Up and down pretty much sums it up. For the first month or so there were many more downs than ups, the last few weeks have been easier, there’s been glimmers of optimism creeping back. A wise friend said to me “Don’t complain about the darkness, light a candle”. Sound advice but tricky when you can’t find the candle because the room is pitch black and you’ve run out of matches.
My mental health has taken a battering through the lockdown. To be honest my mental health has always been less than optimal, I tend to veer towards glass half empty and if left unchecked the glass empties completely with surprising speed. My main lifeline is not accessible at the moment, the Aikido dojo. Every week I’d lay down the mat, get changed into the traditional garb and with other like minded people spend a few hours studying and practising a plethora of strange exercises designed to aid and facilitate a state of being called mind body coordination. I really miss it, it kept me sane. A break from the madness of the world and a way to build strength of mind.
The change in home life was hard to adapt to, still is. Domestic harmony has seemed like an impossible dream sometimes and relationships have been tested to breaking point. Everybody’s external lives, school, work, leisure, good and bad habits have been thrown into one place, a bit like throwing porridge, curry and lemon meringue together, doesn’t taste too good. Although that concoction served with a healthy dose of alcohol is just about palatable. Slowly these different flavours can be made to coexist, it seems that timing is key. Let the curry settle before chomping on the meringue, but always have a drink first. I think more than anything I’ve realised just how much I love some solitude and a bit of peace and quiet. I know I’ve been a pain to live with during the lockdown and am grateful to my family for their patience and understanding, thank you.
Aaron asked me to express my feelings when he took the photos. I’ve given way to anger and despair too much. The world I see through the window could be excellent but I sometimes just don’t see much good up ahead. I refuse to wear rose tinted glasses believing that everything will be okay. We are all speeding towards a very dark future, the effects of climate change are ramping up and pretty much unstoppable, the outcome will make this pandemic seem like a holiday in the sun. Enjoy it while you can, we are f****d. I did say I was glass half empty.
“The terms shambolic, chaotic or disorganised are no longer sufficient. When it comes to the huge number of deaths caused by the mayhem, ‘criminal’ might be more appropriate.” (Coburg, 2020).
Letting the Tories oversee this crisis is a bit like letting Fred West look after your kids, it won’t end well, unless you like seeing a lot of dead people. Aah, that’s already happened. S**t. What now? Well, we can’t vote them out, that ship sailed 6 months ago. See you Jeremy, miss you. What a difference that would’ve made, someone in the driving seat that actually cares about people. I doubt we’ll see his like again for a while, such a shame. Would’ve saved thousands of lives. We can try to hold them to account but they never listen, never have, not their nature. More like badly behaved self obsessed teenagers, blame everyone but themselves, another factor in my mental demise.
The government’s absolute disaster of a response to the pandemic can be seen as a wake up, they couldn’t care less about you and if this doesn’t show them up for who they really are then I don’t see how anything could. Blatant disregard and outright contempt for everyday people. A rigged or at best manipulated election every five years just won’t do. They need tearing down, old school revolution, thrown out. What better time? Half the population are either out of work or furloughed. How much gardening can you do? It must be like Eden in there by now. Inequality has always been the driver for revolution and there’s no lack of that. How would an on the streets socially distanced revolution look? I don’t know and have no clear ideas of how the future should be but I am very clear that this current system isn’t the way.
I interviewed my 9 year old daughter for the job of Prime Minister. I asked what she would do first, second, etc. Number one, plant more trees, number two, make homes for everyone. That alone makes her more worthy and qualified for the job than that bumbling excuse for a mess in the toilet after a night of drinking and some dodgy kebabs. I have some more colourful ways to describe the c**t but this is Aaron’s website so I must watch my tongue. She also had some great views on justice and the legal process, I have high hopes for her. She has helped me find the candle.
We can build any world we like and as this one is clearly not working lets try something else. We’ve just proved that everybody can adapt and change if needed. Bhutan measures the country’s worth on GDH, Gross Domestic Happiness. Sounds like some hippy s**t doesn’t it? They’re Bhuddist by the way and Bhudda wasn’t some spaced out hippy. Every other country uses GDP, Gross Domestic Product, f**k that. The worth of a country shouldn’t be based on profit. Absolutely no one I know, all 42 of you, do not base my worth on how much profit you can extract from me. It’s just not how people are naturally.
We are not here to generate profit for these f*****s. We are here for each other. If you’re not ok then I’m not ok should be the guiding principle, and ideally extended to all lifeforms. It’s not hard, we all care about someone, even if it’s just ourselves. This pandemic has proved to me that we are all more than capable of this. Wow, the glass is filling up a bit.
As soon as all this started happening people were immediately setting up local food runs and the like. Marvellous stuff. I don’t think there is a single person I know that wouldn’t give something to help someone else, beit food, money, clothes, whatever. We are unbelievably fortunate to live in this community, I’ve lived in other places that wouldn’t be so quick to pull together, putting it mildly. A massive thank you to The Boot, who give my mum a free roast every sunday, magical people. It lasts her 3 days, she’s only little. If the warmth and generosity that breathes through this village could be spread worldwide then I really would have hope.
There’s a book called Tao Te Ching, 81 short chapters, pretty old, thousands of years. It’s like an instruction book for living a life in harmony with nature. Split into two parts, the first for the individual, the second for organisations, societies and whatnot. Chapter 80 describes how a society and the people would look if aligned with nature, the Tao. It’s simple stuff and doesn’t reflect the complexity of today’s world but the principles could be applied, they did it in Bhutan. The first line is a bugger of a problem though.
Tao Te Ching 80
If a country is governed wisely,
its inhabitants will be content.
They enjoy the labor of their hands
and don’t waste time inventing
Since they dearly love their homes,
they aren’t interested in travel.
There may be a few wagons and boats,
but these don’t go anywhere.
There may be an arsenal of weapons,
but nobody ever uses them.
People enjoy their food,
take pleasure in being with their families,
spend weekends working in their gardens,
delight in the doings of the neighborhood.
And even though the next country is so close
that people can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking,
they are content to die of old age
without ever having gone to see it.
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