I don’t know what TS Eliot was on about, because quite frankly, I am pretty sure that January is the cruelest, meanest month going. Or perhaps it just happens to be this one.
As much as possible I have been trying to ignore what is happening outside in the world, to keep a grip on my well-being. More and more I am feeling a terrible pressure, something black creeping into my days. After a weekend of reading and watching the beautiful Mark Fisher who decided he’d had enough last Friday, I can feel this weight in its entirety.
We can tell ourselves it is a lack of sunlight, it makes things a lot simpler, but honestly the news is becoming more and more abstract, to the point where I feel stretched very thin, with a kind of stone in the pit of my stomach. It is beginning to feel as if evil is winning somehow. How have I even begun to think in these terms?
I am sure a few years ago I would have scoffed at and comfortably denounced the idea of good and evil with all its religious connotations and reductionism. Perhaps this is my privilege speaking, I don’t even know any more. I still think that human beings are hugely complex with multifarious motivations, so why do I feel as if there is some kind of dark force at play?
Is it that I am being sucked into the medieval currents that are smashing about at the moment? As a woman I am well versed in the language of oppression, so why should this feel different? I am trying not to be histrionic, I really am, but I can’t help but feel as if the baddies are taking over and honestly, it is hurting me deeply. It is effecting my work and sleep, and I feel as if part of me has been stamped on.
It is hard to admit in public, but I am doing so because I don’t think I’m alone. We are expected to continue as if it’s business as normal, but it isn’t. What we are experiencing is not normal, it is deeply abnormal. We are at the beginning of a period that looks certain to end in total collapse.
All we can do is hope that this collapse will be positive- we need the old structures to break down after all. But at the moment it could go either way. I understand that happiness is a radical act, and I will continue trying for that. But I have to try and understand the fear in these people’s hearts too- the isolationists, the jingoists. I feel compelled to take them on, in one way or another. And if they feel the way that I do now, then I can see why they doubt humanity in the way they do.
All we can do is look out for each other and stay informed. I'm going to keep making stuff even if it makes me feel slightly sick of myself. Hopefully, we will be fine but don't feel you have to pretend it's the January blues- it's not.