Meanwhile…In Not So Sunny Scotia

In my absence here I have been reading and researching. I have been engaging with social media and clicking on links to papers and documents, to videos and newsreels. I have been trying to find out more about what is making this world tick in the particular manner it is currently ticking. Like a timebomb.

One of the things I enjoyed about studying history when I was at school was when I realised that nothing happens in isolation. My older brother was the one who helped me see this.

The night before an important history exam he offered to help me prepare by quizzing me. I failed. Miserably. If I remember correctly he asked me how the First World War started. I can’t remember my answer now.

I do remember he said, ‘No. You’re looking at this all wrong. You have to look at what was going on elsewhere. One place wasn’t operating in a vacuum to another. Think about it. While you’re up here studying, the rest of the family are doing other things. Some of those things will be unimportant to you. But some of them could be rocking your boat. What if mum is arguing with dad? What if ….’

And on he went, describing what other people may or may not be doing that may or may not be impacting on my life.

I got it.

I finally got it.

He then went on to describe a series of events happening around the world at the time leading up to the outbreak of WW1. I was hooked. Every story he told, he would say, ‘Meanwhile….’

Meanwhile.

I’ve had ‘meanwhile’ in my mind a lot this while back.

The USA is bitterly divided on who to elect for president. Why? What’s on offer and what’s coming out of the closet around each candidate? And how much of what is revealed is true? How trustworthy is the established media? Whose corner are they fighting and why? How much of alternative media can be trusted? What is the source of information, do they have an axe to grind and what might that be?

Meanwhile, Britain has decided to leave the European Union. The Tory party seem intent on going for the so-called ‘hard’ option despite all evidence that suggests it’s the wrong option. No access to the free market if it means having to accept uncontrolled borders. Why is the Tory Party so intent in going for the most difficult option? Why would the Tory Party – capitalists of the first order – attempt to embrace the centre ground and sacrifice the pound in the name of immigration? Why is the rhetoric emanating from that quarter embracing xenophobic speech and helping, by their rhetoric, to cultivate antagonism towards the immigrant population? How many of the decisions made by UKgov are independent of that ‘special relationship’ with the US?

Meanwhile, in Syria, atrocities are being carried out against children. Why? In whose interests is it to control that area and why?

Meanwhile, in Israel and Palestine, what was done to one is being done to others. Why? Apart from history, is there psychology at play? Abused becoming abusers? Why are we so divided on seeing the connections?

Meanwhile, back in not so sunny Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has promised the possibility of a second independence referendum for Scotland. Why? Is she a power-hungry politician intent on breaking up the UK to the dissatisfaction of those who value its togetherness at all costs? Why are there still so many Scots still against it? It surely makes sense to support something which allows the Scottish people to determine their own course in the world. Why are some then still resistant to the independence that would allow their own voices to be heard by virtue of having a government that they actually voted for as opposed to always having the government that the rest of Britain votes for?

Meanwhile, 40million citizens in Russia are mobilized to prepare for nuclear war.

Meanwhile, Scotland is sitting on Trident. Rejected by Scotland. But housing it, nevertheless, because nowhere else on the British Isles is capable of accomodating it, apparently. And it would be too dangerous to house near a large city. Greater Glasgow (population just over 1million) is 39 miles from Faslane, the Trident nuclear base.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is doing everything it can to enhance renewable energy as the best way forward.

Meanwhile, oil, Syria.

Meanwhile, new sources of oil discovered off the west coast of Scotland.

Meanwhile, some still believe that Scotland’s last referendum on independence was rigged. You think for a minute you’re walking out of here? We need your tax receipts.

Meanwhile….

It goes on.

The one thing that I am sure of in this muddle of information is that we are being manipulated. All of us.

How is it possible that so much of mainstream media sings from the same hymn sheet while there is evidence to the contrary?

How is it possible that so much anti-immigrant speech is being allowed? Not only being allowed, but being poured forth, in some quarters, like an avalanche of putrid vomit.

