Saturday, 10 November 2018

Life Is A Series Of Cycles

I have always known that life is a series of cycles, but have not till now truly felt its impact. My parents both lived through the Second World War and I always felt that those times impacted on those who lived through it more than any of us can imagine. Now we are in the middle of another conflict, a far subtler one than before and it starts within and is now showing itself in nearly every aspect of life. It divides us, as our hearts that only know love, have been taught to feel hate for so long we do not even see the issue here. This plays out in our families, with our neighbours, it has now divided our country and our nations.
We are in a state of crisis in every walk of life; ecologically, economically, politically and emotionally but we can  change all this if we choose to.
As Brexit looms ever closer and people take their sides and firm up the walls while pulling up the draw bridge, I try and stay calm. However, this becomes increasingly difficult as the prospects are not looking good on any front. However, for every cloud there is a silver lining and more proverbs than I could care to remember about such situations. What we would do well consider is that what has brought us to this juncture is mainly rhetoric, and no one truly knows what the future may hold.
A wider viewpoint is perhaps necessary here. The film Sliding Doors comes to mind. This brings in the idea that whatever our destiny is we will get there anyway but perhaps have a choice of the routes we take to get there.
I did feel at the beginning that if a new way was going to evolve, the emergence of a better world for all, then the old regime would need to fall away. If we wanted this to happen quickly (which I do not believe is helpful) then I did think that Brexit could be the answer. If we wanted our country to crash in a way not felt here before then leaving Europe and drawing up the bridge would isolate us and make us realise that we are just a small insignificant island after all. But that’s just politically and geographically, as an experiment to experience the emergence of the new world, this island has the chance to lead the way.
However, I feel it is important to understand a few things and to recognise how we arrived at this place. I heard at the anti-people’s vote rally that someone was reported to have said that ‘it is time we returned to the time when we were a great empire’. I think this statement speaks from the viewpoint of an extremist and has been some of the fuel driving the campaign. I feel it is important to be aware of the divisive nature of this referendum and how it has polarised us as a nation in so many ways.
I feel we need to revisit the history lessons we teach in schools. When I was in Israel in the 80s and visited the Holocaust Museum I was horrified that a young German amongst our kibbutz volunteers was hearing about the Holocaust for the first time here. He was reduced to sobbing through the film. As a Jew I was very upset for him and presumed that Germany simply wasn’t ready to teach this history in its schools as yet. It was only 40 years since the war. However, earlier this year I discovered that this actually wasn’t true and that in the 80s Germany was going hell for leather teaching its children about its dark past.
Why don’t we do this? It took till I was 40 to learn that the Irish famine wasn’t just about the potato blight, but a situation taken advantage of by our government designed to starve the Irish people while their food was being shipped out the country to England. The reason for this seemed to be to teach the Irish a lesson! We may have worked hard to improve our relationship with Ireland and its people but I do not feel we are taking enough responsibility for our part in the story. To me it feels like we are expecting all the work to be done between the North and the South. We are still in a place of denial about our actions here and all around the world.
If we are not educated and our history explained to people then no one will understand the full story. If we don’t teach our citizens that this is the result of hundreds of years of the British Empire’s imperialistic bullying and ruthless actions then they will only feel anger towards what is going on. We would understand a lot more if we heard everyone’s perspective and not just our own. Every conflict has two sides, I sense that we have only ever been taught one; ours. That is only half a truth.
I believe it is time to become more aware of our role in the world story and take responsibility for our part here and the damage we have done. The Irish story in particular needs understanding for the whole 800 year journey and the sooner this is more widely taught the better.
As those who voted for Brexit point the finger at Europe and those that voted Remain point at those who voted for Brexit, it is important to remember that three of those fingers are pointing back at themselves. We are all embroiled in this for all the good and all that is not at all good. 
We are now entering another cycle,  signalled by Uranus' 84 year journey around the sun, that is bringing us right back to the energy of the rise of the right before the Second World War. This is an opportunity and it is up to us to choose which road we take, whether we step forward with conflict or peace in our hearts.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Community Rising - Step one

Community Rising - Step one
  It’s been a while since my last blog and for those of you who have enjoyed my thoughts over the last few years, I apologise. I am hoping to now make amends and start blogging more regularly. The issue was that I have been formulating a plan and it has taken rather a while to come to fruition. Even now it is only in an embryonic state.
As I have been quiet for so long I feel my thoughts will come rather like a dam breaking, so I will split them into a few separate blogs and hope then to pull them altogether when the timing is right. I would like to start by filling you in with the whole story to giving you an understanding of where this all came from. 
I have been in Frome for five years and have enjoyed every minute, its vibrancy and sense of community is powerful and invigorating. I arrived in 2013 around the time that Russell Brand was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman and I was hugely inspired by his words. He spoke of building a new political way of working and this excited me as I have dreamed of this since I was 15. I never believed it possible but hearing his words and his confidence in the idea that he had no idea how it would happen or what the new landscape would look like, I knew he was on to something. He was working with evolution and not revolution - which always end in tears. This beautifully mirrored what was happening in Frome. Here, a group of individuals, who wished to drop party politics, came together and reformed the archaic system we have in our towns and replaced it with something progressive and effective. This was given a vote of confidence by the people of Frome as in the first elections, 11 out of 17 new independents gained seats and in the second they were voted in across all the wards.
I began to get the feeling that anything was possible. Inspired and energised I put out a call to gather together all like minded people to see what we could do. I wanted to create a Unity Party, a political movement for change. However, I was too premature in every way and particularly in myself. I had much to learn. So I immersed myself in Frome life, the community and the various groups that were working within it and gained a degree of understanding and had a great deal of fun at the same time.
I also had a lot of ‘life’ to contend with, losing my father and my partner losing both parents, was only a part of the list of what’s being going on. I learned to understand that everything has its time and that nothing can be rushed.
By the beginning of 2018 I had connected with TreeSisters, (about ten years later than everyone else I know!) and that hit me like a brick. ‘TreeSisters is a global network of women who donate monthly to fund the restoration of our tropical forests as a collective expression of planetary care.’ I find their work incredibly inspiring and the wealth of knowledge I have gained about myself and about our history as women in this country still amazes and horrifies me.
I feel like the whole year has been nurturing me. I attended a course at Hawkwood College, in Stroud, with Andrew Harvey, the founder/director of the institute of sacred activism, and a talk at the same college by Miki Kashtan, an International teacher, who guides people into leadership through discovering their ‘fearless heart’. At this point I realised I had shirked any kind of leadership roles in life all my life. It is time to step up.
I also have learned that we can do nothing by ourselves. The TreeSisters taught me many things but one important thing is that we must gather our community together and can only operate being supported at all times.
So if you have any interest in my work, which I will explain over the coming months, I am going to be asking for some support. I sincerely hope I can entice you in even if it is just for the smallest thing. 
I would like to thank you for reading this far and in anticipation of what may be yet to come.