Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Mum's beachball...

Dear friends have lost their mothers more recently than I lost mine (May 2011) and I was thinking about where I am in my grief nearly 10 years on... the raw, vicious pain of the start seem to have made way for more acceptance and less encounters with the bottomless sense of loss. I couldn't love my mum more so that hasn't dwindled but I think time forces acceptance of a 'new relationship' structure maybe? My mum's not physicallly here and that hurts like hell still but between those bits, I have grown used to a now familiar 'yeah that's what she would have thought' in my head - I 'feel' her view and it enhances mine in ways I didn't take advantage of when she was physically here. 

June Irene was a really clever woman who achieved beyond expectation in her career, at a time when women rarely did and she endured so much in other aspects of her life... my concerns would always be lifted by her view - when I took the time to listen (but mothers & daughters hey). Now, I long for it so instead look for any lesson in me she planted.
I'm currently driven to thinking about unity and how on earth to find it in a world so divided, angry and scared. We all hear different news, different 'truths' and come under the influence of things we don't even know have the power to impact. People I hugely respect for their views on one thing... seem incredibly out of touch with another - does that mean I'm right on just one or that they are? This line of thinking sucks and hurts my head.
So back to my mother (always the best of places to go)... I remember her excitement at all she'd learned after a first training trip; she spoke about an exercise with a beachball: each has to draw and describe exactly what they see in front of them...
Outcome of not seeing the full picture:
"It's a red & yellow ball... no it's not you idiot, it's a blue & orange ball... liar, it's white & green!"
 Lessons from a beach ball - Healing Touch Chiropractic | West Fargo  Chiropractor | West Fargo, ND
Better, clearer communication that leaves room for answers beyond expectation.


Tuesday, 6 October 2020

God has been kidnapped...

God has been kidnapped



torn to shreds

wholly broken

re-packaged in bite site

little parcels

snippets of god in digestible globules

each a little different

from the other

as worshippers worship each one with wonder

seeing only what each perceives

IS the whole in their make-believe

creation story that can never be

the whole

the truth

of our eternity

for bits of the whole are as a body dis-membered

each part a memory of before it was severed

from the whole that pulsed forth life

from the whole before the divide

from the whole that would never deem

any of its parts


*A poem I wrote - from 2009, just re-discovered

Thursday, 23 July 2020

What now?

The environment seems least on the list of govenment concerns anywhere in the world right now. Puffed-up super-powers busy themselves with foreplay to war - threatening this and that and threatening to take back, roll-back, retract agreements promises... to stop recognising, acknowledging or complying with each other in a world so interconnected that they know... the pulling of one thing, leads to the fall of another in what looks like a catastrophic, worldwide domino game.

The stuff of life that individuals care about and need in order to survive - is not the stuff of politicians. The basic necessities of a home, food, security and clean/safe air and water... can't be relied on or even dangled as a future goal in the current climate.

When Covid came along, it made the cracks in political systems that prioritise power and finance, over wellbeing.. obvious to more people, even the most blinkered. Getting our children into school is clearly to facilitate the return of parents to work to 'keep the economy going' - and the consideration that those children and parents may contract or carry the virus home to their families and back to their friends and colleagues, is a lesser matter; tending the sick economy matters more than protecting the humans.

The death tally from the pandemic is of course a matter for concern and when it goes down, a relief... and you may stand a good chance of not getting the virus and if you do, you may not die... BUT all those hundreds of thousands that are marked as 'recovering' - have been through a long and hellish experience and many are facing life-changing, longterm health impacts. BUT... it's a sacrifice governments are willing to take in order to 'get back to normal'. I wasn't keen on the previous normal and wonder what better could be created as a way for humans to live in this world.

Not sure if it's the grey sky and drizzle or the news station but I just feel so bloody feeble in the face of it all - so much uncertainty and no idea what any can do when the abuse of power by governments the world over is escalating. What can be achieved or even hoped for? How do we change anything? Uprisings during Covid present additional risks to life and what would a successful revolt look like anyway? How would it force change at governmental levels?

I read somewhere that various environmental groups are taking all their funds and using them up within the next 15 years because they see no point in planning further ahead... that they are going to throw all they have at what is genuinely the biggest problem we face - the environment - because wthout air and water that can sustain life... money and power are worthless.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Opportunism in a Time of Crisis

Photo Credit: tbc

Back in early April 2020 I started writing about how lock-down was unfolding and the impact of the virus on life – there was some optimism then about what we could become as a result of a shared experience and threat that although we lived it differently, there was nationwide awareness. We shared the rise and fall of the daily graphs, the same fear of the new threat and the limitations to daily life… as well as the sweet smell of the freshly de-polluted air and sound of birds on newly acquired megaphones.

I called the piece ‘Wiped Clean’ but sadly as I return to consider finishing it, I think the first edit might be to the title:

‘Opportunism in a Time of Crisis’

What’s changed from the earlier days when there was a sense that we were all in this together and would somehow dance, Zoom, sing, eat, care, clap and find our way through to maybe build back better when it was over...

