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That Was The Week That Was

31 Mar

It may be over, but I have no intention of letting it go.  It was far too good a week to forget.  Indeed this week will linger long – not just in my memory but in the renewed public spirit that has been engendered.

I’m not, of course, claiming to have been the first to notice.

To be honest I doubted my sanity in a week when the weirdness of Westminster gripped the nation.  But I wrote my thoughts on Tuesday March 26th and then promptly placed them on ice.  I was more than cautious – this was my first day of release from medical mayhem.  It was highly likely that the new medication was warping my wishful thinking mind.

But the words could not be constrained and I published them the following day.  Even then I hedged my bets for fear of immediate castigation.  But I dared not hesitate – I sensed a great change was underway and, although the body politic, the media, the entrenched combatants, were all running on the same old tracks, I found it undeniable that relief was at hand.

Maybe it was the weather.  Maybe it was the sheer relief from months of pain. Maybe it was a hymn of praise to the brilliant talents of our NHS.  Maybe it was my odd early-morning choice of Leonard Cohen’s “You got me singing’.    Whatever. This spirit of joy was unquenchable. ‘Everyone Suddenly Burst Out Singing’ captured exactly how I felt – and amazingly my little inconsequential networked world agreed!

By the end of the week even dedicated politicians were tentatively, cautiously, quietly suggesting a ‘change of tone’.  They were pushing this forward even in the midst of outraged screams of betrayal by ardent Brexiteers.

But this is no time to stand down – the struggle is not yet done.  In Tolkien’s The Hobbit (There and Back Again) Bilbo Baggins utters what would later became one of his favourite sayings.  Bilbo had narrowly escaped from a very angry encounter with the dragon.  “Never”, he said to himself, “Never poke fun at live dragons – you’re not halfway through this adventure yet.”

And that was a very timely thought.  It would have been too easy to ridicule.  Too easy to pour scorn on those in pain.  Too easy to not understand the deep roots of their desperate delusions. Too easy to crow.  Far too easy to seek vengeance.  Even slightly (or grossly) demented dragons need and deserve our help.

All at sea?

We are, still, only halfway though this adventure.  The tone has changed, the tide is turning but renewed purpose has not yet been confirmed.  I’ve been sailing offshore when a storm has devastated the plan. The ship is damaged, the crew scared witless. There is no going back.  This is the time for renewed purpose – a new destination.  Only a few alternatives come easily to mind – but my crew need, more than anything, clear intent to deliver us safely home.

The hand on the helm may be uncertain but the crew can pull together. Time now to steady the ship and seek that new unifying purpose.  Let the restoration of sanity and purposeful survival now flow through the  life-blood of our nations.

(and here endeth the lesson for Mothering Sunday!)

Wake Up – the new series

26 Sep

Hibernation normally occurs in winter.

Activity is minimised. Survival burns through reserves.  The frenetic return is driven by a new hunger.

This year the seasonal cycle was flipped – must have been the heat, or just a weak spring

But – ‘Hej, we’re back now’, and the return is celebrated by Wake Up – a new series of reflections on the scramble to understand what exactly is going on.

Part 1, ‘So You Did?‘, kicked off with a curious blend of a World War 1 recruitment poster and Archbishop Welby’s speech to the TUC conference.

Slightly more awake, Part 2, ‘What Happened’ is out later today. and Part 3 will follow in a week’s time.

Waking Up to the realities of the wider world – new perspectives or just the old ones seen in a new light – dances around the dawn.

We might, of course, hit snooze and slip back into deep slumber – but the alarm is sounding.

Only when properly awake might we realise that we are letting go of something we’ve not fully grasped.

Welcome back.

___________________

UPDATE 01/Oct/2018:  Part 3 ‘Contra Dictions’ – the battles between Facts and Fictions.

UPDATE 09/Oct/2018:  Part 4, the series final, sets the Brexit agonies in context – a blip that now seems insignificant against global imperatives.  It questions the quality of leadership and has a former Dean of St Pauls turning in his grave.