The day goes:
Red the Mare, breakfast with The Mother, where Stanley the Dog and Edward the Puppy wrestle and play and fall more in love by the moment, HorseBack work, sweet interlude with the Younger Niece. Goodness, she does make me laugh. 1245 words of book. One small bet at Worcester. (It won.) Rather amazingly, LOBSTER for lunch. The local fishmonger has it on special offer and it’s cheap as chips, fresh off their own boat, and so delicious I don’t know what my name is. Lobster here normally is shipped off to Spain and France: they are eating our crustaceans in the Alfonso XIII and the George V. Rather a lot of Mozart. (Good for the thinking parts of the brain.) The usual amount of procrastination. I have two horrid pieces of admin which my recalcitrant brain absolutely refuses to deal with.
I think about the news. It is dark and fraught. When I started this blog, I had a lot to say about the events of the day. I liked to think of myself as an engaged and concerned citizen. Now, there is hardly time for the news: the work at HorseBack, the day job, the mare, the family, the dear canine take all my hours.
But I sometimes think that is a bit of an excuse. I catch fleeting glimpses of the horrors in Syria and turn my head away. I can’t really deal with it. The opinionated people all have their stern opinions; they are very sure of the things they are so sure of. I used to be a liberal hawk. How soothing that was. Of course the West must march in and create happy democracies where women and minorities may be free. What an idiot I was. Iraq and Afghanistan and the Arab Spring showed the labyrinthine impossibilities of any such simple solutions.
I know a lovely man who is employed as a top political operative with responsibility for advising on the Middle East. He is as clever and thoughtful and nuanced as anyone I know. He has fought bravely and well in battle. He has all the credentials one could wish. He said to me, not long ago, quietly, ruefully, a tinge of despair in his voice: ‘there is no solution to the Middle East.’ I’m not sure how many people in Britain can even imagine the tribal complexities and religious convolutions that obtain there. All I know is that innocent people in Syria are dying hideous and needless deaths, and no amount of sabre-rattling or summits or presidential telephone calls or recalling of parliament can make much difference.
Funny, I was really not going to write about that. I was just going to give you a quick canter through my own, tiny day, and put up a dog picture or two. But I caught the news headlines, and it made me think of the vast spaces of impossibility with which the ordinary brain is faced, as the global events are beamed hourly at ordinary citizens from radio sets and television screens and the winding trails of the internet. What can one person do, when the world swings crazily to hell and back?
That is why I cling to the smallest of small things, or I should run mad. It’s not just the love and the trees, although those are important, to quiet a frenzied mind. One individual might not to be able to save the world, but a single human can give and receive love and that’s not nothing. It’s also, perhaps more importantly, the work I do up the road. HorseBack itself is only a small charity, although I suspect it shall grow, and the model may be replicated. At the moment, each year, it takes a limited number of injured servicemen and women, and veterans fighting their lonely battle with PTSD. But it touches actual lives, ones which may have seemed shattered almost beyond repair, and gives hope. So, I can’t solve Syria, any more than the best brains of their generation can, but I can make my own small contribution to that proper cause. Even so, it feels a little paltry. But I think it has to be enough.
Today’s pictures, of some of my small things:
Two damn typos yesterday. How polite you were not to point those out, and laugh and mock. I have a horrible feeling there might be more today. Never, ever, enough time, especially not for proper proof-reading. I know I say that imperfection must be embraced, but there are limits. So, usual apologies for potentially flawed prose.