Anti-racism education resources

This post is here in appreciation of the anti-racism resources I have come across in my ongoing journey of re-education. Please add a comment with other resources you have found useful.

The question for me is, what would a society which has respect, justice and equity at its heart, look like? How can we be part of making that a reality? I am beginning to see racism represents profound separation and insecurity operating from a foundation of fear and competition. It ripples out and creates injustice in so many other areas: climate, gender, socio-economic, sexuality, ability, religious practice, health, education, criminal justice systems and family systems. It centres on a misunderstanding and misuse of power. I am interested in a new narrative and how I can play a part in my life and work. A new narrative rooted in oneness, reciprocity, abundance, responsibility, respect, justice and care for all peoples, creatures and resources of our planet. Looking to see what daily actions I can take towards this end.

Books – non fiction
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Me and white supremacy by Layla F Saad
How to be an anti-racist by Ibram X. Kendi (USA)
Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (UK)

For US subscribers, I recommend this bookseller, Elizabeth’s Bookshop and Writing Centre.
For UK subscribers, I recommend Book Love.

Poetry
Hanan Issa – Cardiff based poet author of My Body Can House Two Hearts
A brave and startling truth by Maya Angelou (listen to a reading)

Articles
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
White Supremacy Culture by by Tema Okun . dRworks . www.dismantlingracism.org – this article just keeps on giving.

Videos
Not all superheroes wear capes – how you have the power to change the world | Nova Reid | TEDxFrankfurt
How to be an anti-racist with Dr Ibram X. Kendi and Dr Charlene M. Dukes from Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
Michaela Coel | James MacTaggart Lecture | Edinburgh TV Festival 2018

TV/Films
Dear White Folks – Netflix drama series set on an Ivy League College campus
An American Son – Netflix film (Black Lives Matter collection)
13th – Netflix
Pose – Netflix drama series
I May Destroy You – BBC iPlayer &
I Am Not Your Negro (2017) documentary film of the life of James Baldwin

Many thanks to people I’m following for learning and inspiration

Molly Gordon – Shaboom Life could be a dream (Facebook)
James Olivia Chu Hillman @Inquisitive human (Facebook and Instagram)
Rachel Elizabeth Cargle @Rachel.Cargle (Instagram)

Please add your recommendations in the comments

The emotional freedom of and ….. both

The emotional freedom of and ….. both

© 'Sunshine and showers', photograph by Juliet Fay 2020

The emotional freedom of and …… both

And suddenly there was more space.
It opened up without warning.
Space to breathe.
Space to explore.
Space to be, not this or that
But both at the same time.
Space to hold either and or,
Not in conflict or with tension
But allowing both to co-exist
And simply wonder
At the juxtaposition.
Space to allow
Something new to emerge,
Organically,
Without rushing
To adopt one position or
The other…….

To be happy at lockdown easing;
And frightened at lockdown easing.

To feel love for the world;
And be in judgement of that one person.

To love where you live;
And long to live elsewhere.

To be a loving mother;
And a mother who left.

To be soft and gentle;
And mean and angry.

To love someone;
And not want to stay with them.

To want to change the world;
And feel overwhelmed at the prospect.

To feel the sorrows of the world;
And feel joy bubbling in your heart.

Seeing that both could be true
Simultaneously.
The one did not need
To negate the other.

The inherent tension
Coming from a
Too narrow view.
We innocently hold
The contradiction
As untenable
And rush prematurely
To resolve
The contradiction,
We created.

But there is no need
To choose.

As the binary approach
Gives way
To the realisation of
Infinite possibilities
In each moment,
The false correlations
(Only ever stories)
Fade and there is only
Wonder.

Wonder at
What next?

A beautiful freedom
Blossoms in the
Emotional freedom of
And…. Both

Note

The freedom in being able to hold these opposing feelings, statements, facts, perceptions, preferences, desires and stories is like some amazing flavour discovered on a foreign trip. One unimaginable until the moment it dissolves on your tongue and your taste buds explode in a glorious hallelujah of delight.

The photo is one of many taken here on the estuary in West Wales. So often sunshine and showers lead to rainbows!

This began as an article, turned into a prose poem but couldn’t quite let go of the article format, so in the spirit of ‘and…. both’ I give it to you as a hybrid if you will. The discovery captured in this piece came about as a result of an insight. Insight leads to a change of heart and, in this case, an upswell of gratitude. The Three Principles understanding points us to the fact that we are built for insight and as we look in the direction of a deeper dimension of thought, insight changes our relationship with our experience. Find out about getting into conversation with me.

