A Bit Of This and That!

Ah, love, let us be to true

To  one another! for the world, which seems

To lie before us like a land of dreams,

So various, so beautiful, so new,

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

And we are here as on a darkling plain

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold


In reference to my post of quite a while back, Frank Ligtvoet, an adoptive father, tweeted “Von Coated on ‘Realistic preparation’ for first mothers”. It amused me so much I’m still smiling about it. He must love language as much as I do! or maybe he, like me  loves to cook and he was thinking of a juicy schnitzel, or a trio of lentil patties coated in almond flour or crushed peanuts. If you follow me on Facebook you may have noticed I have a page called “Food, Glorious Food”, a collection of recipes with a few articles on nutrition or health thrown in to leaven the mix or sometimes it seems the opposite. Life can get far too serious in adoptionland and others interests/obsessions/addictions can be our life-savers. We all have to eat and our choices so often depend on finances, our beliefs or ethics. When they do it is vital to think it through carefully and thoroughly so that we are making the best of what we have. That applies to our budget however large or small and it is amazing what we can do with little money if we plan, give ourselves time and make the most of a little. For instance, most of us eat too much protein, particularly animal protein and the obscenity of some meals we view on Facebook for instance can leave us with serious nausea and distaste. Many families now have Meatless Monday if they want to make a gesture but not go the full hog, if you’ll pardon the pun! Others are turning to veganism or vegetarianism with enthusiasm  and may find it preferable providing they watch the nutrition. I cannot stress too much how vital it is to get enough vitamins and to ensure that deficiencies don’t ruin your health, your body and your ability to enjoy life.

Surgery can alter the way our bodies deal with Vitamin B12 and in my case I will be having a B12 injection every month for the rest of my life. Also a Vitamin D ‘bomb’ of 100.000U. While neither of those things are a great hardship, the effects of the deficiencies are and my disability has affected my life severely. The list of things I can’t do is far longer than the list of things I can do. Just as adoptees get sick of being told how to deal with their ‘adoptedness’ and live their lives, so it is for some of us with disabilities. We are told we can cure it all if we give up all negativity and live with the positive, if we forgive all who have hurt or abused us, offended or betrayed us, if we have the right diet, pray the right prayers, keep the right company, cultivate the right attitude and do away with all the ‘negative’ emotions, mainly anger. Anger is a healthy emotion, we express our disgust, opposition, repulsion and feelings so that we don’t bottle them, hold onto them, brood on them, allow them to fester. It is how we deal with anger that is important and that we do deal with it that matters.

We are living in times of great change when there are many things we could be angry about, many people we could be angry with and many complex situations that fill us with angry feelings. We live with the frustration of feeling powerless, scared, uncertain, doomed, rudderless and perhaps scorned by the rest of the world, perhaps disrespected, belittled, pitied or laughed at.  These are hard times; many are turning to the comfort of the lessons from the past, music from past difficult times, public figures who inspired, provided leadership and guidance and the comfort of our own secure places, our homes and families, our principles and well – tested ethics, books and movies we love. We need to nurture ourselves, our loved ones and loved places and ideals and to be in the best shape we can for what is coming. We need to be ready to embrace big changes, to make big changes and decisions and to stand with others. Already we are seeing those with courage and conviction standing tall, expressing their anger, their hopes, their dreams, taking risks for the future, the future of us all. Those made timid and frightened  are hovering around the edges, criticising, carping, be-littling, bullying, preaching, bemoaning and practising the tried and tested methods of misogyny, racism, disabilism, pity and alternate facts. They will shout, have tantrums, mansplaining, breadcrumb, ignore, abuse, freeze out, lie, jostle and ignore.

One of the saddest things I’ve seen in the last few weeks has been Melania arriving with her Tiffany gift box, ignored and left behind in a gesture so disrespectful and vainglorious it takes the breath away. It seems so symbolic of our times. How quickly we seem to have arrived at this point and what a long time it will take to get us to a new place, a comfortable place of compassion, caring and consideration. My country has been insulted by a buffoon, someone it is hard to take seriously, but who holds the power to plunge us into something the like of which we’ve so far not seen. Many of us believe we should back away slowly as from a rabid dog, a striking venomous snake or a psychopath with a weapon. Perhaps we should demand all bases be closed, all troops removed and try to regain our integrity, our independence and our self – respect. We have prostituted ourselves, been America’s whore.  Perhaps it’s time to cosy up with our old neighbour and ally  New Zealand, if they’ll have us!


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