Potato, 1928, oil on canvasShe likes to think of herself as one of Nature’s conciliators. She loves to serve, she says. Her fingertips lightly graze your forearm, her gaze through painted lashes melts at you winsomely. Yet those who spend time talking with her find all their irritants, all their niggling worries, coalescing; other misery and blame surfaces, so that they recognise it for the first time. Soon after her ministrations you will wake at four in the morning, sweating and writhing, for all that need has merged into white rage. Yet she is not a hypocrite. Truly she only sees herself as dispensing blessing and Love to all.

Where does the shoe pinch? Where does it rub? You hardly noticed any more. We all have our crosses to bear, and you may imagine yourself hardly short of saintly coping as you do. Mustn’t grumble. It is the way the world is- until someone shows slight surprise and concern for you that you should be so afflicted. Nothing may be done, or surely you would have done it- and suddenly you see how small your world has become, how different your life from how you imagined it.

In the Quaker meeting, it can seem like I purify my thoughts in the clear Light of God. Here I am again, seeing more clearly, what might be done in Love, what is real, what is true, what is right. But in the Meeting for Worship for Business, I must speak that aloud, and test it with others. Perhaps someone will see it entirely differently. Perhaps I will have to change.

Then again, Steph and Ben. “As God made them, so He matched them”, me old muvver used to say. Two alcoholics, even if he is off the white stuff. They were shouting at each other drunkenly, fuckoff fuckoff fuckoff leave me alOAAN. Sometimes it clears the air, sometimes it doesn’t. Good job my bedroom is the other side of the house.

4 thoughts on “Conflict

  1. I like the last bit the best … though I’d go crazy after the first night. The first part reminded me of my now dead Aunt Virginia, who was so fake you’d swear she was a hologram.


    • The “she” and “you” are not anyone in particular, but a thought I had, exaggerated as far as I could, then followed: writing fiction if only two paragraphs of it. I hope your week was not too unpleasant.


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