There are many things I don’t know.
I don’t know how to persuade my dog to stop ‘playing’ with possessions in my absence. In the last couple of months he has destroyed a pair of glasses, a video played remote control, a wicker-work waste bin, two pairs of sandals, and chewed through (another) lead because he objected to being outside a cafe when I was inside. I do know that he is a dog, and that dogs need to find things to do when they get bored or lonely, and that they don’t understand the nature of the object with which they are ‘playing’. It appears that what is mine is his also.
I don’t really know how to be in a world in which every person I pass in the street is an individual, with hopes, dreams, fears, history, loves, secrets. I feel almost overwhelmed by the intersection, no matter how fleeting, of one life with another in passing moments of connection. Looking out of the window of a well-known multinational coffee chain, on my second cup of coffee (free refills), human beings saunter or stride past. Some are alone, some in groups, pairs, families of all descriptions. None are unimportant, none are to be discounted. All would be fascinating to meet and know. I am glad that we have been given the capacity for love and relationship, and glad that we have the capacity to limit how many people we can see inside.
I don’t know how to help create a world where all are accepted and enabled to flourish, no matter their gender, or their sexual preferences. I do know that I want all to flourish without shame or needing to hide who they are.
I absolutely don’t know what parliament should have decided this week in the vote about airstrikes in Syria. I do know that I am glad that we aren’t sucked in to another conflict in another country, with more deaths. I also know that I am at a loss to know what else we, in fact what I, can do to help the people of Syria who are caught in the out-workings of citizens trying to resist an abusive regime. I wish it were easier, like sorting out playground scraps. I wish I knew.
I do know, however, that I am glad I am alive. If I weren’t alive then I wouldn’t have reversed into my neighbour’s car last weekend, and I wouldn’t have the repair bill to pay. That sort of thing happens when you are alive, no matter how careful you try to be. If I weren’t alive then I wouldn’t be angry at injustice and pain. If I weren’t alive I wouldn’t feel the pleasure of my dog licking my hand as he curls up in the crook of my knees with his head on my leg. If I weren’t alive I wouldn’t feel the exhilaration of singing in a choir that can make fabulous music.
This I know.