Just a quick word, here. Didn’t plan to post. Must keep on editing. (Yes, I am STILL (endlessly) applying rewrites to my lovely (BEST EVER) book and need to crack on with it!). But, I wanted to talk to you for a sec.
Yesterday, a little somethin’ – somethin’ happened that threw me (and quite a few others) sideways. I was surprised, sort of like that day roughly three years ago when I got my rejection letter from the Home Office, and not unlike that day, also roughly three years ago, when a certain someone unexpectedly won an election. Both events shook me. Finding out other people don’t think the same way I do is always a shock. The quakes pushed me into places I would not have otherwise ventured, however, and happily, as the adage implies, there was gain to be had. I just needed to look for it.
I am an unwavering advocate for freedom. Freedom to worship, to speak, to write, to love and live as one chooses without fear of recrimination is sacrosanct. It is the stuff of epic novels, a theme for mystic poets, and the soul of breath-taking art. The principles of it, formed and fed by my understanding of free-will, are ever evolving. The practice of it, walking the walk of it, keeps me on my toes, and I’m no ballerina. I am a capitalist in the skin of a socialist, a dreamer in the body of a realist, and an innocent ravaged by time. I feel deeply, express myself poorly, and stand, mostly alone, on the fringes of a social order that is astonishingly out of order. I am standing, though, which is quite extraordinary.
Despite having my feet planted, I find myself wobbling, my body gnawed bloody by the slinging of vitriol-soaked word arrows. It seems sporting to publicly trash people, and dis rule of law nowadays. Folks are free to do so, but their actions are anything but helpful. In fact, they’re downright harmful. Then again, it’s only a bit of banter, yeah? Words cannot really hurt us. Hm.
Words express thoughts and as such, harbour commanding energies. When we believe strongly in something, if it is a grand thing defined by a capital letter word, it is complex and layered. Because as a species we are not quite ‘there’ yet, we don’t always find the clues in words that direct us to the divine. We end up confounding messages, making them awkward and thorny. Then, realising what we’ve done, desperate and afraid, we look to others to instruct and guide us. A gigantic ask.
I cannot evolve, will not reach enlightenment (if there is such a thing) waiting for someone else to make the world perfect. There is no perfect. It’s a freaking construct. And no, we are not islands. I am not suggesting that. I know that each person on this planet is a reflection of me. As such, and since I don’t like to be slandered, spit at, called despicable names, and chastised for every last thing I do, it’s up to me to stop railing against others in those same ways.
I don’t want to be told what to do with my money, how many fries I should eat, or what colour my hair should be. If I want advice, criticism, constructive or otherwise, let me ask for it before it’s delivered.
I freely choose to not eat meat or animal products. I choose to buy second-hand. I use make-up and scent. I’ve handed my last fiver to a stranger and waited a couple of days to eat because of it. I abide by the law mostly, but don’t play by the rules. I am only a victim when I say so. And there’s lots of other stuff that’s me, too. Am I talking about you? No. And I shouldn’t, I cannot. You are not me. Together, however, we are a neverending series of uniquely glorious stories. Do I like every tale, agree with every path? Of course not. But what I can do is act according to my principles and try my best to get up every day and function knowing full well I will fuck up, get it right, piss somebody off, win someone’s favour, fall down, and stand up again, like I’m doing right now. You? Feel free to sit. That’s brilliant, too.
This topic isn’t shallow or simple. Humanity isn’t shallow or simple so how could it be? Regardless, despising differences, assuming we have all the answers, and focussing on crap, hasn’t gotten us much. Maybe we could shut up and do the opposite. What can it hurt? What we’ve been doing all along clearly isn’t working. Let’s try another tactic, shall we?
So, my wish is twofold. Solutions only, please. Apathy, condemnation, inactivity, and fault finding are destroyers. Let’s act, even if we fail. Let’s address what we can in our own lives, try out some change there. See what it’s like. Second and last, I wish that you find the things you most love and hold them close today. Hug your children. Listen to laughter. Photograph a mountain as it kisses a cloud. If you feel better doing it, do more of that. And have no doubt, we can do what they will not.