Writing comes in fits and starts. Or it does with me, anyway.
It’s not like sadness or loneliness which ebbs in and out of your life, it’s more like grief that smacks you in the face when you least expect it.
Since I’ve last written, terrorism attacks have happened in both London and Manchester, both with devastating consequences. Devastating consequences aren’t reserved for terrorism though, thousands of innocent people have been killed in the Middle East and whilst I understand the frenzy of fear surrounding the latest terror attacks, ‘terror’ isn’t just inflicted by suicide bombers but by governments too, it just doesn’t make the front page of a newspaper anymore.
To be good at my job, I’ve got to keep abreast of current affairs and thankfully it’s something I enjoy too. Recently, however, the slew of darkness, misconduct and impending doom (thanks, Trump) seems to be stifling the best of me; the passion, the imagination and the innovation I know I have inside. The battles I’m usually ready for, the fight for womens’ equality, the struggle for good over evil (again, thanks Trump) and even the battle for the Irish language (ok, not Trump’s fault) feel like they’re ebbing away, being replaced with a blind eye. I feel deeply unsettled about how the world is unfolding in front of us, in which the gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’ in so many spheres seems to be widening at a rate of knots.
I am more aware than ever of my privileged position in the world, even in Irish life. I have my health, I have my family and friends, I even have the job I’ve always wanted. All of this is wonderful, fulfilling stuff. I, being one of those self-involved ‘millennials’ should be grateful and believe me, I am. But beyond the derrogatory label of millennial, there is a soul. And that soul knows not one of these facts are going to fix the world. It is not going to stop the polarisation of people, the murder of the innocent or the persecution of the most vulnerable. At the moment, that is what smacks me in the face, almost every day (one more time, thanks Trump).
I would like to pay tribute to Grace Mc Dermott, who I interviewed with Catherine Connolly about their brilliant blog Women Are Boring. Grace was a shining light in academia and feminism and was just getting started when her life was tragically cut short last month. I’ve been thinking of her family, friends and Catherine since I heard the terrible news.