How did Hitler rise to power? Why were so many susceptible to his particular brand of fascist rhetoric?

How did World War 2 begin? What was going on elsewhere around the world that culminated in yet another war to disprove that the first would be the war to end all wars?

What is all the fighting about?

Is it fear of ‘the other’? Is it notions of a Caliphate? Is it protectionism of borders?  Is it humanitarian? Is it oil?

Is it, in fact, about who controls the means of providing their citizens with the sources of energy that allow us to switch on that TV? To run that car? To have the life that we deserve? At all costs?

Meanwhile, here in Scotland, a nation of just over 5million, some of us have a dream. The dream is that when we gain independence – and we will, eventually – we will pursue policies that reject nuclear weapons wholesale, embrace renewable energy as the means of safeguarding our planet while still allowing us to function in the world. We reject xenophobia, reject homophobia, reject austerity that hurts the poorest in the country. The poorest whose voices are not heard and yet must pay the cost of failure of fiscal policies and the austerity needed to balance the books. Whose fiscal policies? Whose interests are they representing? Where did all that revenue go to? Who benefited?

We reject the sectarianism that is still rife in this country of ours. A sectarianism that divides the population into Catholics and Protestants. Into two colours of two football teams. Into ‘yoons’ and ‘cybernats’. We reject the idea, repeated by mainstream media and successive UK governments that we are ‘too stupid, too small, too poor’. Despite evidence to the contrary. Evidence deliberately hidden by successive UK governments.

Natural resources are gifted throughout this world of ours. There isn’t a place on this planet that could not be self-sufficient in safe energy if the will were there, by those who wield the power, to invest in research and production. Why is there no will? In whose short term interests is it to safeguard the status quo? Where there is the will there is a way. I believe that.

But the will is lacking. Why? That is the billion dollar question. The Rockefeller Foundation renounced fossil fuels in favour of pursuing renewables just prior to the Paris Climate Talks last year. From what I’ve read of the Rockefellers that sets alarm bells ringing. Has the agency, founded on snake oil, become so altruistic that its main concern now is to preserve the planet? Or just some of it?

Scotland has already shown that it is possible to produce energy through many different, safer means. Research and investment into wind, into tidal. Feckin’ kites for god’s sake! This country – rich in oil – wants another way. The research needs developing. But the finances available to further that aim have been cut by UKgov.

For yes, we receive pocket money from Westminster. Scotland may be an oil rich nation but the revenue from these many years of production has gone south. Privatised and misused. Successive UK governments – regardless of party politics – have used the revenue to give tax breaks to the rich or develop selected areas of England. All other countries can fend for themselves and then take the blame when what is allocated does not – cannot – counter policies made elsewhere for the benefit of some.

I recognise that large swathes of England have been neglected at the expense of a select few. I’m as heart sorry for them as I am for us. Wales. Northern Ireland. For Scotland.

I recognise that money rules the world.

I recognise that those whose sole pursuit is money and power don’t give a damn about anyone else but their own interests.

I recognise that people are considered collateral damage by those who wield power.

I recognise it. And I reject it.

I will fight for Scotland’s independence till the day I die. Not because we do actually contribute more to UK’s coffers than they advertise and we want to keep that to help our nation in the way we see fit. Valid though that reason is, it is, for me, not the main one.

It is because we are ignored.

It is because our values and aspirations are ignored and deemed unimportant.

It is because we are deemed expendable. It is because UKgov allows and encourages, advertises, an erroneous image of Scotland to sustain their power base.

It is because successive UK governments have allowed and promoted the notion that we are a nation of scroungers.

And they have not done that for no reason.

Double negatives aside, how does one conquer?

Divide.

Divide countries in a union – any union – by the language and information you use. Manipulation.

Blame ‘the other’ for failings in economic policies. Manipulation.

Control the media. Manipulation.

Lie. Manipulation.

 

Yes, this is my conspiracy theory.

