2016: what can you say?
A post of no words; they fail me. Despite the humorous tone of the ‘before and after’ memes, I’ve watched this year slide into despair, watched many of my friends cling to hope by a gossamer thread, and taken comfort in the little things because everything else is too much.
Facebook makes the world smaller place. It brings our friends close and the world’s horrors right into our laps. ‘News’ becomes propaganda becomes drama becomes panic – and around it all goes again. What can we do but hang on?
Against this backdrop, 2016 has seen the end of a years-long journey of stress and chaos and uncertainty. We’ve moved house twice, changed school, untangled ourselves from mountains of paperwork… We’re home at last, and the relief is both tangible and slightly unreal, as if we keep glancing over our shoulders for monsters that are no longer there. And in amongst everything else, I’ve finished another book – I never thought I’d write a love story, but, at times, Artifice has been the thing that’s kept me sane.
In a world of darkness, creativity and escapism are critical. You need the release. But it’s a fine line to tread between giving yourself hope and purpose… and burying your head in the sand.
I have a small son who breaks his heart every time we see a homeless person on the street, who parts with his own money to help them or to buy them food. Who worries about them when it’s cold. Who rescues snails so we don’t tread on them. I am so proud of his gentleness, and yet I fear for it. We live in a world where hatred is viciously manifest, where is gives people a righteous sense of power and control, and a world we are willingly destroying.
I’ve had a year that has ended, at last, with me being free and clear, my personal stresses being over. There have been many good people in my path throughout the year, and I wish I could write something more positive.
But somehow, the fear won’t quite go away.