7 June 2020
The last few days have felt heavy.
Protests are taking place around the world about police brutality, prompted by the oh, so casual daylight killing of George Floyd by an officer on the streets of Minneapolis, but prolonged by the state brutality with which peaceful protest has been met.
We remain in the midst of a pandemic and yet people take to the streets in mass crowds. It makes me anxious. And then I feel guilty and cowardly and insufficient.
I’ve been trying to place the weight. It feels like grief - a swelling of sadness and impotence that has nowhere to go surrounding the BLM movement and my role in that. Everything is overheated - rightly, necessarily - and picking a path through without overstepping or not showing up enough feels fraught. I should write to my MP, though he is deeply right wing and the master of condescending replies which have sent me roaring with rage so often that I no longer even open them. Is it OK to email your MP and tell them to save the time, stationary and postage because you don't want their reply? I just want to make my voice heard. We are trying to think of safe, appropriate ways to protest, to register support, to show up.
The lockdown staggers on, slowly disintegrating. The virus, the inept handling of which seems to guarantee that there is no end in sight, claims more than a hundred lives each day but somehow these terrifying numbers - higher than when we went in to lockdown - seem to have simply been accepted now. Normalised.
I grieve for a lost summer, for lost school time for Titch, for lost school adventures and speech days, lost holidays, lost summer treats and time with family. I grieve for time with my friends, hugs with my mum, travel, walking into town without dodging and crossing the road constantly to avoid other pedestrians (especially young white men, who seem to be broadly the most oblivious - or perhaps the most entitled - group). Pottering around shops, visiting museums, going out for a coffee, planning trips to France/Italy/London/Liverpool/Didcot/Cornwall/anywhere at all - even if in the future. I grieve for the newborn snuggles we will now never have with our new niece - Titch is so sad not to have a chance to cuddle his baby cousin yet.
And for all that, I know that I’m lucky. So far Covid hasn’t stolen anyone from us. We have a spacious home and a garden, we live by the beach and can swim in the sea when the crowds have gone home... we have access to tech and telecommunications, we have plenty of food and we have work.
We are so SO lucky.
And still it is hard.
And we loop back into that feeling of impotence.
Cake and fresh bread are no longer a salve; I need to find an outlet. A way to make a positive contribution. More research and thinking is required.