There was a time once in Amsterdam when I found myself confined between the tramlines for about two hours. It was a simple dilemma. Walk across the line, or don’t. That decision took some time and I am mighty glad that I made it when I did. I found myself right where I needed to be, which was particularly fortuitous. Another time in places flung far and wide I was fortunate to experience a good few touch-downs. I found touching-down more satisfying than being confined. Each has its merits, for a time, but it is one of the best feelings to find your feet planted firmly on earth after centuries of confinement in the sky.
Touch-downs involve scoring. Adding up points. In a game of football, a touch-down is the objective. Not the only one, but nevertheless one of the most important. All the members of the team are trained to understand that their objective is collective. They know that the ball will not get from one end of the field to the other without each man in his place. That is not to say that footballers do not exchange places from time to time to play other positions. They do. In a game of skill it pays to be able to play the entire field.
San Francisco is a great place to find tramlines. As is Switzerland. Riding trams is a joy in the wetter weather, the cold – and when you find treasures lying inside them. In my experience there is treasure to be found everywhere, particularly on trams that are made to sail past Wonderland on the way to Alice’s salvation.
I am not quite sure this planet realises how problematic it is that children are not treated right in too many parts of the world. Probably in every part of the world. I cannot understand the need people have to breed and then abuse their children. Why would you procreate when you cannot handle having a child? And motherhood – and fatherhood – is about handling your progeny, not annihilating them. That – to me – is possibly the most stupid of all human behaviours. Breeding willy-nilly without thought of consequence, just having babies because you cannot be bothered not to. It’s obscene.
Children are vulnerable and very impressionable. All of them. How many times does that have to be said before people take heed? What you show your child of life is how it will grow. The reality is startling in its simplicity. You kick your child around, or abuse it verbally and emotionally, and you are building a damaged human being. There is not much space left on this planet for damaged people. There are already way too many. It is time that the damaging was brought under control. It is ruining people, society. I am not sure what would happen if every abuser took accountability for his/her behaviour – recognised it, themselves. If they opened their eyes they would realise the fate that was awaiting them.
Having children is not ‘what you do’ in life. Times have changed. How hard can it be to understand that parenting is not an essential part of living? How hard can it be to understand that there are a great many lives that would be far less stressful without children in them? That is fact, it is not something to feel sentimental about. Children are a joy on many levels, and that is what they are supposed to be. They are not punch-bags. They are not adults. They are not to be underestimated, either.