Stephen D’Evelyn on Coming Down

Writing can be a duty. I just have to write. The politics of authenticity—my identikit—puts the emphasis on creative in creative writing, but writing is as much about being true to the culture of language as it is to giving voice to particular views.

Today the weather is milder than it has been of late. We have run out of milk here at the office and I didn’t think to get any. So I sip black coffee and look out at the grey and white clouds. Every so often a car whooshes by down a road nearby.

Today feels jumpy. There seem to be a lot of things to do. I feel compelled to type. Is this a selfish act? Is it an answer to the call of duty? This morning I have been to a highly-charged, high-level meeting about a case of indirect gender discrimination and unacceptable behaviour—in a word marginalization.

It is a little bit hard to come down. But as I sit now in the office the sky is slowly brightening. A bird trills somewhere. Sometimes it is enough to notice what is unnoticed and perhaps help others to notice.

Sometimes as happened this morning changes in the way people treat each other can start with noticing. And sometime writing about disregarded people –even in positions of power – and about birds and clouds people don’t necessarily notice can answer that urge to connect. The words arrive and take shape and dance as the clouds brighten still further.


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