2021 Grateful 21: Lifelong learning

If I envy others anything, it’s their knowledge. So, I might get a twinge or two about a house or a new appliance, but that speaks more to where I’m at right now than deep-seated envy of others. Knowledge though, that’s different.

A case in point being my mate BA and their ability to say things in Latin, a language I regret not taking in school when it was offered. Then there’s UK and their ability to talk about art and what lies behind it, to recognise what’s what and by whom and know the backstory. Himself, too, has a seemingly bottomless pit of information about the most random things. He’s my go-to for explanations when I’m too lazy to Google.
And yes, of course, if I was really bothered by it, I could spend the time learning whatever it is I feel I’m missing. But I rarely do. That doesn’t mean I don’t learn stuff, though.
I’m blessed that my editing work takes me places I’d never visit out of choice. I recently finished a fascinating study of human rights diplomacy, which makes me wonder what Mr O is up to with this latest move:
A new decree in Hungary has ordered children’s booksellers to wrap books and media that depict homosexuality in “closed packaging.”
It’s boy and girl only. Anything else is considered a deviation from the norm.
This bothers me. It really bothers me. That I am living in a country that could pass such a law unsettles me. And while my roots here are deep and growing deeper by the day as I literally sink everything into a new project, there’s a nervousness there that will have to be dealt with.
Another study that crossed my desk was one on demographic imaginaries in this part of the world. While countries like Hungary and Belarus are busy trying to incentivise population growth by offering cars and houses and medals to women who do their part to reverse the trend, they don’t seem to be doing much to arrest the chief culprit –  emigration. Creating a country young people don’t want to leave would seem a smarter spend.
In recent weeks, I also learned about Dialogue for Peace, the Marian apparitions in La Salette, and Ireland’s national cultural institutions.
Last week, Mike Romeo introduced me to the poet Stanley Kunitz and his poem, The Layers.
I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
I thought it a fitting reflection of where I am and what I’m doing.

4 Responses

  1. Their ability . . . Bloody Hell, Mary . . . from anyone else that would be an insult!!! I hadn’t heard of the latest OV excess, he’s clearly past it . . . actually, he doesn’t look well. There are indeed times when I feel disposed to go back.

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