The cherimoya trees are in flower, starry as white orchids in sunlight. I can’t find images of them anywhere. Heat and humidity continuing: by early evening we are exhausted and just lie on sofas drinking lime and soda. The dogs drink litres of water.
A friend of mine who is a journalist in Zimbabwe has been receiving death threats and my heart trembles for her. I came across a frightening and very moving articles on what jouranlists face in dangerous places written by investigative reporter Lydia Cacho:
For every time our body rebels and says “not again!” to another 15-hour flight, eating badly, sleeping worse, in order to repeat the story told a thousand times over, a little inner voice replies: “You are alive, you have to do it.” When others insist that we are heroes or heroines, we are genuinely reluctant to believe them. I’ve never known of a single colleague who has been tortured, or who lives with the threat of death and persecution for their work, in such a confused state of mind that they believe that working in the defence of individual and collective freedoms is an act of heroism. We know full well that it is nothing more than an exercise in survival and shared dignity. We also understand, for we are constantly reminded of it, that the world demands its heroes to be examples who defend human rights with their voices, their words and their culture – those rights that prompt us to demand access to water, food, land, justice and, ultimately, the right to lead a happy life, free of violence. So it is we can proceed anew to the forum of the survivors: like optimistic chroniclers, we document the tragedy and nourish the possibility that all this will disappear if we persevere together in making it so.
Overheard on a sobriety forum, a great quote: “If you are a heavy drinker and you quit drinking, problem solved. If you are an alcoholic and you quit drinking, your problems are just beginning!”
I remember the first time I realised that I had only one solution (get drunk) for anything that went wrong and that most people had worked out many different responses and solutions. One of those alarming light-bulb moments — putting down the bottle meant picking up a new way of living. A major learning curve. The good news is that I wouldn’t have to do this alone.