I’ve been quite busy since September 2009, with new work and new experiences. There have been so many experiences to blog about but not in this space. I therefore spent much more time blogging at Jumbie’s Watch, My proper English on this blog has me rather restrained, which is no bad thing. At Jumbie I tend to free my thoughts in a different way. This blog is therefore more reflective, more measured – in a strange sort of way.
I’ve recently been looking back at 2009 and looking forward into 2010. My mind is flooded. So much has happened and the future brings so much to me. I wish I could conquer the need for sleep. It has been a very challenging year – two ‘assignments’ took me a lot away from home. Nov 2008 – early April 2009, I was travelling up and down the country with work. I discovered Cornwall and the Cornish way of life. It’s a beautiful part of the world. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
In December 2008 some idiot crashed into the side of my car. That led to headaches that went on into the first part of 2009, and it was only resolved about a month ago. The crash brought me closer to valuing life. It happened so fast. Luckily I was not injured physically; just shaken a bit psychologically.
I was delighted to be back at home in April 2009. [I’m afraid to use the word ‘home’ lest some idiots assume that I mean some godforsaken Rock in the sun.] Time to think, write, do other kinds of work. Time.. time.. an amazing thing.. how it flows. How I flow through time. And I’ve been thinking about when I cease to flow in time. As one gets older these kinds of thoughts come to mind. It’s difficult to avoid when you see more and more people around you who you knew suffering illnesses or dying. You are confronted by the mortality that limits your own existence. It presses upon the mind to achieve and to be free!
Then from Sept to Nov 2009 I was also also into a 9 to 5 situation again – among workers – nation-builders; whatever you call um. It’s a sad situation generally ‘at work’. People there do what they do. They somehow or the other became caught on a treadmill, acquired possessions and status and then fight hard to remain on the treadmill. Their collective reality is that they’d be much more contented doing what they want to do – but they never admit it openly, or they hypnotise themselves into believing that they ‘lurve the job’. Many of them don’t think they’re sad – but I know they are.
And I look out at the world. I discover the complexity of the ‘worlds’ we create. I like studying law for example, but there is a time when its complexity becomes painful. Painful as I read past a few words separated by commas, then a few more words, then more commas. Then new paragraphs and sub-paragraphs leading me down into a tangle of Boolean operators – all this designed to limit something in certain circumstances. And I wonder what are all these limits? Why must they exist? And the answer is pretty simple: limited resources endangered by human greed, selfishness and solipsistic attitudes.
Yet among English politicians we saw greed and human callousness protected by a system of rules that allowed MPs to claim from sexy DVDs to moat cleaning.
The wars in Afghanistan continued. More crap came out about atrocities committed in the wars by British and American forces.
Diego Garcia remained off the radar, while Guantanamo Bay took the spotlight. Can you hear a silent scream?
I spent most of my time in the last 6 months, thinking about a land where I grew up for the first 30 years. Well ‘grew up’ physically, I mean. The reality is that I grew mentally twice what I did in 20 years of life in England, compared to the 30 in that place. Yeah.. ‘that place’. That’s a place I am deeply ashamed to be associated with. Why? Because I think if people know I’m from ‘there’ they would secretly be thinking “..he must be like them.. but he’s putting on a good act.” Well the reality is that people are like that.. I am like that. When I meet somebody from ‘that place’, I naturally have a presumption that their attitudes and thinking processes are likely to be ‘like them’. Come on – let’s not kid around.. people to get judged by their ‘cultures’. So when I meet people from ‘there’ I’m naturally sensitised to thought patterns, values and quirks that are part of that culture.
The other night (27/12/2009) we had some ‘visitors’ over for dinner. An interesting discussion happened. I became quite animated. They were shocked by my hopelessness for a people that live in the Nation of Trinidad & Tobago (i.e. that place). At Jumbie’s Watch I frequently refer to ‘that place’ as Donkey Rock. The visitors some of Trinidadian origins - lived in some degree of hope for that Nation. I held much less hope. They hooked into how much I read the online newspapers about that place – and suggested that I do that because I have a slight hope that things there will become better. Well slight, like very slight, and approaching zero rapidly – I would admit to. But that is not the reason I read those newspapers. I said so – that my reading those newspapers were simply and truly about my fascination with the human capacity for stupidity. The reality is that I am not at all interested in returning to that Nation. I think that people who are separated from their homelands - especially where life in those homelands has deteriorated seriously - often long for the opportunity to return. In opposition to such longing is the reality of what life might be like in those homelands at the present time. In the case of Trinidad and Tobago, the extreme rise in violent crime presents a serious and difficult to ignore risk. The trajectory of the rise of those risks, over the last 10 years - with little indication that law enforcement agencies have been effective - suggests that there is unlikely to be rapid change in the trajectory in the foreseeable future. It is therefore baseless wishful thinking to say that there is hope of improvement. But life is a strange game – if you make your case to powerfully you risk being marginalised, labelled, seen as different.. not one of the herd.
So always there are these games I have to play – for example: I ought to say that there is very slight hope, when in reality I truly believe there is no hope. That is only to appear not ‘absolutist’. Funny thing though, few people hold any absolutist views about the chances of recovery from end stage dementia or any other terminal illness. But hey – when in comes to a country – a Nation – you can’t appear to be devoid of hope for recovery. Why? Because we all ought to be all soooh patriotic to our respective Nations. And to say that you have lost hope in your Nation, means you’re and ungrateful unpatriotic bastard, or somik. No one really cares to say that a Nation is convulsing to death.. and there’s nothing you can do to save it. So – many times I hear people re-affirming their faith in an ability in human beings to change. Like oh puhleese – don’t I know that they can change? But I’m not talking about small groups of people. I’m talking very large groups. Well ‘that nation’ had 50 years to change and mature.. and what do we see today? Gross immaturity and myopia – and it’s getting worsening.
2010 brings more of the same. The number of the year changes – obviously – but people in their numbers hardly ever change. And if they do change it is because they have been subject to some extreme force that causes major discomfort or major emotional enlightenment.
Some may think that I’m unhappy from reading the above snapshot. I was never one for happiness OR unhappiness. My modus operandi does not depend on happiness OR unhappiness – I’ll do what I do regardless. My adopted philosophy is built on eudaimonia – difficult for most people to grasp – simply because most people are driven by states of pleasure or pain attached to states of happiness or unhappiness. In contrast I’ll take the seemingly difficult and tough road if it brings me contentment and greater benefits for others.
I harden my outlook on the future of that Nation. I also harden my perceptions of human nature. I feel we are a dying species and we’re bent on self-destruction. Have a Prozac or two, or more – I face reality cold as it is. Those who cannot face reality – well, they can play with their happiness chemicals whilst the universe and its forces continue to orchestrate their mere purpose; to increase entropy. The universe is happy..and they are happy on their tiny chemicals.