Monday, June 08, 2020

The new plan

Last week I started having early morning nightmares again. And I spent this last weekend on the verge of tears. 

Why? The continuing police brutality in the USA, even while the world is watching; the realisation that the UK government doesn't care about our welfare and even if they did, they are not competent to look after us; the Brexit disaster; the frightening swing in world politics to right-wing populism; the continuing illness from Covid of my friend - after seven weeks; the death of a dear friend (already mentioned to you); the feeling of helplessness and inability to make a difference.

This morning I woke up after 8 hours sleep and no nightmares and am ready to tackle a new week, but I have a plan.

1. Only read the news in the morning. Never at night. And that includes Twitter. 

This is Mary Oliver's poem: 

The Morning Paper

Read one newspaper daily (the morning edition

     is the best

for by evening you know that you at least 

     have lived through another day)

and let the disasters, the unbelievable

     yet approved decisions,

soak in.

I don't need to name the countries,

     ours among them.

What keeps us from falling down, our faces

     to the ground: ashamed, ashamed?

2.  Buy a copy of Why I am no longer talking to white people about race, and read it again. If you do not believe racism is endemic in the UK, I recommend you read this book. There's currently so much to read online about racism in the USA: this morning I found this piece interesting.

3.  Consider what I can do to support #BlackLivesMatter.

4.  Stop rushing to get as much as possible shoehorned into my days so that when I look back, these months of distance from ordinary life will not feel like a waste of time. I must calm down.  I will make a list in the morning of just three things I want to do before tea time, when I usually collapse.

6.  Find a new novel to read. I am enjoying Anna Karenina, but it is slow going. I go back to it in the evening because I think - Oh, I should read some more Anna Karenina (note the should) rather than looking forward to reading it in the same way I have looked forward to watching another episode of Call My Agent on Netflix.  I need a novel that enthrals me.  I don't want a whodunnit or a thriller or anything violent or harrowing. But I don't want slush, either. Do you have any suggestions, friends?

7.  Get my art submissions sent off to the King Lear competition for the over 70s.

Here, for your amusement, are two photos Liz took of me on a recent walk. The orange glove is so I can open gates without becoming infected. The other photo speaks for itself.

And here is my latest attempt at reading an extract from DAYS ARE WHERE WE LIVE. I've not read you this one before. Listen here.

I hope you all have a better week than the last one.


Sally said...

Hi Sue, You ask for reading suggestions, these are a few books I've enjoyed recently;

Toast - Nigel Slater,

The Art of Racing in the Rain - Gareth Stein,

All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

Sadly nearing the end of your book!

Lovely photos, hope the sun returns soon. Sally🤓📚☀️

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Sally. I will check them out. I appreciate your taking the trouble! X