Sometimes numb

Well, yes, I am convinced there are more than two.

There is the real world. The scent of pine. Seasons. Foot and hoof prints. Bricks and mortar. Heartburn. Birdsong and butterfly wings. Thunder. The circle of life. The undeniable.

Then there is the gross world. Fiction fusing with fact. Society an ever-darkening soap opera. The line between truth and tosh a bewildering blur.

Third, there is the three-day world. Deafening noise. The spin. The rush. More and more people no longer able to process, listen, feel, react. So much crush, clatter and clamour, like a colony of hungry gannets, where Machiavellians have realised they can say and do whatever they want, knowing that in three days it will not be news anymore. It may not even have provoked a shrug in the first place.

I am sometimes numb. Are you?

There is a creeping, depressing carelessness, a dire risk of empowering populists, because we are drowning in a staggering flood of crucial information, blatant lies, narcissism and populist opportunism.

Blue is actually red. Really? Whatever.

Europe is a Fascist state. Britain is Great! Whatever.

Morally the most powerful man on Earth is conspicuously bankrupt. Whatever.

Those videos of violence? Actually it was those holding the sticks who were suffering. Whatever.

We are sawing off the branch on which we stand. Whatever. Whatever. Whatever.

I honestly don’t know what is next. Our social and ecological predicament is so acute. But I do know that the majority of people, if they can bear to talk about it, understand this and struggle with the sense of helplessness. It is sickening to dwell on it, understandably. I apologise for making you dwell on it now.

I struggle. Perhaps that is obvious. Some days I sink.

For me, resilience grows on days of kind, determined resistance, not of my making but of those around me.

Raul is 87. We share the same birthday, September 21. He, like my diligent and forever optimistic father, will not bow or desist. Raul has coped with a crippled hand since an accident in childhood. He tends his huge vegetable garden for his whole family. He keeps bees which alone is defining. He offers help without the blink of a bright eye. He offers a smile like a bird would a song. He has just planted 200 olive trees.

Good people abound. No doubt you are one among the many. We just need to say no to all the nonsense, not let the shallow torrent wash away the deep foundations that are reason, right, family, commonwealth and democracy. And nature, the delicate balance that hangs. It is arguably our greatest shame.

We can ill afford to be careless with any of them now. We must resist those that are and be truthful to their faces.

Sign in. Sign in if you are already a verified reader. I want to become verified reader. To leave comments on the website you must be a verified reader.
Note: To leave comments on the website you must be a verified reader and accept the conditions of use.