How to deal with the shame of being safe? With the guilt of bringing a child into world so smarting, ugly, destructive? How not to be overwhelmed by the hypocrisy oozing like a festering sore all around us, nor by the sheer futility. How not to become destructive too, and give in to the impulse to draw up walls, shut out those I love, rip up what once seemed worth my time. What is worth my time?
And then I’m reminded by a simple gesture from a tiny boy:
a jammy kiss
A sticky little smacker from a sticky little boy, given on an ordinary Monday over a breakfast of bleary eyes and cheesy tunes on the radio.
Maybe this is how to deal with it. By writing what I want to write, by making, seeking inspiration, forging connections. By treasuring all his jammy kisses while he still wants to give them and to fight for his place in a world that sometimes, just sometimes, is as overwhelmingly beautiful as it is ugly.
And by refusing to batten down the hatches, instead leaving my heart as raw and vulnerable as it needs to be to see the only the suffering and not the politics or the ideology.
So it’s business as usual on a Monday morning, it has to be business as usual: writing patterns, crunching numbers, faffing about on Instagram and waiting for His Stickiness to return from preschool. And also gathering up old coats for this initiative for refugees, because the world still is what it is. Because there is lots of darkness, the heaviness still remains, but there is always something - or someone - worth carrying on for.