Diary of a week

I am not one of those who can jump in and respond immediately to things and events.  I need time to feel into and think about and mull it all over.  Here, I’ve gathered up some of my posts on my personal Facebook page over the past week in response to the EU Referendum.

23 June, 2016

I’M IN!

I was at University College London yesterday and was asked for the thousandth time, ‘Why are you here and not in Southern California?’ After I gave my usual reply, ‘I came over here for the history and the weather’ I added that I love having access to free, good medical care (long live the NHS!), having 5 -6 weeks of annual leave per year and being so close to, and being a part of, Europe.  Plus my home and husband are here.

Today is the day that people in Britain are voting on the EU Referendum which will decide it we will leave or remain in the European Union. I can’t vote, because I am not a British citizen, but I am standing with everyone who wants the UK to remain a part of the EU.

in

24 June, 2016

Mixed feelings . . . . .

I am glad that this damn referendum is finally over, and it’s a very good thing that we live in a democracy and can vote on something of this magnitude.

I feel saddened that I have woken up to a smaller country this morning. The people who view the UK as a ‘beleaguered tiny island nation’ seem to have won the day. As a student of the human psyche, the votes to leave seem to reflect the shadow side of the British psyche: xenophobic attitudes, inward view, jingoistic/backwards thinking and toxic patriotism.

However, I am heartened that so many British people have voted to remain in the EU.    I hope and believe that those of us who are so inclined will strive to make post-EU Britain as positive a place as we can. Our attitudes and beliefs are so important and we need to shine bright for each other.

I found that these posts by WordPress bloggers summed up and expressed some of my initial thoughts and feelings:

Philip Blackledge – Dear Brexiteer

Eleanor St. Clair – NO! I won’t shut up

In the meantime, I’ll put the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea.

604px-Keep-calm-and-carry-on.svg

28 June, 2016

I don’t know about anybody else, but I feel that something has died last Thursday. Some people call it Great Britain, some foretell the certain death of the United Kingdom, many say it has already happened in spirit.

I chose the UK for good as my home in 2008, after a couple of false starts.  I lived in London for 6 months in 1986.  At that time, I was on a tourist visa and worked under the table as as a waitress and an artist’s model.  It was all a bit cramped, so I returned to  California in 1987.  In 1998 I moved to Scotland to go to the Thomas Chippendale International School of Furniture.  My then husband was British, so I have ‘permanent right to remain’ in the UK.  I lived near Edinburgh for 8 years, then moved to Devon 10 years ago.   In 2007 I made a madcap move back to America at a time where I was searching for Home.  It just didn’t feel right and I returned to Great Britain a couple of months later, determined to find home inside and feeling that here is the fertile ground that I need to put my roots down.  I met my husband Steve in 2008 and that sealed my decision for good.

In choosing the UK, I chose stability, fairness, tolerance and openness to other people and cultures. I chose a place that was part of Europe, and Steve and I have mulled over the possibility of living in Austria, Italy or the Netherlands at some point. I feel that all of that has been blown out of the water.

As this new reality settles, I remember that the people nearest and dearest to me – my husband Steve, my colleagues at work, many of my friends in Moretonhampstead and several of my Facebook friends embody the characteristics of the United Kingdom that I fell in love with and chose to call home.

Every morning I wake up and remember that June 23rd has come and gone and that I can never go back to June 22nd. I experience shock and disbelief all over again. This weekend I found myself taking to my bed even more than usual and eating a lot of comfort food. I find myself shooting eye bullets at smug pensioners with tabloids folded under their arms and builders with Welsh accents. Are they the enemy??

I realize that these are all stages of Grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I hope that everyone can take the time to mourn what we have lost and to take good care of our selves and our loved ones at this tender time of loss.

grief

As awful as this is, perhaps it is ultimately a good thing that all of this has come to the surface. By all of this, I mean the anger that people are feeling over the many years of inequality and injustice that have led to this place, a political system which isn’t fair and (fill in the blank).

I really resonated with this article entitled Brexit & Belonging, which begins with a quote.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
– Rumi

We have our work cut out for us in the coming months and years. Even though I couldn’t vote in this referendum, because I am not a British citizen, I stand with all of the 48% who chose IN. I intend to be part of making this new world a better place.

 

 

 

 

 

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