IMG_0064Nothing makes sense for long.  It’s been a more than usually contradictory week.

I read with horror of the treatment being meted out to dolphins by Japanese fishermen – and the very next day, find out on Twitter that Bottlenose dolphins sleep with one side of their brain at a time so they can still swim to the surface to breathe.   One half of the world is slaughtering the same creatures the other half is protecting, admiring and recognising as intelligent beings.

In the UK couples spend months if not years being approved to adopt one small child, while in Syria thousands of children are killed, injured, watch their parents die, or are herded into refugee camps, orphaned and starving.

There are too many examples of these irreconcilable contradictions. I don’t see how we can make them fit into a pattern or see them as part of a coherent world.  Maybe we have to accept that opposites co-exist and do what little we can to ameliorate the worst excesses of the terrible things that happen day after day.  Our own little lives seem trivial in the face of war and destitution, cruelty and torture.

We persist with them.  Il faut cultivier son jardin, as Voltaire suggests, though not literally right now, since everything out of doors is bleak and greyish brown.  Still, the other day, raking up twigs and other debris from a newly cleared space at the bottom of the garden, I found a brave snowdrop just showing white, and carefully removed dead leaves from around it, giving it breathing room, and an encouraging word.

I did mean my first blog in 2014 (and I do intend to write them a bit more regularly than once a year….) to be something cheerful, but I’ll post some photos soon, at least.  This kind of thing is on my mind particularly just now because my birthday is tomorrow, and there’s another year I’ve never been on a protest march, never signed up to anything much, protested in my head, been upset and disturbed, sent money sometimes, but not often enough, and been indignant only in the kitchen, reading the Guardian or listening to Radio 4 and shouting at the kettle my anger and disbelief.

I bet I’m not the only one, though that’s hardly an excuse.

One thing we can do is sign petitions. It’s not much but we should put our names to our beliefs at least.   I’ve never sent out anything like this before, but despite the birthday, it’s never too late to start.