I have a new stick whittling knife. It’s still in its plastic packet, though, because I haven’t motivated myself to start using it yet. In one sense I am a wild woodsman who turns the detritus of nature into beautiful and meaningful objects – that’s the sense of not-quite-happening or a parallel universe. Like many of the great things in my life at the moment, it only exists in my head.

It’s possible to become overwhelmed by world events to the point where one can feel utterly powerless. When this happens, it’s important to have little projects that take you away from trying to think a path through the issues. I also feel that public demonstrations are good, but they need to be balanced with more personal creative acts which have some kind of mundane, but powerful, meaning.

So when I’m carving my IMG_8890sticks – and this only happens in my head right now, but I will start doing it again soon – each one is finished in a different way and given a different name or title. So, for instance, the next stick I finish – when I finally take me new knife out of its packet – will be called The Stick I Made As An Initial Response To The Rise Of Right Wing Populism.

I’m sure it will help me – in my personal search for equanimity, as well as in my desire to create a more equal, just and tolerant world.