My New Year’s Revolution

This is a poem I wrote some time ago. It’s still a bit rough around the edges but I decided I’d share it anyway.

Everyone is talking of resolutions, but I think
Next year I am going to have a revolution.
I don’t plan to overthrow the government
Or to demonstrate in discontent.
And I won’t consider what it meant
That Trump became a president.
Instead I am going to revolutionise my own heart
And bring myself a fresh new start.

Because instead of resolutions
I will have a revolution.

I will read all the books I bought
So long ago somewhere abroad.
Finally I’ll fight alongside Enjolras,
and Marius and Jean Valjean.
I’ll have a Russian winter with a doctor called Shivago
And I’ll hang with Harry Potter (like I did ten years ago).
I will read only what delights me
I will find joy in the pages that find me.

Because instead of resolutions
I will have a revolution.

I will work, I will give it all I’ve got
I will give my best and take a shot.
But I will not give more than that
This time I will not drive myself so mad.
Just this once, for one year only
I will be ME so wholly.
Just this once, I will lean back.
Just this once, I’ve got my back.

Because instead of resolutions
I will have a revolution.

My own greatest oppressor am I myself.
The dictator of me could be no one else.
But I want to overthrow this government
And demonstrate in discontent.
And I will not be afraid
Of life and love and the things I said.
I will do what makes me smile
I will leave what has made me cry.
I am going to revolutionise my own heart
And bring myself a fresh new start.

Because instead of resolutions
I will have a revolution.

 

 

 

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Something to do with Kindness

A few days ago I watched a video by Carrie Hope Fletcher in which she describes her experiences at stage door. Given the recent events I felt that it would be wrong not to talk about this.

Carrie is an actress and is currently performing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In the video she talks about all the abuse that she has been given when leaving the theatre through stage door – from people physically harming her to enthusiastic fans taking away her things –, and the abuse she has been sent via social media upon not appearing at stage door at all.

The situation we currently live in appears to be one where abuse is not such a horrendous word any more, because it has become an everyday phenomenon. It has not even been two weeks since a man walked into a gay night club in Orlando and shot fifty people dead. It’s been eight months since a hundred and thirty people were killed in Paris. Three months ago more than thirty people died in a terror attack in Brussels. Two weeks ago Christina Grimmie was shot by a madman with a gun. And this is just concentrating on incidents happening in the western hemisphere.

I realise that none of these things are linked in any direct way to what Carrie Fletcher is going through. But somehow I also don’t think that there is no connection at all. I doubt that any oft he people waiting for her outside the theatre were or are members of Islamic terrorist organisations. But what I do believe is that the people who join IS or Boko Haram or who go off hurting and killing others on their own accord, those people once waited outside theatres and concert halls to meet their idols too. Those are the same people who would try and kiss someone against their will, who shout angrily when things don’t go their way – those people once could not bear to be rejected.

I’m saying this because I know that members of terrorist groups are not all African or Turks, they are Swiss, German, French and Dutch. They are people who grew up in the same surroundings we did, but who did not feel accepted, who were hurt and did not belong anywhere. And if that’s how you feel all the time, then why not punish your idol for not turning up (when she did all the other nights for all those other people). If that’s how you feel, then why not pull her hair, just to feel it – what harm will it do to you? If you’re a homosexual moslem and were never allowed to feel what you really feel, why not take that anger out on those who live the life you could have had. Your life is hardly a life, so why not destroy theirs?

There is never a reason not to be civil.

Please let that sink in. Even the stinkiest little twit deserves to be treated as a person. Bullies are usually bullied by somebody else, and the only way to break the circle is by being civil. People who shut out others shut themselves in. People who make others feel weak don’t feel strong enough. We will make the world infinitely better if we open our hearts and allow for life to come in. If we just believe to be good enough. There is never a reason not to be civil.

I went to see Les Misérables in London last August. We had some time after the show, so we went outside to stand in line at stage door. Carrie didn’t come out, and that was fine. All I wanted to do was thank her for being an inspiration. I just wanted to tell her that sometimes it is her that makes me want to finish what I started. I didn’t really care about autographs or photographs, and when she didn’t come, Inga and I went out for a drink.

What I want to say is this: Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and sometimes we are disappointed and angry – but so long as we allow that energy to flow through us we are standing only one step away from where a young man with a gun is standing. So smile. Have a drink. Watch Tangled. Hug your mum. Believe that you are good enough.

There is never a reason not to be civil.

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx