Ellen Loudon

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Emerge from the darkness and go
before us a while
Friendly one, with the light step
Of total certainty, a terror
To wielders of terror.

You turn your face away. I know
How much you dreaded death, and yet
Even more you dreaded
Life without dignity.

And you would not let the mighty
Get away with it, nor would you
Compromise with the confusers, or ever
Forget dishonour. And over their atrocities
There grew no grass.

More Bertold Brecht Poems

I am back from the foundation ‘winter snug’ at lee Abbey. Completely trashed. Mark has gone to foundation and I am pondering on the weekend. It has been a hard weekend not least because I traveled over some old paths that I hadn’t expected to need again. I also got angry. I felt like Antigone. Or rather I felt like Brecht felt about Antigone (see poem above). There are some things worth getting angry about. It is worth being angry about the sex trade and human-trafficking. But anger is worthless if it renders us impotent.

Si Johnson drew our attention to Protest 4 which is ‘a global network of activists, tricksters, cultural creatives, and entrepreneurs, working in collaboration for justice. The first issue we’re picking off the ‘hit-list’ is human-trafficking.’ Many of us within Foundation are working, living or spending time with people for whom the effects of abuse and the sex-trade is an everyday reality. I am glad that others are visibly realising that this is an issue to ‘pick off the hit-list’. My hope is that a momentum will gather around this campaign.

The danger is we get so caught up in our own feelings about the situation we become immobilised by the sheer horror of it. Watching a film like Lilya 4-Ever overwhelms me. It makes me feel too much. I don’t want to feel so much that I can not act. I don’t need to be shocked I need to be empowered. Brecht attempted to shift the focus away from the feelings of his audience to the way in which they might be empowered by cultural artefacts to bring about social change. I am not feeling empowered yet…just a bit jaded. hence my return to the epic and to Brecht. Searching for a creative form that doesn’t rely on high emotion is a challenge. I wonder if, as Christians, we rely on emotional provocation too much?

Tonight I am tired and tomorrow I am going to spend in solitude (well as much solitude as is possible with a small child to play with, a PhD to write and an ethics essay to prepare for). I had expected to come home revived. I had thought that was what I needed. I was caught in a spin when I didn’t get what I wanted. My cage has been rattled.

Written by ellenloudon

November 19, 2006 at 8:47 pm

Posted in lament, poem

3 Responses

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  1. so much for solitude! Got to go to the dentist.

    Ellen Loudon

    November 20, 2006 at 1:35 pm

  2. I would have the same problem with something like Lilya 4 ever.In fact with anything issue based on abuse. I find that it provokes extreme emotions. Sometimes it leaves me paralysed and other times it leaves me desperate to squeeze out what i soaked up whilst watching it.Action due to emotion is a strae and varied one….


    November 20, 2006 at 2:33 pm

  3. Well, I hope you manage to regain some peace. I managed it by sacrificing the Sunday morning communion and going for a walk in the woods instead. So I guess I’m lucky, I managed to get revived as well as getting trashed. I think Si wanted us to feel angry, but at the moment I can only feel grief. And I fear anger, even righteous anger.

    John H

    November 20, 2006 at 10:55 pm

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