Somehow it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted. I’ve been dealing with some family health issues, and going through the process of coming off a migraine prevention treatment that really wasn’t suiting me, plus all the rest of the things we have to worry about – climate change, the awful racist fallout of brexit, the dysfunctional political system we seem to have got ourselves into, the awful anxiety that plays out on social media and the pain caused to many people I like and admire in the worlds of poetry, politics, environmental activism – you name it, there’s a drama going on and people are being damaged.
It isn’t only on social media, either. Someone commented on a citizens assembly meeting that questions of how or why resolutions should be implemented were routinely shelved in favour of a reckless determination to ‘do something’. I know that recklessness. I know that pressure that makes you feel time is running out and there has been enough dithering and too many excuses. I know, too, how it feels when you swing into action and discover that your very urgency causes the whole thing to fall apart.
Yet it is indeed time to do something. It’s been a long hard lesson, but taking the time to do a proper discernment process, to plan, to prepare and to engage with others is not procrastination, it is the beginning of doing something properly. So this Lent (which starts tomorrow) I’m going to be a fellow-traveller on The Less for Lent campaign to ‘give up capitalism for Lent’, but my serious Lenten task is to work through this:
It is produced by Pax Christi, and covers all the instances of violence we are exposed to on a daily basis, trying to begin a process of breaking the cycle of violence despair and retaliation, creating connections and understanding, and building hope and compassion. It’s a slow and undramatic process, but it seems a logical consequence of my person-based musings as I write the next batch of poems for Burnedthumb. It seems like the right slow step to take next. It seems like the thing to do.