{Fri 31 October 2008}   Responding to passion

I’m not (so far) a political campaigner, but a friend has inspired me with her passionate commitment to the Obama campaign. She is an American living in Italy and has the broader perspective that usually comes with living outside one’s home country. She is right that it really is important for the whole world, not just for the USA, who wins the coming election. Like her, I believe that the world is ready for Obama and will respond more positively to him than to McCain. She’s also right that there are many reasons not to take anything for granted. Despite the polls, old attitudes and loyalties are hard to shift and peculiar things happen to people’s consciences in the privacy of the ballot box. And, as we know from 2000, even more peculiar things may happen to ballot boxes even after the individual consciences have left them!

I’m quoting verbatim here from Stephanie’s email to her friends after she received an email from Avaaz. She urges them to support the Avaaz campaign to counter any desperate dirty tricks by McCain in these crucial last few days before the election:

“I send this to all my friends in the US and abroad. We cannot take an Obama win for granted and I think this (see below) is an excellent idea. As an American I am very aware of the fact that many Americans have NO IDEA that the whole world will be affected by the results of this election. I am staying up until the small hours of the night, every night, calling Americans in swing states in support of Obama, and I have donated 50 dollars to this Avaaz campaign because I think it is a great idea. THE WORLD NEEDS TO EXPRESS IT’S VOICE TO AMERICA because we will all be affected by the results of this election. Avaaz is a great organization that takes very concrete action on the most pressing issues we face, and I am so happy that they are taking this initiative. LET’S ALL MAKE AN EFFORT TO GIVE A PUSH TO THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY! THIS IS THE MOMENT! Please dedicate some time to circulate this as widely as possible and if possible make a donation, even a small amount will count. This ad can counteract all the brainwashing “opinion news” in my country and speak directly to the people. It cannot hurt to remind America in this critical moment that we also love the democracy that she stands for and that we hope that she takes the positive leadership that she is capable of. Please express your voice and give a hand! Thank you, Stephanie”

So… I’m passing on her request, after acting on it myself. Please click here to watch the ad, sign its message and make a donation if you can:

It’s quick and easy to do. Each of us is a drop in the ocean, but millions of drops can make a difference.

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{Thu 2 October 2008}   A Fish Does What A Fish Must Do
Well, at last the long silence is broken… After some hectic months of much travelling and visiting, some ill-health and some hosting of guests, I’ve started the MA in Creative Writing and New Media at De Montfort University in Leicester and I am now required to write again (regularly, eek!). This little poem is my offering for our first Creative Exercise which involved responding to a picture of a small, ugly fish balanced in the palm of a hand…. a fish out of water, presumably chosen as an image to reflect the anxieties of most students new to a course. I expect that this poem will change and tighten up a bit—it’s unusual for me to post such a fresh work for public view—but I wanted to make the statement that I’m back in the blogosphere.

A Fish Does What a Fish Must Do

This fish brings water with it;
Poised, vicious and delicate,
It rests lightly on the hand,
Fin repurposed into stand.
Not flapping-frantic-fitful,
But cool as primeval chill,
Awaiting opportunity:
Body taut, eyes alert to see
And seize translucent breath;
Its vast life or tiny death,
Suckled in swim or gagged by air,
Potentials beyond this now-where.
The moment balances with the fin:
Before and after stretch out thin
From here where nerves intensely
Immobilise magnificently.
There is no thought of why or how,
Instinct is all — its soul is now.

31 July 2009 – And here’s the image itself (don’t know why I didn’t add this before, as it was made available under a Creative Commons licence. From http://www.flickr.com/photos/16866037@N00/1386243643/
Creative Commons License: Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en_GB

Lizardfish by Jennifurr-Jinx UpoadedToFlickr15Sept07

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