Apps & Things
Well first there’s the obvious profiteering by the select few, as our reckless government hands out contracts to charlatans and snake oil salesmen to create tests that fail, apps that can’t add anything of worth, advisors who are beyond comprehension as human beings and treat our dead relatives as collateral damage in a time of economic priority.

Dailies, Delays & Miscounts
Then there’s the ever-more mythical daily figures that do or don’t include deaths outside hospital, inside care homes, in our homes and do or don’t include those with or without but maybe suspected, coronavirus. And how many tests have been done or are they ‘in the post’ and were they done all on one person or each person or were the nasal and throat swabs counted as one or two?

The ‘other’ Science
And of course the absurd yet telling necessity for a group of wise scientists (Independent SAGE) to set up opposite an official government group (SAGE) because it’s the only bloody hope for some unbiased, non-politicised facts.

The Face of It
Not forgetting the mockery of our caution by egotistical ‘leaders’ who disregard the rules they set and refuse to ‘look silly’ in masks - contrasted against the exhaustion on the mask-scarred faces of NHS staff. And the dread on the faces of teachers asked, to keep the little ones apart in a classroom usually packed like a sardine can… cause ‘austerity’. Forcing risks to be burdened by teachers, children and their families… because the health of humans just doesn’t matter to government/industry/capitalism - when an economy is sick.

Maybe it’s that a cousin who’s a dear friend is gasping to breathe in a hospital that can’t cope. Maybe it’s the death of those I know. Maybe it’s because when my cousin was in ICU he was terrified but attended to and now he’s on a ward, there isn’t the staff to cope in this hospital at the heart of a community hard hit by COVID… but I can’t find my positive right now. We get twice daily updates and his wife gets some video calls but it’s all awful as it is for any. My cousin is a paramedic. His wife and daughter are also paramedics – they had COVID too but healed at home… although I ‘say’ all three had COVID, yet NONE of them have tested positive. Back to those dodgy-Del-Boy-Tests I suppose. (My cousin is even on a test drug FOR dealing with COVID - but still not positively confirmed - how crazy is that?)

I know when the deaths of frontline workers started to be seen and talked about, that the dark started to come. The realisation that this government with all its faults – really wasn’t going to pull itself together for the one thing that might have been a chance of redemption in some way. A chance to work across party politics and say:

“NOTHING is too good for those working to keep us going – get PPE and get the good stuff”

Instead, in their bin-bag aprons and inadequate fast-food-take-away wear… the carers and healers soldiered on; like a war where only one side has guns. Government claims of “millions of pieces of PPE” etc was just a playful word-play and they’d counted everything from cleaning products to single gloves as a ‘piece’ and all that “ready for a rainy day” supply – well that had apparently stopped existing about a decade ago when the government didn’t feel it needed; for a pandemic predicted to come… they just hoped it would hit someone else’s electoral term.

What now?
Those graphs of little-regard, they show some signs the virus is not as bad as it was (at its worst) so the government is dashing into the next bit where they give the kiss-of-life to the economy – using our lips: lock-down is being eased along with furlough payments for the those in jobs where they ‘can’ work:
ie: places government has decided can take the risk
ie: pubs, schools, hairdressers, shops (low pay staff).

Places are opening up, cars and planes are re-fuelling the air and children’s school uniforms are on sale at the front of the local store again.

Economically though (which is why they want the kids at school – so the workers can work) it’s been a hit in different ways for the well-connected; with bailouts to companies so big, they should have had contingency for an emergency just like this. Meanwhile there is no sign of hope for ongoing support for those now more in fear of hunger and unpaid bills, than the virus itself.

IF we mattered at all (WE the people) – this government would have created something of an ‘extra economy’ (like the bank bailout) to bailout the people with a clear economic support package to see us through till we are in a better position to cope… but they won’t.

IF justice mattered and was really ‘blind’ - then this government, its key advisors and complicit members – would be in court for gross negligence or criminal manslaughter or something along those lines for the clear and certain responsibility for too-numerous-to-contemplate deaths and suffering – particularly those of healthcare workers forced to face risks they never signed up to – they are not soldiers, they are CARERS.

I’ve got no real ‘happy’ to end with and after reading the original piece – have discarded all but the last bit:

[This strange time we are currently in, will end and something else will be in its place and as much as we need our scientists and experts to help us through, we also need bravery and imagination and believers-in-better (definition of an activist?) because alongside the essential physical concerns we’re all experiencing right now, our whole idea of society is currently pushed up into our faces and it’s going to take creativity to move us on. I’ll give the last word to Frankie Boyle:

“The whole crisis does raise some interesting questions though: if we all agree that we can’t have the weakest people in society dying as a healthcare system, then why do we tolerate it as an economic system? We see articles about people who have stockpiled hand sanitiser to sell at a markup, but they are the people the system we live in supports, and that is what speculation is.”]

Mum's beachball...

Dear friends have lost their mothers more recently than I lost mine (May 2011) and I was thinking about where I am in my grief nearly 10 yea...