1 Recent goings on.
Wishing you a healthy and happy August! I’m writing this while staying in an East Sussex house that adjoins a farm. The sun is bathing the fields in light and warmth. Newly-shorn sheep and lambs are contentedly grazing and bleating at each other. There is a timeless quality.
It reminds me of the time I worked as a “jackaroo” on sheep and cattle farms in Australia.
A jackaroo means someone who is learning the tricks of the trade usually prior to being a farmer. I learnt to put up fences, get up incredibly early, endure periods of mind-bending isolation, “dip” sheep, drive huge vehicles, ween calves, ride horses in the high-up country, whist all the time avoiding deadly wildlife.
I was still a teenager, and there were a few rites-of-passage experiences, mostly involving alcohol and the characters I met. The most lasting legacy for me though, was learning about the land.
The land is a great teacher.
It teaches you respect. You treat the land well, it will treat you well in return. That goes for animals too. If you show kindness and respect towards cattle, pigs, sheep and dogs they will respond to it. I suppose it also goes for other humans, as well.
That was a positive experience.
Learning from negative experiences is harder.
What do we really learn from trauma? We hope it will end. And when it ends, if it ends, we hope it doesn’t come back again.
Being more positive we learn the value of fortitude, patience, hope.
So I wonder, will our world learn lessons from this outbreak? Or are we doomed to perpetually repeat our mistakes – building unjust societies, squandering resources, not sharing wealth? Will Covid-19 just be part of the endless cosmic cycle of human forgetting and relearning and then forgetting again. Here’s hoping it might have a few teachable moments.
2. For the dreamers.
A piece of writing advice from Katherine Mansfield
“Looking back I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.”
Thanks for reading!