Race and Helplessness

How do you write about what has been happening in America as a white man? My helplessness and shock at what I have been witnessing are tiny feelings compared to the terror and anger which must be being felt by the black community there. I cannot even put myself into their place. It is simply an impossible proposition for any white person, and especially a man. You see, nobody judges me according to my skin colour. We are all judged in some way, but these verdicts come upon by others usually remain in their own minds. This has not been, and is still not, the experience for many people in the world.

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Havens of Nature

Who else is missing nature right now? I know I am. During the current crisis many of us have had to become accustomed to spending more time surrounded by four walls. The problem is that what you do most of the time becomes the new normal, doesn’t it?

People are slowly beginning to emerge from lockdown in many countries, and in the Czech Republic most things are almost back to normal. One more week and most restrictions will have been lifted. One more week of face masks, at least the compulsory use anyway. One more week of no schools, until a weird sanitised form will be reintroduced for those who need it. One more week until people can really begin to relax. But will we?

Nature was supposed to be the escape during all of this. Get away from the town and get some fresh air. The problem is that everyone else felt the same desperation and before you knew it the forests were full and the town centres were empty. Then we faced a weird choice. If we wanted some freedom we actually had to return to the human creations, heading away from what should have been more natural.

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Burning the Past : a story

I put tulips under all the pillows, and then I set fire to the house. It was a ritual that I had often dreamt of, symbols of the love I once had for this place. But that feeling seems old now, a burnt flower is already where my heart used to be. The happy times are like a movie reel playing through my mind and I no longer feel any connection to them as real events.

Crouched down the street I watch with fascination as the fire takes hold, spreading from room to room, slowly consuming the whole place. I want to watch for as long as possible, to make sure the job is done. If I see this place reduced to ashes perhaps the ashes inside me could finally be cleared away.

A girl is walking along the street and she stops directly in front of my position. She seems to sense something is wrong, and she casts her eyes around searching for whatever her instincts have alerted her to. Why did someone have to come along? Couldn’t I just have a few moments alone to enjoy this?

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Appreciation

He lives in an apartment, which from the outside may look like a uniform grey block of uniformity. But he doesn’t spend a lot of time looking at the outside of the block, so it has never bothered him really.

Currently, he is alone. Well, except for the rabbit anyway. He loves that rabbit, but just like children it needs taking care of and to be taught the rudiments of good behaviour. At least the children eventually stopping peeing on the floor, but he is not so sure the rabbit will ever learn.

His wife is shopping and his children are with their grandparents, so he has a bit of time to himself. But, as ever, he has too many things which he would like to be doing with his time. Will he ever learn? He is currently spending part of his, supposed, relaxation time chasing that rabbit around the living room. It’s frustrating but it could be worse, he reminds himself.

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Deep Down

Looking into the depths can be a dangerous business. Wouldn’t it be easier to just splash around in the shallow end? Currently many of us have time on our hands, time to think, to dream, to worry. I guess the most important thing is acceptance, both of the situation and of what arises from it. That can be hard work sometimes though, can’t it? Yet, right now, while I look at a sun dappled tree, acceptance seems easy.

© Neil Hayes and neilhayeswrites