Reflections on being in service

Reflections on being in service

This article has been bubbling up for 5 days now. At first a jumble of confused ideas were jotted down, explored a little in the Daily Gathering, but now on this sunny Sunday morning I am starting fresh.

Tears are close for me today a sign, not, of the times, but of the vibrancy of this human instrument, feeling depths, as yet, unfathomable.

Feeling deeply has never seemed more of a gift than it does now. When tears and laughter tumble one after the other like children chasing a stray ball, there is an expansion of the heart that allows our perspective to be blasted open, and take us far above our usual worm’s eye view.

There is something that wants to be said, and I’m not at all sure what it is, but here goes……

Helping and serving

The helping/service instinct never dies. It lurks close by, ready to surface whenever the murk clears. It can hibernate; sometimes for years and then all of a sudden it blooms like one of my Grandfather’s home bred orchids that threw a single bloom after a drought of 15 years.

Stories of service are spreading around the globe faster than the virus. And sitting here in a small village in self-isolation, they are coming thick and fast; in all shapes and sizes; from a myriad of sources: virtual and physical.

A hot meal on my doorstep, covered with tin foil; a neighbour’s wave up at my window as they turn their car; daily video chats with my love, 10,000 miles away; the much loved sound of an old friend’s laughter on the phone ; a daily online gathering bursting my heart open again and again.

I feel the dilemmas of those wanting to serve yet being fearful, for themselves, for those they love, wondering about their capacity, their resilience. Those in confusion; those who are lonely; those who are scared; those who bridle at the restrictions; those who want to shout and scream and those who want to hide.

I see the ebb and flow of emotions through me and all around: now, more than ever, in glorious technicolour. Frenzied activity; crying in the toilet; dazed; desolate; arguing; stressed; moments of peace and joy; tenderness; tantrums; bonhomie; nostalgia.

The disorientation on waking and forgetting, then remembering. Guilt over stolen moments of peace and joy as if these times call for seriousness and worry.

And through it all, rather than seeing right or wrong; appropriate or inappropriate; helpful or unhelpful; I feel my horizons being expanded, all the while in confinement, and I am invited to wonder at how things are in service, even when, especially when, I cannot see how.

Service ~ an act of help or assistance

The more acts of service I see; the more I am open to look for the act of service in what I see.

In the impossible dilemmas facing so many of us: helping ourselves versus helping others; helping strangers versus helping our families; not helping others lest we become a burden; fearing others versus accepting help; keeping our distance when our hearts want to throw our arms around those we love; keeping our distance because our hearts can’t bear to do anything else; striding towards the front line because we come alive in the service of others; exhausting ourselves with frenzied activity; the unsung carer, quietly sitting by the bedside of a 91 year old at home with Corvid19 symptoms, well versed in the care of the sick and dying.

The old codes of sacrifice, moral duty, greater good do not go far enough.

For at this time; the old parameters and measures of what is helpful, what is in service are to be thrown up in the air.

It is a time to question what we are ‘in service to’? What impels us to act or not act.

Beyond service to self and loved ones, community, country, the natural world, there is being in service to Life.

What is Life?

Whatever you imagine it to be.

That which stirs your heart. The mystery that animates all living things.

How could we ever know what is or isn’t in service to Life? For every act in the end is an act of Life. Life in motion. Life expressing through us all.

It is only our judgement that says an act is cruel or kind, helpful or unhelpful. But how could we know? How could we possibly zoom far enough out to get a perspective vast enough to see how all the threads of every action of every living creature make, unmake and make the whole over and over again.

And what if we began to trust that every cross word, every loss, every change, every reaction, every action, every thought, word and deed is part of a bigger picture that we can never see or understand?

And what if it is all guided by an unseen hand?

Am I talking about God?

No, not in the sense I understood God, as a young person attending Protestant Church of England services. Not an external deity.

I’m talking about the mystery behind life which I don’t understand.

So what is the point of looking in this direction?

Some may call it delusional but if it is, for me, it’s a helpful delusion.

The sense of Wisdom at play does several things for me.

It allows me to relax more into whatever is happening in my head and just go about my day.

After all, inside our mind is where the drama of our lives plays out

Realising I don’t need to understand, nor do I need to make sense of my experience in terms of analysing, explaining or justifying it, gives me welcome permission to simply experience whatever is running through me at any given time. To act or rest with less and less comparing, judging, analysing and drawing conclusions.

