Memory Day celebration

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©  Hanna-Barbera Productions

You know how rosey it is when you hear others say in a public forum what you know to be true? That visceral ease in knowing your mind and heart chime with others about things that matter?

Well, earlier Rethink on BBC Radio 4 mused over qualities leaders will need to support levitation from the mire into which Covid-19 has plunged most countries.

Were I to give you a synopsis of the programme, you might not bother to listen. Thus, Listen.

The picture of an emotionally intelligent world that emerges, one inclined to Listen makes radical sense: yet there’s nothing radical about a thing promoted for over twenty five years.

Today is Memory Day: celebrating the day a six-year anteriograde amnesia episode retreated and new life began. There couldn’t be a better moment to rethink how to recover from – and hear how important Listening will be to comb through – the tangle de nos jours.

Yabbadabbabloomin’doo.

 

madeleinebaird.com/blogos

Eye of storm in face of history

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Image: Behance

It is around twenty six years since events stirred themselves together to produce The Marshmallow Project*. It came into being in virtue of the absence of Listening. This sophisticated instrument of communication stabilizes and brings balance to understanding.

Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s life

The world is caught in a perfect storm of contagion. Pestilence hangs in the air which frays calm: such ever-hovering potential and menace dissolve resilience to carry on as normal. [Alleged second-degree] Murder publically committed with such a face of history can only churn sentiment into a tornado of outrage.

Pestilence and outrage spread.

Emotional intelligence is a tool to repair things. It listens to pain with empathy. It understands causes of action and by supporting the weight of both, it eases the hurt inflicted. Soothing pain and hurt acknowledges and dignifys their right to exist; this eases their impact.

This morning on the radio, John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales responded that before waves of protest planned for the weekend “a balance [had to be found] as the majority were peaceful and wanted their voice to be heard”: that “this is about communication: we must listen to their concerns”.

Amid the chaos, this is music to our ears: a note striking a chord of utter sense. “When people are in trouble, we should step forward”: being part of the solution empowers resolve to be the kinder person.

*First there was The Marshmallow Project, 1994. Once established, it became Marshmallow, 2000. Rebranded as Madeleine Baird Materials, 2015.

madeleinebaird.com/blogos

Either fishy or foul

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Eileen Agar’s self-portrait in Ceremonial Hat for Eating Bouillabaisse, 1936  
The Bridgeman Art Library represents the copyright holder

In some senses, it seems as though hurling pesci-ness into a court bouillon to let it simmer is a lazy way to describe the UK’s current intellectual, spiritual, emotional and political state. Tilt in a spoon and who knows what’ll be drawn out?

In virtue of our utter dismay with the vaccuous absence … the complete and ubiquitious absence … in politics of kindness & emotional resilience / intelligence ever since Mr Cameron’s failure [to persuade our neighbours to let the UK have its gâteau et le mange aussi], we reflect on Listening‘s suasive strength. We’ve been banging on about this forceless power since 1994, afterall.

You can’t imagine how refreshing it is to hear a political candidate emphasize the importance he places on it.

Diplomats need to tread carefully as the ground beneath our feet is waving, seismicly. @RoryStewartUK has spent the past six months or so, walking lightly on the earth, conducting street conversations in order to Listen to what we’re all thinking.*

* Mr Stewart is an independent candidate standing for Mayor of London.

Walking for Leadership, rather than Running for Election, intuitively seems a more measured approach: one which serves the electorate rather than the candidate; in which dialogue has the time and space to unfurl.

~~~~~~~

Halloween, which as soon as B Johnson Esq announced as the immutable date of departure we knew wouldn’t be so, when ghouls and goblins teeter around with chocolate smeared faces and pointy hats swish up drives, it is sincerely hoped the damage this brutal, deaf process of Brexit has caused can stop for breath, allowing hearts & ears to open.

The spell No. 10 seeks to cast by virtue of its excruciating slogans could feasibly stun us into submission. There’s something either fishy or pretty foul at play when oratory lacks grace: surely a sign of wizardry at work?

madeleinebaird.com/blogos

Yes I did

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© Jack Brockwell                                    BH Obama kite-surfing off Necker

It seems reasonable to suppose everybody’s grin would be this wide if doing something from which one had been prevented for the last eight years. The image, taken in February off Necker Island, reveals not merely the man beneath the sombre suit but reminds us there is more to life than a job.

These pages have rent and torn themselves over past months’ woe while the present is, if anything, worse. It’s important to find some chink through which light can seep in order that gloom doesn’t settle, as a shroud, to inform our world view.

If you’ve ever had your heart broken, you’ll know that putting one foot in front of the other is just about all one can manage for a while. Not all of us have been caught up in current shocking events but I imagine that this slender task of just keeping going will chime.

When others tell you it’ll make you stronger and you just manage to keep from throttling them, you know that it’ll never get better and your heart will never mend. Coz it doesn’t and it don’t.

Yet somehow the resilience that lives within for cases of emergency hammocks our shattered frame while it mends. And after a long time of dark, suddenly you notice the sun’s out and there be more to life than the job of existing.

Pro tem, by simply being present, we can support. Not having to say anything but be willing to Listen. Doing this simple thing helps begin the healing of victims’ trauma and that of survivors’ guilt.