i also learned from it and other perspectives,inclduing indeed some in science that place the observer if not at the centre then a sastarting point.its always seeemed to me that this is one of the important observations about shroedingers cat that the observer/actor/experimenter and the circumstances and conditions of the experiment impact on what is observed and the result(s)
so for me,so for us.
regular readers of this site,will observe then that ive been away some time and not written much.thats not quite the story.its just that having had to put much of my life on hold over much of the last 15 months due to serious and quite debilitating illness,and as a resuklt,the circumstances i found myself in:i could not be as active as i wished due to both factors.i did what i can.writing.and whilst i was not writing therapeutically,it was nevertheless therapeutic.plainly,i was not writing particularly about my condition or circumstances but writing helped me feel i was still alove,still in the world,still able to be active somehow.it helped me manege myself if not actually heal.
i will probably write more both about the illness/disability later,another time.i will almost certainly write about the industrial process/impact in due course.
for the now i only want to sketch in broad strokes so that those that want to know or are curious-i shouild be so lucky-might fill in some of the gaps.
after 10 months of almost literally no movement,events began to take off.i had been away on holiday,attended a couple of conferences/schools,a public meeting and been out to meet rediscovered friends-which is another story too-but they had been occassional events which broke the monotony of feeling pinned down.
in november my income wnet down to zero.my representative/trades union shop steward sought assistance from my employer on my behalf and used the situation to put pressure on to resolve the main issue.planning for christmas looked rather lean,as i had no money.i wrote on another website,very much (auto)biographical material and about music which would not have been mostly appropriate for here.i began to make alternative plans in a situatioin where i needed income but where i was literally stuck and could initiate noithing-anything id di might put food on the table but it would jeapardise my situaton as a whole.
then 2 days before christmas i recieved the financial equivalent of my months salary,and some family money.and agreement that i would be granted early medical retirement in the best conditions i could expect.a week aletr a further letter varied and improved the settlement.when i attended my final meeting on the day of retirement that settlement was further improved.i am grateful for the efforts of my representatives in that and the good will of immediate management,and the unbeliebvable goodwill of my many now ex colleagues who i all regard as freinds and comrades now,for their support.as i write im making the adjustments in life and going through the finnacial changes and process to make the change real.
i felt a sense of powerful and palpable relief that day.what i did not realise is how oppressive and repressive doing that job had become.i am rediscovering myself,i have my life back,i have my person back.writing this and a lot of other material on websites,in emails,in organising,preparing talks,speeches,lectures,notes,in my journal and elsewhere combines with all these changes so i really do need a period of readjustment and some of it is very powerful and i have to say painful-though this time it is apain i would not give up.i still have the health problems that led me here,some of which are unlikley to improve but at least i can get on and manage them and make the best of whatever years and life force i have left.decline,aging,los of career,ill health remain difficulties i will not adjust to easily.i dont like that i cannot leave the house to join a march,a picket,a demonstration or whatever without a second thought any more but life changes whether i like it or not and"thank god almighty,free at last"-i do have my life back.
2 weeks ago i celebrated my departure with one large set of friends/colleagues.last week i met with friends i have known for up to all my life and with whom i have renewed my friendships.this week i meet up with friends from a previous workplace.
friendship has always been important for me-and im writing about that too in various places-recent events confirm its centrality for me,as one of a spectrum or bundle of related ideas-family,lovers,friends,comrades,brothers and sisters,community...for me they are inseperable,not divisible.
one aspect of trade union nrother/sisterhood and comradeship is that who we are and what we are and what we do is irrelevant to being given support,and that our altruism goes beyond the personal links.it like friendship has its place.
one apect of friendship is that it puts the brake on some of our worst nonsense-such as views about women,other races,other identities with the"wait a minute,(s)hes my friend"and again its another form of glue in which we stand together,supporting each other,strong as a shield wall or as 5 fingers make a fist.and sometimes,in times like these we have to fight together,in all our glorious diversity and difference!
at the risk of being twee or trite-it really is true that a stranger is just a friend we havent met or made yet.the minute strangers meet,they cease to be strangers.this is the world i belong in...as i hear the internationale and solidarity forever echo in my head.