I’m in the White Garden at Sissinghurst. I’ve come over all Bloomsbury. I’m going to be haughty and let my frown lines show.
Actually I love frown lines. I particularly love Anna Soubry’s frown lines. I love a woman who embraces her frown lines. I think frown lines go hand in hand with integrity. But I digress.
Standing under the pergola in the white garden feels like being in the cloisters of a church. There is protection from the fierce heat of the sun, and lovely views out into the garden.
I like the clean lines of the pergola contrasted with the swooping loops of the rose which clothes it, and the frothy ferment beyond. Is this a reflection of the state of my mind?
It’s been a funny old week. There is lots in the world to frown about. We welcomed a ‘President’ who is also a self-confessed Pussy Grabber, who is openly racist and anti-Islamic and refers to immigrants as animals. We put on a nice show for him. Everyone had to grin and bear it.
I suppose I am feeling disenfranchised. The message seems to be that it doesn’t matter that this very powerful person has been unkind to women, people of colour, people with disabilities, hard-working immigrants, people seeking asylum. It doesn’t matter that he has never shown a shred of remorse. It doesn’t matter that he has never sat with one of those he has dismissed and dehumanised and humiliated and really listened to their story. He matters, we don’t.
But we did have the balloon, and that felt good.
This outburst which could no longer be contained led me to research Freedom of Speech.
These paragraphs from Amnesty seemed pertinent:
Rights and reputations of others
Public officials should tolerate more criticism than private individuals. So defamation laws that stop legitimate criticism of a government or public official, violate the right to free speech.
Media and journalists
Journalists and bloggers face particular risks because of the work they do. Countries therefore have a responsibility to protect their right to freedom of speech. Restrictions on Newspapers, TV stations, etc can affect everyone’s right to freedom of expression.
I can offer a temporary fix. My youngest daughter has been slightly obsessed with the Musical ‘Hamilton’, and has been trying to learn ‘Theodosia’s Song’ on the piano. She doesn’t have the sheet music, so has worked it out for herself.
The song is a parent’s tender vow to their child that they will be there for them, whatever happens, that they want a better world for them, and that they can’t wait to see what their child will do. It is worth a listen on You Tube. I challenge you not to cry (I fail hopelessly at this).
But because I am flipping proud of this girl, and her sister (who helps her out at one point with the left hand) here is a recording of their version.
There. That feels a little better.
When the world feels a little mad, it is important to have a quiet place to retreat to. Whether it is a song, or a place to sit, or a thought, or a poem.
What is making you frown this week? Do you have any favourite frown lines? What brings you comfort in these strange times?