Worrying less about the tumult of feelings running through me, means I sometimes, get to pay less attention to them, and when I pay less attention to them I start noticing some interesting things:

  • How changeable my experience is: one moment, still and contented, the next teary, comic, manic, reflective, insecure. Like xx men lining up.
  • My experience is not directly related to what is happening out there (what is even happening out there? All I can see from my window is a peaceful sunny street).
  • How thankful I am that my experience keeps changing regardless of circumstances, as my mother used to say to me when my children where toddlers and I was tearing my hair out about the latest phase, ‘if you don’t like what’s showing up now, there’ll be a different phase along soon’. That alone is a huge help. Short hand – this too shall pass.
  • When I begin to trust that every experience is brought to me by Wisdom, my own bespoke navigational system, it takes a big load off. It’s not all up to me, I don’t have to fix/control/sort out everything.
  • I don’t have to like every experience; that’s not the point. If I think of Wisdom in action it can get me wondering how being uncomfortable, scared, confused might be ’in service’. That can lead to some shedding as I get radically honest with myself. Perhaps feeling like I can’t cope is protective, stopping me from taking on too much.
  • A productive day is nice and I’m grateful
  • A day of feeling lost, weepy and wandering round my place, not knowing what to do, is probably also a gift, even if I can’t see it. A ‘step off the bus day’, allowing my system some down time and much needed release and reset.
  • Feeling guilty about my privilege is a herald of gratitude
  • Wondering about how everything is ‘in service’ expands my heart.
  • The story of a woman complaining loudly about the socially distanced queueing in the local food store, reminds me we do not know what is going on in people’s heads nor what might be awaiting them at home or work. Following this woman’s reactions and actions (trying to sneak into the front of the queue) led another woman to offer her place in the queue.
  • Seeing others’ heartache and vulnerability shared openly and honestly; touching a place in my heart that floods me with compassion one day and walling up against the flood the next. Both gifts to self and others
  • My human system, our human system, the system of life moving, shifting, creating, sustaining, destroying over again responding, reacting, and interacting simultaneously in billions and billions of unseen movements from the cellular level to the level of continental drift.
  • Seeing service in the sunny days and the wet. Service in the arguments and the love. The possibility of service in the violence and the loss (yes, that is hard).
  • Looking for and trusting in the unseen hand of Wisdom and wondering about the act of service inherent in every breath of life, doesn’t lead to passivity or not caring, on the contrary it opens us up to ever richer, more high definition participation in the web of Life.
  • Knowing we cannot see the significance of our tiny part but just knowing that it has significance. Knowing only that we are part of something far bigger, far more beautiful, far kinder than we could ever know.

What if, at every turn, our rage, our despair, our hopelessness, our joy, our tenderness, they are all in service. Our judging, our taking offence, our numbness, our reaching out; they are all in service.

What if our fascination with our small selves and others fades, as we get to wonder at the marvel of Life in motion, ever ceaseless motion, and wonder at the gift of consciousness, that allows us to have a sense of that motion. Every twinge we feel in muscle, heart or gut, is a note in the human string section, that is joined with the grand orchestra of all living creatures.

NOTE

This article was written 29 March 2020. Since then I have begun an exploration into uncovering my hidden biases around racism and so I pondered about whether to publish this article now or not. In the end, I am publishing it as a record of what I saw at that time. Every moment feels like the moment to look unflinchingly at what we are up to. Consider if words, thoughts and deeds are self-serving, protecting our ego, our privilege or are they in service to something bigger than us? Are we willing to open our hearts, to surrender, to be wrong, to discover new horizons?, to surrender, to be wrong, to discover new horizons?

What are you seeing around being in service? What are you curious about?

The benefit of the doubt

The benefit of the doubt

‘We’re all in the same storm but we’re not all in the same boat.’

This quote is a lovely reminder that every person’s experience is unique to them in every moment.

Through the Daily Gathering and other conversations I’m noticing how, whatever the circumstances: very busy, houseful, working from home with adult children returned or young children. Income disappearing or threatened; furloughed; retired; physically unwell; physically fit there is something obvious but easy to overlook: we are all having ups and downs, regardless of our circumstances.

It’s good to notice how, when we feel irked and frustrated then the world looks annoying and difficult (and our stress looks bigger and more important than everyone else’s); when we feel relaxed and content then we tend to have more perspective, humour and tolerance. We don’t tend to focus on the past or future too much and simply go about our day, finding it easier to deal with what comes up or able to wait until a solution occurs.