But what is a conspiracy but what we are NOT told?

And we are not told plenty.

So I will continue to search. I shall continue to seek answers to why it is, apparently, imperative that wars are carried out in the name of one thing while ulterior motives are present.

I will continue to question why US and UK still sell weapons then cry foul when they are used. Why regimes are undermined then controlled. Why lives are unimportant in pursuit of something else. Anything else. Whether that be religion, oil, land or power for power’s sake.

Our world is a fucked up mess and we are all culpable. Every last one of us. We let our governments play by standards and rules that we are not privy to. We let them build the weapons of the future to maintain supremacy.

We let them.

Is Nicola different?

 

I don’t know.

I think she is.

I believe she is.

Her actions suggest she is.

 

But, no matter, it is not the SNP that drives the voice of independence.

I am not a member of the SNP.

I am not a member of any political party.

Been there, seen that, done it. Scottish Labour. The northern branch of Westminster. I did not leave them. They left me. They left all working class people in pursuit of something else. Something now indistinct from what the Tories stand for.

I abhor party politics.

They’ve proven time and again they do not work.

Except for themselves.

 

SNP? They, for me, are a vehicle that will give the people of Scotland the independence they need to change our corner of this globe and, hopefully, the wider world.

If I were to be a member of any political party I’d be Green.

It is the natural choice for someone who wants to protect our planet in oh, so many ways, from the worst excesses of ourselves.

Oh, one of the things that my brother and I disagreed on way back then.

Him: If I have to die I want everyone I know to go with me. I don’t want to think that everyone’s here while I’m not.

Me: Oh, God, no, when I die I want to think that there are people here I know and love keeping the story going.

 

I feel I should apologise for this post. Not the content, per se. But the hurried together, rather manic way in which it has been written. But, you know what, I’m not going to.

I will not apologise for being worried, for caring about people all over the planet, for wanting my children to have a future. For all children to have a future, no matter their race, creed or colour.

 

I also wanted to take the time to go back and insert references/links to what I have been finding. But, I’m not going to. I’m not going back. I’m going forward. The information is out there. The reasons are there. Find them. If there is one thing that the internet was surely invented for was to help save us from ourselves.

 

Meanwhile…

It’s Friday. I’m on holiday from school for a week. Thank heavens. What a week!

May your god or none go with you.

May you know peace wherever you are. May you know peace in your heart.

We’re just this tiny blue dot.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in space….

A Different Table

sitting at the same table

watching while

food disappears from my plate

a recognised

invisible hand

reaching across my shoulder

another from beneath a tablecloth

patterned in red white and blue

feeling the hunger

but waiting for decency and manners

to acknowledge that what is served

provided

prepared

by me

I have a right to

realising, eventually, that

the currs will feed first

be favoured

that, in that dining room

chefs

kitchen staff

waiters

are by the by

ignorance is indifferent

much flaunted manners

a learned behaviour

that breeding will out

the pilfered silverware laughs as it clatters

among the nonsensical chatter

lives brokered and bartered

leaded receptacles fall

shatter

and death becomes invited

partakes

its toll growing

while the same knowing hand

sprawls messages

subliminally

and obviously

that counter truth

my table

my plate

my food

stolen from me

while calling me

scavenger

and thief

the parasite

peddling lies

breeding disharmony

and hate

 

Waited too long

We leave that table

We leave those plates

We leave the inhospitable

We leave

In our kitchen

We have all the ingredients we need

To make a new meal

A better meal

To season it

According to our tastes

We serve it

Share it

Sit at a different table

A round tablecloth of multi-hued

Acceptance

Commensalism

Consumes fairly

Mutualism moreso

We need

A different table

 

To continue the analogy, I am currently consumed by politics and news. Scunnered by it, to be honest. Like I’ve eaten too much and want to barf. The taste of what is being served inter/nationally and globally has me retching. And I know I’m not alone in this. Between school work, family, writing and following politics and news like a demented disciple, I’m not on WordPress at all at the moment. I even thought to delete my account, thinking ‘what’s the point?’ but I can’t quite bring myself to do that. There’s too much of myself here.  Forgive me please for not visiting. I’m sure the urge will return. Until it does, may I offer you all my warmest wishes and blessings and hope that everyone is doing what they can to change the menu.x 

Lay Love

Lay love, if honestly, for who needs petals,

petals wilt and die,

as so they must,

lay love upon the earth, where life is buried,

love returns to source,

as all, to dust.

