Kindle and no english speaking TV except for the constantly buffered VPN internet i-players) I have been reading Ann Tickner’s “Feminist Voyage Through International Relations”. Not really my thing, neither feminism as a discipline nor international relations as an understood body of knowledge.

But – I end up thinking about how those who have their own perspective, often those who hold the ‘educated’ powerful positions simply cannot hear the perspective from OTHER. And simply cannot find questions to let themselves hear. It seems the viewpoint is closed off. There is no room for the anomaly, or interested regard. No room for the query: How on earth is it that someone quite sensible and living their life can actually be saying THIS – WHATEVER IT IS – THIS MATTERS? Instead the sensible person is downgraded – they are silly, they are flapping about, they are … [e.g. read your history about what europeans called indigenous peoples in other places, never mind how present differences are regarded].

This is greater than culture difference. Listen for the not known, the silence, the thing that does not fit the way whatever it is looks to be. There will be something there to see.

Obviously time I either slept of woke up properly. I will be in Block Island by this afternoon if all goes as planned.

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