It seems everybody’s leaving the blogosphere now, for the real world or the next world or a new world. I’ll miss them, but I can’t say my life is bereft. We are exceptionally lucky, really, to have ended up alive, together, in a place where we are needed and have a chance to make a difference. A year ago, we were busy fighting our own battles and ignoring each other’s, for the sake of a distant future in which we would have time and leisure to think about appreciating one another again. Now that we’ve lost all the things we hoped that future would contain, there’s nothing in the way, and we’ve found each other. It takes losing everything to discover how little of it mattered, how much of what we really value only lasts because we rebuild it every day.
There are fireworks in Sefton Park tonight. I thought that anything containing gunpowder would have been used in the fighting by now, but it seems some time and resources could be spared for explosions of beauty, to celebrate even failed attempts at change, to remind ourselves that whenever we want to, when we decide it’s time, people are capable of coming together and blowing everything sky-high.
There’s a delicate balance here that could break into open conflict at any time, but it hasn’t yet. Everything we’re building here is too important for anybody to relinquish control, and that means everybody must relinquish control to the same extent, and exercise it to the same extent, too. The priority for any particular faction becomes not to forward the faction, but to maintain the balance, and when we’ve balanced for long enough perhaps we will forget we were ever factions and remember only that, together, we stayed upright and kept moving.
The hospital is working. Everybody fears blood flu, but the virulent strain seems to have died out, and it’s only the usual winter maladies and pre-existing conditions that are affecting us now. Some things, we no longer have the resources to treat, though incredibly there are still some medical labs operational around the country, and the pharmacists here are hard at work replicating the most commonly needed drugs as best they can. There’s no trade, as such, because there aren’t any surpluses, as such. We’re not producing a whole lot here, yet, and there’s not much point in sending food down to the labs in Bristol, where many farms are still operating. As it stands, they have the means to produce enough vital medicines to supply the communities that are asking for them, and the plan for expansion is to salvage equipment, train people up and get other labs started rather than just have one small, overworked team increase production.
All these tactics work with our much-reduced population, with communication and co-operation between almost everybody affected possible most of the time. As I said before, without currency there’s nothing in the way: we see all the systems clearly. Will it remain this way, as it all builds up again? Can we keep the systems simple when the population rises, and the processes become entrenched?
I have to go – Sarah’s calling me to come and see the fireworks. I’m not going to make dramatic announcements about abandoning the blog completely – but I’m prioritising my family, the chill November air, the smell of bonfires and a flask of hot cider. And remembering. You might not hear from me for a while. I wish you all the best.