Lay love where’er we visit, who needs roses,

flowers fade away

like coloured time,

lay love upon each head, before the tombstones,

‘ere the death, lay love,

most potent sign.

The legacy was love, who mentioned flowers,

flowers are forgotten,

turn to seed,

lay love, upon each passing, before passing,

love’s wreath is all t’was asked for,

all we need.

Thoughts on ‘The Book Thief’

He came and stole the words she loved and hated,

In his pocket, while he gathered up the souls,

Confounded, over- under- estimation,

Humans with their fatal faulted goals.


Concentrating Nazis, all those people,

Compliant, in vicissitudes, they blamed,

As Death patrolled a world of colour flaming,

Where only very few were ever named.


The nameless marched and shuffled, sockets sunken,

Scarce of bread, more scarce of liberty,

Scapegoats for moustached aspirations,

Pillar-scourged by Christ’s humanity.


Muslims now, where Jews, or maybe black folk,

Gays perhaps or aborigines,

Red-skinned, each condemned in one stroke,

Pointed fingers back at you and me.


Death patrolled and wondered while he captured

Souls before they fell, he held them tight,

Whatever had they done and why the rapture

Of others he would meet one day or night.


Munchen times, the Dachaus and the ghettoes,

Golan Heights, Great Plains, upon our streets,

Look no further for the scythe or saviour,

Everyone we meet and how we greet.


Sickle thoughts while reading and to living,

One rush of air we’re gone, he passes on,

Steals our words, our actions, as deposits

Comes and goes, collects and moves along.


Banked eternally, all of our choices,

No choice for death, he does as he is told,

A Book Thief gifts her love, compassion,

Death carries secrets all should be foretold.

The Book Thief

 

 

‘Mankind Limited’

410NID5+J-L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

This book  ⇑⇑⇑ should be a movie. Somewhere in Hollywood right now there are actors waiting for their agents to deliver this story in script format to them. The makings of all action-packed adventure films is here. I can see the film in my mind’s eye.

But this one is different.

It’s not fast-paced for the thrill of it alone. It needs to be to get the message across. Mankind could be on the threshold of just such a future. Time is racing.

This one could be us.

Maybe a few years down the line yet, maybe already almost there in some similar format. Change a few details. Replace one group for another. Look behind the motives in politics and corporations. Stretch the reality just a little. Ask ourselves questions looking through the light of a different lens.

It feels like us, it acts like us, it may very well come to be.

It could be The Secret we all hold and may one day need.

The future may be closer than we think.

It only takes a small leap of imagination to take us from where we are now to Mankind Limited.

Scott Bailey is a writer I follow here on WordPress.

I downloaded his book a few weeks ago after reading an excerpt from it on his blog. It wasn’t until this week that I finally had the chance to read the book.  I like a good action-packed adventure as much as the next one but I liked, even more, what Scott communicated in the story.

I believe there is more to follow and I’ll be waiting. If we have time and I’m still aware…

 

Scott’s book is available through Amazon.

His blog can be found here.

