Hearts And Minds

Entry by: tinyfeet&bluebirds

4th November 2016
My arm is bending, my hand reaching for something, what? Does my mind really not know what my body is doing? Does my eye not see what’s right in front of me? A cup, hot liquid, scalding maybe, a drink, tea? In the background a radio, a man talking.

“Politicians are stupid.”* Well that’s nothing new. There’s no surprise in that statement. Does the idiot even realise it’s self-referential? He just put himself in a box and the box is called stupid, duh! It’s like Bart Simpson is running for president and nobody even got him a hairdresser.

And meanwhile, the coloured girls go doo do doo do doo do do doo and their brothers are bleeding the streets red; Alfred, Amadou, Micheal, Travyon, all face down in the dirt. Meanwhile 3000 people are being ‘moved on’ in Paris, they have no idea where they are going. Another shift in a constant shifting of their realities; from whole to broken, home to homeless, citizen to refugee. A sad kind of slippage. Aleppo is ‘bracing itself’ for more airstrikes as if people can prepare for being blown up. And a boatload of dead people - babies, children, mothers, sisters, daughters, brothers, fathers, sons are already old news. Everything is disjointed, cut up, divided.

Here in brexit land we have cut ourselves off from the body of Europe. The man at its heart says we were one of its wings. And I think we have a phantom limb and it’s still flapping like it might be able to fly its way back. But history is supposedly a one way street. If the first world war was a civil war when we were all still nation states then what is this? Some kind of familicide? And what does that word mean anyway except killing our own brothers and isn’t that we do every day in every way? “We are all brothers under the skin and I for one would be willing to skin humanity to prove it.”**

And if we did peel it back? Under the skin - muscle, sinew, bone, marrow, right at the heart of things a beating organ shaped like love, a brain like jelly, squishy and porous and somehow desperately alien. In A Wrinkle in Time***, IT, a bodiless, extra-terrestrial brain pulses and quivers in a strange room ruling people like robots as if they have no free-will, no minds of their own. Like the mass movement of a populace made passive, hopeless and undiscerning. I cannot help but wonder if l’Engle had a forewarning about the mass influence of the media once it would disperse itself through google and twitter, facebook and 24hr non-stop news.

In my mind’s eye I picture my heart, I see it beating, pumping the oxygen around my body, keeping me alive. If I thought really, really hard, perhaps I could, in the blink of an eyelid, stop my heart from beating. Die for a second, prove the brain was mightier than the heart. But where would that leave me, a cold slab of meat on a steel table, just another ticket in the mortuary? Going on a journey no one’s come back from? In the end we can be nothing but the sum of ourselves, all our selves, the ones we write in our stories, the ones we see in our photos, the inane chatter which documents our lives.

The polarities of politics are as pointless as separating hearts from minds. They are right to try to win both sides of one coin. Perhaps they could begin with themselves, healing the divide from within their own selves, one step at a time, knit back together heart and soul with mind and reason. Perhaps then we could believe in them again.

* Donald Trump
** Ayn Rand
*** Madeleine l’Engle A Wrinkle in Time