Stop the World
Stop the world, I want to get off!
How often have I heard that cry from myself and others over the years.
We’ve been living in the time of crazy. For decades.
The relentless do-do-do. The never-ending to-do lists. The endless days of grind.
Waking up with daily dread. Never feeling good enough. The silent shame.
Perhaps we are long overdue for a correction.
Perhaps once we’ve overcome the shock, the panic, the adjustment to our current circumstances …
… we can turn towards this part of ourselves whose wish has finally been granted. (For some of us at least.)
This poem could have been written for this moment.
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about...
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death. Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead in winter
and later proves to be alive.
Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid
Joining hands with you as we stand together in this sudden strangeness.
Stopping, keeping still, taking some time to do nothing.
Catching up with ourselves again
Love Rionach xo