 

One Under The Sun

We might have worshipped at this other temple

invoked fierce majesty and plead for culmination

twice each year

We might have blessed ourselves adorned in naked adulation

stroking burnished bronze in service

of its philanthropic flares

We might have rescued grief in selfless sacrifice

redeemed from darkness every corner shaded, sheltered,

bound to be impenetrable

We might have saviour’d chapters from our books

pardoned tired redeemers, partook of chalice

with neither sip nor greedy guzzle

We might have worshipped differently

with golden orb and gilded chariot

we did not

We might have reverenced all creation

as one under the sun

blinded, we cannot

Turn The Lights On

Turn the lights on, daddy,

there’s a demon and he’s scheming

and he’s lurking underneath my single bed,

I know that you can’t see him but I feel him

and he’s scratching round and hatching

awful thoughts inside my head,

I need you for my hero

and I trust you with my life

and I believe that you can vanquish all my foes,

So turn the lights on, daddy, please

and leave a little glow before you go.

 

Turn the lights on, mummy,

for the demons have grown larger and they’re looming

in the darkness all around and

I can’t see them but I sense them

and they follow

and they wear me to the ground.

I know that you have answers for you’ve lived a life

and carried thought and love

and won some battles in your day,

I trust that you will guide me and direct me

with your wisdom,

You’ll never steer me wrong no matter what I say.

So turn the lights on mummy, please,

And show to me the lightness of your ways.

 

Leave the lights on, darling,

to the demons of your darkness

in the night that come to steal,

let me see your demons dancing, I’ll destroy them,

we’ll be stronger when we fight them, both together,

we have power in the loving, can’t you feel.

We’ll spread it out and round and up and down,

we’ll cover corners, every base that comes along

and fight the fight we have to win,

we’ll vanquish ghosts and ghouls and demons,

terrors of the night and daylight hours,

every torment, everything.

So leave the lights on, baby, I’ll protect you,

You’ll protect me, we’re a team.

 

Turn all the lights on, fetch the torches

bring the candles, lamps and shining stars

and blazing sun,

the demons are retreating,

we have power all around us,

they are fearful and we’ve got them on the run.

All these demons, they’re illusion

and their danger is persuasion

and it’s fear all children fear along their spine

and it grows along beside us and defeats us,

all negation, all abstraction

and it subjugates our light to shine.

So turn the lights on, leave the lights on,

we’re all children but, together, with our beacons, we’ll be  fine.

 

 

Curse or Cure

As one who buys into the curse of honest self-reflection,

I ponder ruse that briefs process, selective recollection,

Doughty effort, spirit voice, appraisals for collection,

Doubts regale, does truth prevail in analysed introspection.


And say what should the truth reveal in all the moments pensive,

Would aught be learned or changed withal or rejected, I dismissive

At risen thought and actions wrought, words that I have spoken,

Accepted, viewed, for change previewed, or merely selfish token.

A gesture only, naught confessed to mind and all that matters,

Hidden guilt, a comfort quilt, then tossed in pieces, scattered.

No perfection, no, not here, nor nearly, though aspired,

Appraisals made, some darker shades of earthbound, deep desires.

Very much a worldly way in living here below,

These thoughts that haunt, as spectres gaunt, a valve restrictive flow

To missives from my spirit born, my better half, by far,

Reflections thrust, my heart unjust, life and time to scar.

But still, I ponder, recollect, review and hope rebounds

That thinking ranges, plans the changes, till spirit voice resounds.

Field of Dreams

There’s a clearing in my mind where I can wander,

Like a field of dreams was planted long ago,

Sown by whom I’ve met and all I’ve felt there,

Waiting for the crops that had to grow.

 

There’s a feeling that I’ve been this way before then,

Like someone gave me glimpse then left my side,

Notional directions then abandoned,

But – not really – more as if they ran away to hide

 

To see if I could unearth in the threshing

Or the harvest, whenever it should come to pass,

If teasing, in a tempting sort of measure,

Should balance books bet or if I’d come in last.

 

I feel I’ve failed the test before I started,

Like the race was rigged before I left the block,

Like someone changed the rules and I, as usual,

Was writing or just reading some strange book.

 

There’s a field of dreams I guess we all get lost in, when

In a semblance of a future once glimpsed past,

We entered name and limbered for the race and

Hoped against all hope we’d not come last.

