While sorting through some old files, I came across something that I wrote in November 2020 that seems relevant and worth sharing. I’ve edited it very slightly. It’s a prologue of sorts to the next posts, on European identity (not in the icky sense that immediately comes to some minds) and haunting, ghosts and glowing.
They will take a little more time: first drafts from January have changed shape, most notably, as you might imagine, in the last few days. I thought that I’d throw them away; what was the point, or the point of anything. Anything that I might write or be thinking was trivial. Fellow humans suffer unimaginably, their world changing day to day, uncertain if they would still be alive tomorrow or have a home to wake up in. In everyday horror. Under daily increasing threat and encroaching invasion. I can try to imagine, and I have a moral obligation as a fellow person to imagine. But I also have an obligation to respect others’ uniqueness, difference, and unimaginability; for humility, to avoid hubris; and to recognise my limits, the limits of imagination, that which makes and keeps it human. We, too, wherever we are, live in uncertainty: here in Vancouver, as in most of the world, we’re in striking distance of an intercontinental missile, we live next to nuclear powers, and some of our neighbours are politically unstable.
But tomorrow could be death. So: write. Anything. Good, bad, indifferent; personal, embarrassing, absurd; useless, useful, disregarding and regardless of anyone else’s use-value it might have some human value in its very triviality. Write to live. In solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainians. In hope for peace on earth, goodwill to all, life, and love.