When we’re out of sorts, we tend to be more reactive and that looks different for different people. Some get spiky, loud and aggressive; some go quiet and hide, some lose focus and get weepy. Some do that to a large degree; others to a lesser degree.

The point?

Going in and out of different states of mind is entirely normal and is not a result of this pandemic. It happens anyway, all the time, to everyone.

It may look as though you are more up and down just now and that may seem to be the result of the pandemic but actually it may simply be that things that have always been true are becoming more visible to you.

Things like certainty. You may have feelings of anxiety and panic which look tied to the loss of certainty around eg income, plans or visiting family members.

Yet all our lives we have come up against things that didn’t go to plan. Mostly, after we’ve got over our upset or disappointment, something occurs to us which helps us navigate the new situation. It’s good to remember we have this innate capacity to deal with what arises, once our mind settles down. s

That can lead to noticing that things were never really certain, we just liked to believe they were. In fact, certainty around anything (except death and taxes) is an illusion.

That can be pretty uncomfortable if you’re wellbeing looks tied to your income or your plans or your time with family.

When, however, you get a glimpse of how your experience is constantly fluctuating from relaxation to tension, feelings of hope to feelings of irritation and everything in between, you might begin to wonder how your feeling state could possibly be a measure of your wellbeing, given how arbitrary and changeable it is, regardless of the circumstances.

What if there is something unaffected by any particular state of mind you might be experiencing? What if there is wellbeing at your core that is not subject to your moods or external circumstances?

As we get curious about that, we start to notice when we’re relaxed, curious and open, life feels easier, solutions occur to us, we can find joy in the small and ordinary moments of life.

We get less fascinated by what we might happen to be feeling in any given moment and more interested in what powers this whole thing called human experience.

That exploration can lead to feeling more grounded, more able to experience ups and downs with less suffering, doing less harm to yourself and others and finding unexpected joy and peace in the midst of the most unusual circumstances.

You know this at some level.

When the world looks and feels crazy to you, something is calling you home to a deeper understanding of your essence.

So really this is just to say, give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt. We all do and say daft things when we’re agitated and the world looks bleak when we’re down.

But like the weather in the UK, the dark clouds pass and the sun comes out again at some point. Knowing that, can help us weather the ups and downs without getting too stuck into our clouded (distorted) points of view.

Knowing things will look less daunting in time and we’ll suffer less if we can leave our negative thinking alone and just go about our day as best we can.

In the meantime, I love the Irish saying,

‘A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures’

Happy weekend!

Reflections on loss

Reflections on loss

Photograph © Juliet Fay San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge 5.30pm Thursday 19 March 2020

Author’s note: I’m now safely back in the UK, and in a period of 14 days of self-isolation, though feeling fine.

As is I sit at Gate 6 tonight waiting to board one of the few flights departing San Francisco, bound for London, the mood is subdued. It’s a ghost town.

The lack of tannoy announcements emphasises just how severe the curtailment of air travel has been in so very few days. A shadow of its former self, the daily commute over San Francisco bridge had melted away.

At the airport, face masks and gloves are common on staff and passengers. A little more distance is offered and sought. The much loved hum of a busy transport hub is eerily absent.

Tears today as I leave my love in California, not knowing when we’ll see each other again. Wanting to stay yet knowing it’s time to go (while it’s still possible).

Feeling such gratitude for all the unseen hands that made this journey possible: the gentle telephone operator at British Airways, the staff at the airport and the crews who are taking so many of us home.

Suddenly so many in the frontline are becoming visible to us all

Yesterday my 16 year old daughter called me, in shock at the announcement of school closure and the sudden cancellation of the summer exams.

Something she, and many like her, sitting milestone exams have focused on for many months. She was in a turmoil, as were her friends. The future they’ve imagined dissolved by the utterance of a few words carried on the airwaves from a distant seat of government, just one of the myriad responses to a threat we cannot see.

It reminded me of when I lost my father suddenly 20 years ago. ‘Your father has died’; four small words whispered into my just waking ear, and my world spun, dissolved and I lost two weeks as my mind tried to catch up with the new reality that didn’t include my Dad.

I’m struck by how we are collectively reeling from loss upon loss, as the world we know transforms before our eyes. And this will continue. We are losing loved ones, mobility, function, jobs, routines, pay packets, income, contracts, goals, freedoms, trips, hugs, closeness, autonomy; we are losing our certainties and the security of our imagined futures.