 

Strength to muster, this was all we asked for

Strength sufficient and a well-kept pace,

Sweat and toil, all that work notwithstanding,

We thought, believed that we could maybe win this race.

 

I never was a runner in my dreamings,

Nor in life – I’ve always walked with ease –

Sauntered through, feet always planted firmly

Though my mind has gone its own way as it pleased.

 

I s’pose, like most, I’m just some kind of farmer,

I trudge through day and work and fret and always feed my sheep,

I sow and reap and gather where I can do,

I rest my head and pray for easy sleep.

 

But the voice inside my head that keeps on saying,

‘Arise, awake, you’re sleeping when it’s dawn,

Get up and move, the day is almost over,’

Urges me to seek a brand new morn.

 

One where fields are harvested with fairness

And work’s a task we gladly take in team,

Singing, laughing all the while with gladness

That this is real and not another dream.

 

I guess I’m dreaming even while I write this,

The status quo exists for world and also me,

The race is almost over, I’m exhausted

And weeping for we all who just won’t see.

 

I wish I didn’t care and love was easy,

The way it was when dads and mums were glad,

Once upon a time, in some strange dream land,

In field of dreams where none are ever sad.

 

I can’t believe I’m writing and not hoping,

It’s the news, you see, I really shouldn’t hear,

All that goes around and races onwards

Fills my dreams and field with crop of fear.

 

But, listen, I know I can’t leave this foray

Into dreams and fields and races and this life

Without one, at least just one, little seed sown.

In love and light, the work is cleaved with sharpest knife.

 

I guess that what I’m saying is I love you,

Bizarre, I know, when all of you are figments of the light

Cast across my screen like all the seeds sown

Filling field of dreams in day and night

 

 I wish that I could write in brief, a haiku,

Syllables all counted and best said,

Time being of the essence, that would serve well,

But, alas, that knack in me, bypassed my dreams and head.

 

I’ll go on dreaming just because I have to,

I know no other way to make things real.

Arise, awake, enact, forgive my earnest ramblings.

I call it, tell it, dream it as I feel.

Your gift to the world

It is an honour and joy for me to guest blog at Scottishmomus. Anne-Marie is very dear to me, and to think that we have not even met up in person (yet). But we have met numerous times over the net, via emails and between each blog post. Our friendship blossomed through our mutual love for words, and passion for humanity. Technology has enabled us to find each other. With it, I have also found a beautiful soul sister in Anne-Marie. For this and more, I am truly grateful.

Technology can truly be used for the greater good when we make it so. I’ve witnessed how this wonderful blogging community has evolved over time, making it possible for writers and friends from all around the world to connect. I get to marvel at each unique talent at work (and play) in the process.

The blogging and writing arena is no different than the real world. It is not always smooth sailing, but there is always sparks of brilliance.

Bleeding Pen

 

There are times when the pen bleeds, but nothing comes forth. No words would adorn the page. No verses could spell out the emotions that lay buried.

But there are times when our hearts open up, and then the pen drips boundlessly as if by magic, from one page to the next – eager to fill up the emptiness, staining that white papery sheet with love, pain, happiness, sadness, hopes, fears, dreams and whatever else that lies beyond.

If you can write, write.

If you can draw, please draw.

If you can sing, please drown the noise with your melodious voice. 

Whatever it is that you are good at doing, or enjoy doing – just please do it.

Don’t let your fears hold you back.

As Steven Pressfield wrote in “The War of Art” ~ “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

So, channel all your emotions and creativity into form.

Bring them to life, and share with the world.

We are all better because of it.

Your talent is a gift.

It adds value to our perspectives, and enriches our humanity.

So, please don’t stop. And if you have yet to start, please choose your “medium” and begin.

As we await for Anne-Marie to complete her novel, may each of us continue to colour the world with our own magical “wand”.

 

THANK YOU WITH FOLDED HANDS,

Shirley Maya Tan at The Art of Fearless Living