I am hopeful that what I am seeing is a good response

I wrote the following in response to a friends utter despair over the lack of concern for the plight of Syrian refugees before this Covid19 shook the world.

Now, more than anything, I am glad to see that we are voluntarily self-isolating, and socially distancing–lessening the impact of this virus. And more than this, we are doing it with humour and love for one another.

It is a good sign. I hope too that it registers in the hearts and minds of us all that we are capable of more than we think. That not being self centered and selfish can actually change life for the better, even giving rise to real economic activity. The sort of economic activity generated by working to protect the well-being of all beings instead of just inflating imaginary numbers for the benefit of despots. Anyway, my friend just reminded me of this conversation recently and I post it here.

M:  Here. These are some of our fellow humans. Their displacement has been enabled by our collective unwillingness to confront Assad’s Atrocity, Russia and Iran’s regional aspirations, the USA’s famed proclivity towards abandoning its allies, and Turkey’s Machiavellian maneuverings. It has been enabled by Fortress Europe. And it has been enabled by our utter global lack of outrage, which has given tacit permission for the Atrocity to continue, for nearly ten years, in the face of incontrovertible proof of war crimes by a variety of parties.

M:This is Orwell’s moment: surveillance, disappearances, detentions, torture, cluster bombs, the use of prohibited weapons (including gas), against civilian populations, the targeting of hospitals and first responders and medical personnel and doctors, perpetual war, all tools of Big Brother. Power for its own sake, twisting and shifting, old enemies becoming friends, old friends betrayed. Newspeak scribbling over the most well-documented betrayal of a people in history.

And we have responded with, “Do it to Julia. Not me.” The rats are coming for you all.

Rio: I think I read or heard that Hitler was emboldened by Europe’s lack of response to the genocide of Armenians, so much so that he said, no one will care if we get rid of the Jews…it is normal again to turn a blind eye. Have no doubt that there are Evil minds watching and waiting to put that into play for their hateful advantage in your own countries people. But going further, it was also considered that the grinding debt forced on Germans by their enemies for the ridiculous hubris of blue bloods, namely the first world war, created the the dish of slop in which Fascism grew…So, in my opinion, the only way forward and off this wheel of pain is to focus on stability, moderation and a preparedness to sacrifice for the benefit of our neighbours, even if they might be inclined to hate us or take advantage, to care for the weak and have that care entrenched in law. Here and now in Canada.

I am guardedly hopeful.

A Place of Refuge — WALKING WOMAN

25 February 2020 – I am semi-lost, my usual condition when a-foot on the UBC campus, but not bothered by it. First, I’m only semi-lost; I always find my destination eventually. And, second, there are always discoveries along the way. So here I am on Memorial Road, just off Main Mall and heading for East […]

via A Place of Refuge — WALKING WOMAN

I realized the other day that I love getting lost. I think it is the best thing about my life now. I can get lost and not worry about it. My destinations are all the same but my getting lost is a different story every time.

 

Writing

I have come to the conclusion that writing means pulling yourself up out of the rubble of your dreams of being a writer and just getting on with it, sometimes one painful word at a time. Hell, it’s just learning to push through fear and expectation on bad days, and on good days closing the door gently on them saying, “go on, I’ll join you later, I just have to finish this page…”

Grandchild

I feel so old
my skin hangs on dried bones,
the blush
on my younger face
I remember like a poem
And I have survived
and found a peace that I call home
though sometimes now, it feels like a prison.

I saw the moon in the sky this morning.
and it changed the tide.
like you it seemed to appear without warning
and like you, it changed my mind.
because Love is a catalist
not a cure.
It comes unexpectantly.
It makes us dare
the whirlwind.

So for you
I crack open and release
my fluttering heart
and
toss it in the sea,
and play in the breaking waves of your laughter,
and rest in eddies
of your sleeping breath.

Winter Writing

Winter, the air was as dry as unbuttered toast.
Ice formed from any moisture and hung onto any thread.
Children were bundled so if they fell
it would be face up
so they wouldn’t suffocate,
their identities unknowable behind scarves and hats pulled low.
Until a Chinook
when they threw off their stiff winter clothes
and ran in their socks and shirt sleeves
in yards of mud,
no, not ran, but hopped
like new little toads with tails abandoned,
this way and that,
with the randomness of joy.
And when it was over
they came home dressed in other children’s winter clothes.

rio, 2019

Say my name!

rioonbook

I’m Rio, most of you know that already, but it wasn’t always the case, so I am very happy to see my name listed on this wonderful book. I am sorry that I was unwell and couldn’t attend the launch, but I am so proud to be included with these women, many of whom I met at Sister Writes. They inspired me to push beyond my comfort levels and share a bit of my history. And they continue to inspire me to write with their brilliance.

and of course the cover…

coverbook