And this can feel scary, like being in free-fall

And you begin to see that loss is a universal human experience from the seemingly minor; losing keys to what we consider major losses, like redundancy and bereavement. The emotions we feel at times of loss can be heightened, contradictory and obey no rhyme or reason.

Feelings of shock, disbelief, numbness, anger, despair, frustration, black humour, hopelessness and profound, heart wrenching sadness tumble through in no particular order. We catch our breath at the force of the waves of emotion crashing under our ribs.

And I am seeing anew the wisdom of our body mind system in the face of what can feel like a ceaseless battery of loss.

When our minds shut down, it is wisdom gently and beautifully saying ‘enough’ with trying to think your way through this. You can’t.

The body wisdom takes over to give your poor system a much needed breather. When tears fall at the security gate, the body is releasing pent up emotion that wants only to wash through. When the noise of unexpectedly ‘at home’, arguing children feels unbearable and you get propelled outside to breathe the cool night air, that is wisdom nudging you to minimise harm in the moment and give you a mini refresh.

When tempers flare and fights break out over toilet rolls in the aisles, or cereal at breakfast time, that too is a kind of wisdom, the misdirected survival instinct grabbing onto what looks like it would bring some comfort and security in these times of blindly charting the unknown territory ahead. The power surging through our systems, reminding us forcefully that we’re alive and being alive is a precious gift.

In some of the programmes I’ve delivered at a local mental health charity, loss is a recurring theme, but so too is renewal. As we adapt to living without the thing, function, person or imagined future we held so dear (and let’s admit, took for granted often), something gently beckons our attention.

It is the space that holds the loss. As we loosen our grip on the loss, our focal-length changes and the space comes into view. It is the space of the not yet known, the space of possibility, the space of infinite wisdom. The space where something new can flourish and grow.

And something new, always, always begins with a fresh thought

Throughout our lives, we have faced loss after loss and sometimes, without us even noticing that loss is transmuted into something achingly beautiful.

In the stinging freshness of raw loss, like lemon juice in a cut, we can’t conceive how this event could feel anything other than piercingly painful and yet, and yet our minds refresh our perspective again and again sometimes over years until one day, we think of the loss with gratitude and tenderness, as the kaleidoscope of experience is seen from the distance of months or years and its wondrous pattern is revealed.

And too, among the losses we think we cannot bear, we notice losses that leave us lighter of heart. Losing grudges, bitterness, jealousy, resentments, worrying, comparing, judging, criticising, competing, self-importance, fascination with our selves and being constantly offended or outraged. Finding the trivial and petty gently releasing its grip on us. These things lose their importance as the bigger picture comes into sharp relief.

And in their place we discover a new found kindness, compassion, humour, warmth and wonder spontaneously arising at this being human business.

And it gradually dawns on us we never did have control and our futures were never certain, we just told ourselves they were.

And while we have been going about our days, every day, millions have been experiencing loss and renewal over and over again. Because this is the nature of life.

These losses, the gentle falling away of beliefs, concepts and ideas that keep us grasping blindly for certainties that do not exist, these are the treasures. These are gifts. Like scales falling from our eyes, they enable us to feel our shared humanity, our intimate interconnectedness.

As our sense of separation recedes, the world can transform before our eyes

And transforming it is.

As the world’s foot eases back on the accelerator of intense human activity we notice losses we can marvel at: the loss of air pollution letting great swathes of urban populations breathe easier; the loss of noise pollution, as that background cacophony subsides, we notice birdsong and the sigh of wind in the trees; as the waterways of Venice are recovering from years of pollution, stories of sparkling clear water; as the rush of the commute grinds to a halt, couples, families, neighbours and communities are discovering each other, as if for the first time.

And as with any adjustment, at first it may be bumpy, but as we collectively re-set, we may uncover something extraordinarily beautiful in the ordinariness of just being, being alive, loving each other, helping each other, caring for the earth and all its creatures.

We are already seeing things that looked inconceivable just last week (some countries are ahead of others with this, but surely more will follow?): financial support for the vulnerable, sharing of resources more equitably, care for those who are scared, failing, lonely or sick. Businesses turning their resources towards the common good, people offering their skills, time, expertise or funds to help others.

A collective reset on what we value: the carers, the teachers, the healthcare workers, the trash collectors, the childcare providers, the farmers and growers, the volunteers, the millions of helpers who have always been there. And that’s just in the short term.

