Anyone who has experienced large events will know that storms have and will always be a large part of life, they arrive slowly, upon the horizon we notice their approach but it is only when they strike that the full impact is felt. During the storm all hope can seem lost, they cannot be predicted or controlled and we are forced to weather them in the hope that we can but survive. They bring with them large swathes of change which always unsettles humans, after all we seek stability in all that we do, we seek steady incomes, strong family units, identities that give us a sense of place and purpose but some storms threaten all of this.
In these moments of turmoil emotions rise to the surface, anger, bitterness and all of the most poisonous states brew just below the surface and nobody is exempt from the occasional outburst or fear driven rage. However, the pain we feel when stability is threatened, when what we know appears to become unknown is of little use in the grand scheme of things, all the tears shed and the blame spent are but waves upon the ocean tempest. The truth in these moments is undecided and no matter the furiosity of our convictions there is nobody capable of seeing the future, it is our mistake to believe the future is ever set in the first place.
We so easily believed we had control over anything beyond the moment we are living right now and this is what hurts so much when we see our ideals fail and fall but was this belief, not always somewhat of a trick? After all, is this modern world we all share not a bit of a fake and a fraud, a vale behind which we are still vulnerable creatures as subject to the laws that govern nature as any of the insects, the birds or the trees. It is always dangerous to allow oneself the delusion of invincibility, stability and the idea of always and forever because then we fall asleep, we walk, we eat, we work but we are always snoozing, life becomes easy and we are left unchallenged at the deepest and most fundamental levels.
Yet what really is life if it is not the greatest storm of all? We are together in that we live and experience it, we are divided only by ideas and they are far more fragile than they appear, as these moments in history prove. Many of the most dangerous ideas will come to the surface whenever the old ones fall but so too do all of the most ingenious, inventive and dynamic. After every storm the winds will die and the skies clear and finally once the dust has settled the opportunity to rebuild arises, this process will not be quick and periods of mourning are to be expected but within the ashes of the disaster is the fertility for success.
It is not often we get such storms that shake us to our very core, but when they do we are all bound to feel devastated, which makes sense really, yet what a time be alive, to take stock of the what we have to be grateful for. As a biology student I been able to see the living world with very neutral eyes, to take away everything I thought about it and simply observe and it is a refreshingly sobering experience. The truth of being alive is that it is far from a permanent feature, in fact each day we live with roof over our heads, with food to eat and water to drink is no small miracle, there is much to be thankfull for if we but choose to see it.
Are we to sit in mourning forever, hurt by the sheer unfairness of it all or can we use these special moments to find ourselves, as pure and untainted as when we first came into this world, yes it may seem scary, there may be challenges but when were we promised anything else? This generation, old & young has the opportunity to build anew with the spirit of taking part, if we sit and complain, blame, hate or deny then we will be unprepared for the storms that will follow this one. If, however we accept what ‘is’ as what ‘it is’ then we can be clear headed, awake to the greatest parts of ourselves that have led dormant in a haze of easy living for so long.
The river of time upon which all of us flow together is not a river we can dictate to, it will flow onwards regardless of whether we go with it or fight with all our might against it and to those who are determined to fight the flow of the river that is okay, as eventually exhaustion will come, determination fail and balance restored. I am stuck by a comment made when I was returning from the airport yesterday, (I had been in beautiful Portugal for a week): “you have come back to a country in chaos”. From all the crap online, the yelling and noise it would be easy to believe this statement but the truth as I looked about seemed quite different, it was the same as ever, cars upon the roads, people getting on with life and living.
So let us vent what we must in the wake of this storm but once the dust settles and our minds clear let’s make the very best of what is available to us, let’s be grateful for what we have, both as individuals and as humanity can we use this opportunity to its full. Fear will ruin the hearts of anyone who embraces it over love, whatever side you claim too, remember to be here and now, alive and living before you are ever your ideas because ideas are fragile and phantoms of the mind, sometimes letting go of ideas that one path is the right is the key to moving forwards.
Ask yourself who you are and then really answer that question, not by inventing ideas, harking back to identities, history or names, it is a question whose answer lies within and it is not often events unfold which give us the chance to truly see this.
I am very lucky to be alive