But how does one go about translating the theological equivalent of Donne’s “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” to an angsty teenager in 2019? How is this shared with a youngster, the product of capitalistic and atomised personal nihilism and pervasive cultural pessimism? Nothing makes me fear for the future of faith more than the thought that an uncrossable chasm has opened between the generations of our grandparents and that of their grandchildren.
Yet, the fact remains that the politics of independence is a national movement locked in an existential struggle with the British state and all the poison that that can bring to the fight. Not being the most social of people, “Jihadi Jason” – iScot Magazine’s witty new epithet for me – is all about winning the fight. Truth be told, I don’t feel particularly loyal to the Scottish National Party or to any pro-independence party. Political parties are useful instruments, but we mustn’t forget that they are also very human institutions. They attract professionals and careerists – journeymen.
“We should be enraged by this.” At least I could relate to this, but even this is of limited value. We are already enraged and my thought on this is that our rage has confused us every bit as much as the political inaction and complicity.
I’m thinking now that Coco was right. I am a cynic, but this takes nothing from my optimism. The opposite of optimism is pessimism, and I am not a pessimist – however much the world gives us cause to abandon all hope.
In spite of my best efforts Easter was a lost cause today, and I do not feel up to the task of taking on the martial element of what replaced it. Yet I cannot let it pass without protest, and for this reason I want to think about peace – because this is what both celebrations should have been about.
Looking in the mirror no longer shows me an image of how I think I look. Now it asks me questions about the future and reminds me that I am no longer the fairest in the land. My young maths students crack the odd joke about me developing bald spot and I find myself envying their youth and stupidity.
Fifty isn’t old. She always insisted that she wasn’t our mother, but sometimes she sort of was. She has always been great to have on side, and has been one of those folk you had to work at to keep sweet. She never put up with half-hearted attempts at friendship. It seemed at times that she was hard work, but in a good way. She never talked down the people around her. Condescension wasn’t her thing. She wanted everyone to be at her level, which was grand until she got her doctorate.
Today and tonight it is this peace we wish one another, and hope to share together; a peace that surpasses mere silence and reaches out in peace to bring peace to others. This Peace I wish you tonight, on this your last sleep before Santa comes.