We enter into 2021. Forgive me readers, for not sending you all my best wishes earlier. Brexit, this insanely huge step back now sealed, a raging pandemic, frighteningly incompetent leaders, a US mob attacking Capitol Hill…I seem to have missed the cut off point, we just seem to continue carrying on wading through an ever increasing quagmire of a mess.
We are dying in the thousands each day from this awful pandemic yet so many still defy clumsy rules to fight it. We are cooped up into our homes. Something I kept on trying to express in my writings throughout last year now comes to the forefront once more. We all, as individuals, are forced presently to draw from untapped resources within us. Untapped thus far by choice for it has always been easier to buy yet another thing for distraction, travel to yet another beach to search in vain for what can only be found inside through uncomfortable efforts and humbleness. Distractions are an easy escape at first sight from facing the realities. But right now no distractions will do. For me anyway. Facing the facts, accepting our ownership of having to help prevent more suffering, making cuts on our expectations and ambitions, making huge cuts indeed, from what we want to do, being really truthful to the facts, remain objective and, above all, remain kind and compassionate to those, condemned through no fault of their own, to live with us in pandemic induced confinement.
No, these are no easy times. And much is asked of us, in areas mostly where we don’t much like to spend much time and effort on. Compassion, patience, faith and hope where no certainty can be had, with no end in sight.
I don’t sleep much presently. I don’t fret in the dark hours awake at night but I do feel the strange but powerful drumbeat of the pulse of our time and it’s uncomfortable. We are not doing well. We hurt. And it shows.
In such times, it being cold and wet outside, I cherish a warm bed, full fridge, dry feet. Creature comforts. It could all be a lot worse. Yet there’s no certainty. There never is anyway but there are fewer opportunities right now it seems to find ways to deny that fact. Living in the present moment, letting go etc, I wrote about such things last year and, as I said, I am rereading my own thoughts these days.
Perhaps this really is the time to delve back to the inside and resolve what’s been plaguing us throughout our lives, and not go yet again to somewhere else pretending that yet another feast or party at yet another beach in yet another country can lead us to happiness.
It’s all here for the taking. Within us.
When I set out to write, and publish, my thoughts, I didn’t intend to write about politics and the evils of our time yet I found it requires mentioning these days as it does form the often seemingly dark canvas on which I live my life and you live yours. The two are intertwined, the world outside and the one within. Yet it appears that whilst we seem to be able to change very little – not nothing – of what is happening ‘to’ us, we can change very much what’s happening with us, within us. And on that latter aspect I shall continue to share with you this year what my thoughts are in that respect. For even on the darkest canvas a bright spot appears as a star of light. And don’t you have to go out into the darkness to see the stars? And the more stars there are, the brighter the picture will become.
I received a comment on one of my recent entries, from a man I do not know and who lost everything, home, job, family, all of it. He said he saw ‘my reflections that day as a guiding light for the day ahead’. This encourages me to carry on. Try make a little positive difference in your friend’s, neighbour’s or a stranger’s life and you will know what I mean. I also received a message, unexpectedly, from Swiss acquaintances which felt so good at the time and pulled me out of the inner mud for a moment at a time when I felt rather blue about everything. That’s what we ought to do. Help each other, lift each other up. Just as this ageing reforming alcoholic once told me in no uncertain circumstances: ‘we can’t always control what shit gets into our heads, but we can control very much how long it stays there’. A crude way of putting it, maybe, but from someone who knows a bit or too about bad times; there’s truth in it, is there not?
In that spirit then, may I wish you all a very happy new year.
Take care and good luck