"Spin" in aviation training: a "stall" or loss of lift, a subsequent nose-down spin, the specific actions required for recovery, and the feeling, after recovery, that you could tackle absolutely anything!

Friday, 11 November 2016


I went to the Uxbridge Cenotaph for the Remembrance Day ceremony today. I admit that I had not gone for several years for the simple reason that it makes me cry. I don't mean, shedding a simple tear, but rather, sobbing; shoulders going, the whole thing. And it was always embarrassing because nobody else ever seemed to fall apart like me. But today I went because damn it it's been a terrible week and it was time for me to show up. 

I'm standing on the outer apron of the crowd and the ceremony starts. There are bagpipes and the trumpet(I managed, somehow to hold it together), and speeches and the poem. All the while I notice that the traffic lights, two sets of which I can clearly see, are working as if everything is normal. The road lights change from yellow, to red, to green, and there is the added arrow for the advanced green. For pedestrians, the crosswalk sign blinks up the all-powerful pixilated hand to dissuade anyone from crossing the road, then signals the all-clear with an outline of a walking human, a kind of nod to the Lite-Brite days. For extra safety, this screen switches to display the time you have left if you are making the journey across the road, or considering it.

All of this is choreographed to move travellers through the intersection without incident, like an intricate dance. 

I stood there, watching the lights change, while listening to names being read out of soldiers who died in battle, meanwhile a bright sun, with warmth blazing through the cool November wind, warmed my face. I felt to be a human walking on the earth and the very idea, that there is


 seemed abstract and ridiculous... 

...because it's completely unnecessary.

 It is only because of arrogance that battles are fought. It is only a dictator flouting an ideology that suppresses or threatens others that sends the troops into battle. Some arrogant fuck-head widens the gap of inequality somewhere, because he's corrupt, insecure, or a posturing fuck-head with an overdeveloped reptilian brain and you have trouble. 

Initially, I was going to write,

Wouldn't it be nice to have traffic indictors guiding us in the rest of our lives,

but it dawned on me that that was not right. That was, in fact, the problem; the desire to wait for external indicators, for someone else to lead the charge. If, in our daily lives, we continue to stand around waiting for lagging signals from outside, we are lost, I feel. We have the ability to be tapped-in and guided by our own guts, our own hearts. When you see that your neighbour has no food or water and is living in a cardboard box,

                                                YOU KNOW.

You can sense that it's not right. You feel it inside. You don't need someone to tell you. You don't need a permit to help that person out. Or if that fuck head down the road decides to run for office and he hates everything and wants to pave the children,




Life is hard, and it can also be glorious. I believe that the truly glorious part comes when we connect with each other in an authentic, beautiful way, organically, without having to wait for lights.

Right now, there is an enormous fuck head in our midst. There is no other poetically perfect phrase for him. I believe that now is the time for all of us to show up, and piss him off by loving each other fiercely, no matter what. You know that's right. I know you can sense it. 

It's been a long, terrible, jarring week, and,

I love you.

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