I’m struggling to keep going with a blog a day…. but here I am. After the election of Donald Trump in the US and the EU referendum result in the UK, and with the rise of the far-Right in mainland Europe, not to mention the continued oppression of so many of the world’s people in wars and abusive regimes, 2016 hasn’t often felt like it needed a light-hearted post. Yet if I was to try to take on the world’s sorrow I’d surely break myself to pieces. So, inevitably, I try to keep going and do what I can, the way people do, especially those with any kind of privilege, in whatever way that privilege is bestowed, whether by education or intelligence or income or race or gender or ability (or in some other way I haven’t thought of).
I keep going by doing the things I do; raising a family in as loving a way as I can; being kind to those around me; writing poetry; sharing some of what I know and some of what I have with people who might need it.
I try to block out messages of hate and I try to tune in to messages of hope. I’ve been heartened to hear that there’s going to be a Poem-a-Thon at The Komedia in Brighton on December 11 to raise money for The Refugee Council. One of the poets taking part, Stephanie Norgate, sent this beautiful poem to And Other Poems after I heard her read it at Winchester Poetry Festival last month. It’s such a tender, simple, big-hearted poem about the amazing ability that babies and children have to sleep anywhere. Those of you who’ve ever spent time with a youngster will recognise this impressive skill!
Stephanie’s poem, Miracle, is about the babies and small children we see in car seats and supermarket trolleys, as well as those we see strapped to their parents’ backs at border controls and in refugee camps and in places of great danger. They are all our children, really, aren’t they, the children of this world? Who will care for them, if not us?
Perhaps one way to help would be to support Stephanie who is raising money on her JustGiving Page. Any amount would be welcome.
Meanwhile, here is my miracle, my daughter Kitty, born two months premature 17 years ago.
Like a lot of premmies she spent most of her early days sleeping. Once she was out of the incubator she was tube fed until she learned how to suck (see picture above). Once the tube came out and she (and I) learned to breastfeed, and she put on a little weight, Andrew and I brought her home.
And we’ve been glad of her ever since! She’s someone who helps to keep me going.