… the tedious thoughts of redundant species …

That’s my poet speaking … ignore for now.

My poet sits in a corner, banned, feeling dejected, with shaking head, upset about my philosopher’s need to fret about social realities, which, however, can’t be ignored. So there goes …

With longstanding friends around the world, and across the channel between Britain and the continent, my kind feels stranded on this island. By my kind I mean ordinary people, who took opportunities to travel, read, are forever curious and learned to be tolerant of differnces.

Where time ago, I used to send well over 100 Xmas cards, this is now too costly. I discovered that posting a card/letter to Europe, for example, has gone up to nearly £2.00. Recently I sent a slim book to Amsterdam, at standard rate for £9.00. When the book hadn’t arrived after four weeks, seemingly lost, I sent another copy, this time with tracking and signature request, costing £13.65 – a week passed, and it has not arrived.

I feel my roots being severed, much like what happens with the ruthless assault on nature, perpetuated by ignorance of politicians and the greed of heedless corporations. My network of connections is resigned to the Metaverse, devoid of touch and smell.

The physical world has become bothersome, unprofitable.

In that vein … banks are closing, arguing that ‘most’ people bank online. Small post-offices are closing for not being cost-effective; supermarket checkouts are replaced by self-scanning ports in order to save on personnel, and small shops fold, since rents are becoming untenable.

And I, by using a simple mobile, not a smart phone, am already a redundant species.

My lot could be worse. My son is caring and offers support, as do friends when they sense I’m struggling. But there are large sections of our societies who, be it through age, or dire lack of resources, are cast into isolation. This is wrong, and ultimately creates germs of stress, depression and, basically, insanity, affecting every age group. Beyond shelter and food, people want to feel useful. They need community, connections, and companionships. It’s not just the aging or impoverished citizens, or migrants, but generally many dispirited young people who experience a lack of meaningful social engagement.

The decline of spaces where people can meet face to face and chat requires novel solutions.

For decades I envisioned housing projects, with accommodations of varied sizes, where young and old people could occupy independent units around a kind of village green, with a communal building at its centre. Apart from a shared space for meetings and celebrations, this building could house a shared library and IT facilities accessible to everyone. Residents could look after each other and offer their skills on a voluntary basis. All sorts of mutual exchanges could happen, from childcare to animal sharing, transport sharing, tool sharing, skill sharing, sharing of knowledge, therapeutic activities. I also imagine an art studio, and a vegetable/flower garden, tended by those who love gardening – the list is endless. More than a dream, it is achievable. This way of living may not suit everyone, but what’s in the way of such housing projects to happen on a large scale?

I’m not an influencer. I can’t make enough people believe in enlightened social projects to make them manifest. Many influencers, who reach the political stage, have to sadly compromise the integrity of their ideals on the way up the slippery pole. So my various great ideas over the last decades, like this one …  https://courseofmirrors.com/2012/05/15/is-a-parent-ever-unemployed/ … are slumbering, awaiting their time. I’m surely not the only one who mulls over solutions to the sad state of affairs around the world.

With hard work and scarce financial gain I did manifest a few worthwhile social visions over the years … art projects, therapy groups, support groups for carers, an independent living project for people with disabilities. At one point I even won a care in the community award for a charity. I co-facilitated creative workshops in many prisons, set up by a friend, who also achieved funding via the Arts Council. There was a time when I ran training courses for Parent Link facilitators, to prepare parents and teachers to run a 12 session course on reflective listening. The charity was celebrated by all course participants, but needed a fundraiser. Half-hearted promises of government support never happened, so the marvellous brainchild of the founders of the Parent Network charity, Ivan Sokolov and Jacquie Pearson had to fold.

These days I’m done with groups; the many wonderful groups I supported, and was supported by, now appear in my time-travelling novels.

I glance at my poet, my wise poet nods, with a shy smile, and says, “All is Well.”


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15 responses to “… the tedious thoughts of redundant species …

  1. At least you actually DID things!… I just make music or translate.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, life has become ridiculously expensive. I too used to send out 100 Christmas cards with notes in them. Now, I wish Christmas and the holidays would go away!

    I used to do many different crafts, but they have slowly evaporated as I can’t afford the materials need to make things I really don’t need.

    Life has changed and I keep looking for things I enjoy doing, like walking the streets of Poulsbo and the marina there, chatting with people and petting their dogs. At least I should be able to continue this part of life that I enjoy and can afford.

    Keep up the GREAT work!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, and good on you, Gwynn. I looked up Poulsbo … a charming Little Norway located on the Kitsap Peninsula overlooking Liberty Bay. Waterfront restaurants, art galleries, shops … Marina …

      A stroll on a marina sounds enjoyable.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. So much resonance here, too much to comment on – or I”d be writing down each line with a response … Just before reading this, I was perusing the most recent OnBeing letter and this: “…Michael McCarthy’s evocative understanding that the natural world is the original source of our imagination and all of our metaphors.” I love the concept of the living community with shared central resources/facilities. A dream my daughter articulated at the tender age of 5 or less. Thank you for so much to ponder on this unseasonably warm November day.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful one in a corner! I don’t know why it reminds me of Dostoyevsky. 😉💖 Anyway, have good luck with everything you have in mind. 🌹

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks ♥
    In troubled times, taking refuge in a corner is the thing, especially for poets and writers. I just reminded myself – Dostoevsky spent four years in a Siberian prison camp, followed by six years of compulsory military service in exile.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ashen, I share your vision of housing projects that bring all generations together in shared spaces. Though I’ve never visited or lived in such a housing project, I know that they do already exist. You can learn more at Transition Network and Global Ecovillage Network > Your contributions to community projects in the past are not lost and, I’m sure, continue to bear fruit. The ripple effect of our actions over space and time is real and not always in humanity’s best interest > Over the years, I’ve had to adapt and reinvent myself to different times and personal circumstances. I miss the face to face contact and stimulating discussions with my writing friends. But there are still many opportunities for meaningful contact with my neighbors and other individuals I meet when I venture out into public spaces. All is well ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Rosaliene. Yes, every action ripples out. One should take comfort in that, regarding the positive efforts one makes to better the conditions of people. I have explored the Eco village network. Good projects do exist, which cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Rob Leech

    Thanks Ashen. I am sure you speak eloquently for many of us. I feel its becoming increasingly and starkly clear that the totality of the way the great majority of humanity live now is unsustainable at every level…..materially, psychologically and spiritually. It almost feels as if we need to rub the slate clean, going back a long, long way…….and start again. Of course Nature may end up doing this for us.
    That said, there are many promising healthy-looking shoots and buds in the garden which can give us reasons for hope, with their roots both in ancient wisdom and practices and the best of modern science……that is science harnessed to the service of the planet and humanity rather than the profits of vast, greedy corporations and psychopathic politicians.
    Like you, I increasingly find my main solace in the poet and mystic…..in my case recently it was the simple Sanskrit word repeated three times which concludes the Wasteland by TS Eliot……”shanti, shanti, shanti”……peace in body, speech and mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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