"Do not believe that the aged believe. Any more
than the young, the safe. I cannot foretell
my conclusion. Just that increasingly, my body
is parts: the hand in its dappled glove-work of skin,
the ribcage, the knee. And what of the self,
progenitor of the naming? "
From 'An Old Woman's Meditation' by Linda Bierds.
So I take my weeks with a grain of salt. Sometimes I just need a while to find a lead into the right poem or the right thing to say. And sometimes it's so busy poetry just doesn't sink in. But then there it was, this poem by Linda Bierds. I'm reading her Ghost Trio. It's one of few poetry collections where even those rare poems I feel no immediate connection with are still able to pack a punch.
"Do not believe that the aged believe" - that triggered me. It made me think of the British referendum. They say that the elderly in general voted to Leave, while the young wanted to remain and will now have to face the consequences of the Brexit for far longer than those old Leavers. Do the aged dream of a better past and the young of a better future? I don't know. There's only today. And today we're still witnessing a country split down the middle, falling apart.
There's a lot to be said about the Brexit, for or against. There's also a lot to be said about the EU, for or against. In fact, so much has been said, I'm lost. I find only arguments, parts, perspectives. Perhaps postmodernism was right after all - there's no grand narrative, only fragments.
A grand narrative, that's what Europe was supposed to be. And I like that idea. The whole being greater than the sum of its part. That's got traction. But all too often we see the whole ignores the parts, or feels better than the parts or downright forgets about its parts.
To work together, we have to let something go. The sense of self, the want for control. You can't cooperate and manipulate at the same time. It's one or the other. And the wonderful thing is, when you do let go, when you set your 'self' free, when you stop marking territory, when you give up control, more often than not you gain more than you had in the first place. But I guess that's Eastern Union.
I'm afraid we have along way still to go until we're whole.