I’ve been deep into a book, Charlottle Gray by Sebastian Faulks, which I finished last night. The part set in Drancy and then Auschwitz was devastating… because it felt so real. Yes, it’s fiction, but it’s also true that a version of this story really did happen, over and over.
I can’t get it out of my head. Even in my yoga class this morning it was there like a view from a window – the brutality of humans towards humans.
What is it for, this counterfeit grief?
People who see too much of the brutality of the world are often ruined. Often they can’t recover from it, their lives become hollow, staining the lives of people who love them.
What can we do with awareness of injustice and brutality if we can’t go and actively try to change it. Write about it? And if we haven’t experienced it, but only imagined it, what then can we do of use?
Perhaps try to live with perspective, with feet planted in the wider world, in what happened before and what is happening now.
Perpective! is one of my resolutions this new year (a new year is as good a time as any for resolutions). Also ‘try to be kinder’. And to write more, read more – do fewer busy things.
Watching the end of a programme about the Galopagos islands yesterday, seeing those immense, extraordinary tortoises lumber through the grass, wallow in a lake, just being… I wanted to be there. I wanted to be.