A volunteer working on our organic veg box scheme in the 1990s, wisely observed (having grown up in Chile):

‘the two most undervalued roles in the Western world are: raising children and growing food; yet they are fundamental to life’.

Volunteer Tony

Perhaps that is about to change.

Imagine what this upheaval and loss may open up in the longer term. New ways of working; new types of economies, new ways of caring for ourselves, each other and our planet.

Now at this time of accelerated loss, let’s collectively join hands in virtual solidarity as we open our hearts and eyes wide to the grief yes, but also to the unimaginable vastness of the unknown which has always been before us.

We like to make up certainties because we imagine that way safety lies. Those certainties obscure the fact that your next moment to moment experience is entirely unknown and up for grabs. Not what’s going to happen out there but what your ever changing experience is inside.

And change does not have to take years or be hard.

Innovation is the offspring of chaos

And what initiates innovation? Simply, a new thought that takes you not just to an adjustment but to an as yet unknown reality that can arrive in the mind of a person or a group in the blink of an eye.

And innovation creates its own momentum. Instead of seeing reasons why not, we begin to see possibilities we never imagined.

Now is not the time for timid steps, but for giant leaps of faith

As those certainties dissolve, we may discover in the midst of our grief, something extraordinary and yet so simple. Something we’ve always known.

Certainties are false idols

They do not provide the security we crave. That comes from within. From a deep knowing that we are intimately and intricately connected to all life. A knowing that what arises in us and through us comes from a far greater intelligence than we can comprehend.

A knowing that life is a mystery and that’s what makes it so profoundly awe inspiring. Knowing too that change is the only constant. Experience is life in motion. All the ups and downs, highs and lows, that’s what life is, a wild ride and we are asked simply to surrender to it.

Feeling the pull, following the thread of what our hearts know is true, grounds us into a quiet knowing, a knowing that ‘all shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well’ (Julian of Norwich) even as we grip the rails for this white knuckle ride. When it neither looks nor feels okay.

As we begin to wonder at what powers us, and all life, we begin to see certainties are nothing more than a figment of our imagination. Let’s face it: sometimes things work out as we planned; mostly they don’t. In the end, there is nothing but this present moment.

The past has gone; the future will never happen. The present is all you can ever lose

As we reel from loss upon loss, take heart dear ones, open your heart to all of it: the outrageous grief, the disbelief, the dismay the howling hysterics as toddlers, teenagers and adults with jangled nerves throw tantrums right, left and centre and let those things course through you like the storms they are.

And as they subside, let your heart overflow with the unbearable tenderness of memories of loved ones, moments of raucous laughter, sunlight falling on the kitchen sink and inappropriate belly laughs that lighten the weight of fear.

And notice, just there, just out of focus is a sense of peace, amid the cacophony of unchained emotion. Look to it.

Know that all this is just the ride, not the essence of what we are. Take your time, be gentle, wrap yourself in love and more love; care for yourself as if you were indeed just getting over ‘the flu’.

As I sit, high above the clouds in an Airbus flying over Greenland, appreciating the magic and the mayhem of air travel (and wondering how the industry may evolve), I recall the lovely story of the Chinese farmer. This is how I remember it….

There was once a poor Chinese farmer who had a horse he used to plough his field. One day, the horse escaped and ran away. The farmers’ neighbours rushed round when they heard the news and said, ‘how terrible!’ The Chinese farmer replied,

“We’ll see”

The next day, the farmer heard the sound of hooves approaching. His horse had returned bringing with him a wild horse. The farmer opened the gate and in they came. When his neighbour’s heard about this great good fortune, they came rushing round to see the new horse. ‘How wonderful’, they said. The Chinese farmer replied,

“We’ll see”

The following day, the farmer’s son, excited by the arrival of the wild horse, decided to try and ride it. The horse bolted and the young man was thrown to the ground, breaking his leg in the fall. The neighbours, eager to commiserate at this terrible bad luck, came to visit saying, ‘how awful, what will you do?”. The Chinese farmer replied

“We’ll see”

The country was at war and the very next day the local recruiting officer arrived to conscript the young men from the village. The Chinese farmer’s son was not fit for duty and so they passed him over. The neighbours heard the news, and were eager to congratulate the farmer on his good fortune. But the Chinese farmer replied, you guessed it,

“We’ll see”

Wishing you all well at this time.

Love Juliet

Afterword: As I opened my front door after 24 hours of travel, I marvelled at how the inspiration to write this came through and occupied me on and off through the long, long journey, away from my love, towards home. The kindness of wisdom can be breathtaking.