Message At The Waters Edge
A couple of weeks ago, one of my clients got up to leave and said that as it was a lovely day, he’d spend a couple of hours at the waters edge. He is a fisherman, so I assumed that he was popping home to get his rods and come back and do some fishing.
At the back of my flat there are some steps that lead up to the riverbank. Ever since I moved here last November, I climb the steps and turn right, heading towards the lock and the cafe and beautiful pub. I don’t know why but last week I turned left and headed off upstream. After walking for about 10 minutes, I came across a pub nestling by the marina. It’s called The Waters Edge. It’s idyllic.
I’ve been sitting here for the past couple of hours, lost deep in thought whilst watching the life of the river. My attention is caught by the barge that is moored right next to where I’m sitting. The boat is named, “The Voyager’s Energy”. There is something written underneath the name and I get out of my seat to have a closer look. It says, ” Give your energy to the voyage that matters”.
Shit. A few cosmic tumblers click into place. I’d been thinking how bleak this week has been on Planet Social Care. The Bubb report. The ATU dismay template. The depressing news that only 4 people turned up for the Justice for LB session at JSWEC. The utter self indulgence of all those people on the inside of social care who aren’t the slightest bit interested in changing things. I could go on for hours and I probably will.
I’ve had a few conference invites that I haven’t responded to yet. I know why I’ve been putting off replying. I don’t want to offend anyone who organizes or attends these events but I’ve had a growing unease. I’m a good narrator. I know the Get Steven Home story moves people. I know its a very real, human experience. But I don’t think it changes anything. You can be engaged but be cushioned by the belief that “it could never happen here”. I’m beginning to wonder if, the more horrific the story, the less likely it will lead to anything changing. Then a passing swan bites me on the arse and says, ” Don’t be so arrogant Neary. You’re not an agent of change. You’re just a turn”. And I think the swan is right. Because whether it’s ego or blind hope, I’ve assumed that something good might come out of telling the story. But that presupposes social care is interested in the people it is meant to serve. That it is interested in changing things for its customers. There’s not a lot of evidence to support my assumption.
What is my voyage? Where should my energy be going? The waitress brings me my tower burger. And I think of all the people I know, who I neglect, who I’d like to be sharing my tower burger with. Even Steven. He would love the pub and the setting and the bacon. It might not be changing the world but then again, its pointless energy if the world you want to change doesn’t want to change.
I might sit here another hour. It’s a good place for reflection. And sometimes you have to go right to the waters edge to see the reflection.
From → Social Care