Skip to main content

Embracing other

Other | adjective  (oth·​er | ˈə-t͟hər  ) Disturbingly or threateningly different 

Today, I was publicly referred to as ‘other’. It’s not new. But on this happening, the sting was sharp and fresh. A wound opened up…

At that moment, I find that I am falling back through the decades until I reach the door of my eleven-year-old self. She is surprised to see me, but she welcomes me in.

“How many years have you had to travel back to find me?” she asks. Her question is gently framed by a wry, cheeky smile.
“At least three decades,” I reply. My voice heavy with the weight of my sulky bottom lip.
“Ahhh,” she says as she hands me my old armour. Tarnished and battle-worn, covered in the stickers of all the little victories my younger self had won.

Feeling hot and tired from the time travel, I say with all the might of a rising inflexion, “Really, do I have to do this again?”

My younger self shoots me a knowing smile, which quite frankly, I find really irritating.
“What has changed over the three decades?” she asks.
“I have,” I reply with a mouth full of sullenness.
“Then you won’t be needing the armour,” and she smiles as she takes it back.
I fall through the decades and arrive back in the present.

So today, I’ll do what my eleven-year-old self couldn’t do. I will embrace being threateningly different. Here’s to all the others. Cracks in a socially constructed reality that let in the light. Head for the cracks - that’s where the future lies.

Popular posts from this blog

Revels and Rebels XIII

Dear Santa, I’m sat by the Christmas tree. The fairy lights twinkle, the baubles sparkle, and the clip-on-birds look really confused. The white dove is looking at me wondering where peace went, and the robin, having given up on Christmas, is taking a nose dive towards the floor. I understand the birds’ confusion. 2020 is the year where the world turned upside down and inside out. Bound at home, unable to hug friends and visit family, attempting disconnected living in a connected world. Which way is the North Star – who knows? We’re all a bit like Odysseus down here, stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one side you have the rock of reality eroded and twisted by politicians and media. The other side, the six headed monster of big Pharma trading health for profit and barking down contrary ideas to protect financial growth. One thing is for sure, Capitalism is not interested in paying the ransom for Freedom. You’ll be sad to learn that ‘Ho, ho, ho’ went out of the window mont

Revels and Rebels XV

Dear Santa, When I was kid, I created a make believe village. Do you remember it? Every Christmas, between the ages of eight to twelve, I asked for Philip Laureston village figurines – perfectly detailed buildings complete with climbing roses and house signs. My village started with a cottage, the Rose and Crown pub and an oak tree. Over the years it was extended to include a farm, a school, a church, a village hall, shops and a duck pond. Each week I visited the villagers and had delightful conversations and arguments, and in the messiness of my imagination I understood what made their imagined lives happier. I remember one heated debate where the parents demanded a school house because they thought it was inappropriate to educate their children in the Rose and Crown pub. The children rather liked their lessons in the snooker room. The parents won. Since the Pandemic began, I can honestly say that I’ve truly understood what life was really like for my imagined villagers. This idea of

Revels and Rebels XIV

Dear Santa, It's Epiphany. Twelfth Night. You're about to hang up your Christmas sack for the festive season and here I am writing to you with my last-minute request. I know, I'm as irritating as a Christmas Pudding that refuses to light no matter how much warm brandy you pour on it.  Soggy Christmas Pudding aside, there is a reason why this letter is late. I've been ruminating over what to wish for. And the thing is this - I still don't know what to wish for. My current plan, or hope, is that in writing to you I might write myself into my wish. The thing is this, since the pandemic began, I'm having trouble finding a way to live in the world. Working out what I must suffer, what I can change. How to navigate sorrow and joy. And how to live with the conflicts within whilst the noise of division and marginalisation rage all around. Sometimes, they become one of the same. Sounds confusing, right? And fuelling this confusion is the general level of fear we have to