Dear Twitter…

Dear Twitter

Let me get one thing straight before I start. You know that phrase, “it’s not you… it’s me”?

Well I’m fairly sure it’s you! 

I used to have so much fun with you. You were a place for great craic, plenty of banter and discussion about stuff I knew little about. I was ok with that, it was an education. I followed lots of people for lots of reasons and created my lists so I could look at writers and family and Christians etc separately if I wanted to.

I’ve spent a lot of time building my profile in your world. I’m no Nicki Minaj (on many levels) but 3000 followers is not nothing – and me trying to establish myself as some sort of writer, it’s a good place to be in.

I’ve met some clever people along the way, with differing views about differing subjects. Sometimes I was brave enough to chip in, other times I’d just sit and watch it go by. 

I remember the first time I saw #vinb. I thought the world had gone mad. I watched the programme a couple of times and quickly realised it wasn’t for me. But the hashtag was enough anyway. At first it was entertaining to see folk set their hair on fire about stuff. Then I noticed #rtept, #marian, #miriam and #twip, and it seemed some folk only appeared on Twitter when these hashtags were burning bright.

Something changed a few months ago and suddenly you weren’t so much fun anymore. A couple of topics rose to the surface and you became a place where I had to put up or shut up. Differing opinions were no longer welcome. The minority voice which in economic and social subjects was championed, was now told to be silent.

The senator, the professor, the clergymen, the I.I. director and most of that ilk get hauled over the coals every time they open their mouths. Insulted, criticised, mocked and hung out to dry. On the rare occasion someone gets a slap on the wrist for mocking, the wagons are circled… “poor you – how could anyone be so mean….?” 

Eh, yeah… that was my question, but about you – not to you.

I tried to be brave and stepped in a few times, but I was out of my depth. I watch as the overzealous fringe of Christian opinion is regularly dragged through your streets RT’d and RT’d again so everyone can have a good laugh.

In that last few days I’ve watched the RTs stack up of the clip of the New Zealand MP and his hilarious account of some of the contact he’s had from people who disagreed with him. He had the whole of the chamber in stitches laughing as he described some of the comments, he did a clever science experiment & used a Bible verse to seal the deal (completely out of context, but hey the Christians do it; so what?!). It was like an episode of Mock the Week, or is it ‘mock the weak’? 

I suppose I could just unfollow a load of people, or re-jig my lists. Grab one of my gay friends who I love (and who love me back) and ask them to assure you that I’m not homophobic. Explain how love for family, childlessness, & love for life are as much reasons for my prolife stance as any Bible verse I may wave at you. But Twitter, you steal my voice, you silence me. I sit at an empty blog post, finger poised over the keyboard and I can’t speak. I swore only a year ago that I’d never let that happen again.

When I finally realised I was a writer and said it out loud for the first time, I was determined never to let anyone convince me other wise. I was going to say what I wanted to say. But you put a stop to that. Or maybe I just let you.

Either way, you stifle me. You smother me. You make me cry. And if you were a boyfriend…. any true friend of mine would be asking me why I haven’t dumped you a long time ago.
The annoying thing is that you’re exactly like that crazy boyfriend I used to have – I’m finding it really hard to let you go, even though I know you’re bad for me and things are about to get a whole lot worse.

@auntyamo needs a break from you. Let’s see if I can live without you for a while.
I’ll miss you – a bit.

A x

P.S Thanks to all the Tweeters who noticed my recent comments about leaving and were nice enough to say ‘don’t go’. If you really can’t live without me follow @amowriting But it’s a politics free zone. God knows I need it! 

The Half Circle of Life

Round and round it goes.
The whirligig of life.
No stopping it, impossible to catch
There it goes, hatch, match, dispatch.
Babby becomes mammy and she becomes granny
And around we go again.

It’s a wonderful thing.

The next generation consoles the loss of the last
The sights and sounds of new life ease the pain of absence, a salve.

But I’m stuck with this half circle
It keeps moving one way but refuses to come back around.
I feel the benefits and blessings of the salve of others
They ease the sting.

But the absence for me is doubled-up pain
and never more than on this day.
Each year Mother’s Day comes around
It holds my half circle in front of me
I look at it and smile through tears
For in it I see my 27

Dedicated to the memory of my mother, and to my 27 nieces and nephews.

One more sleep…

I'm just a big baby :)
I’m just a big baby 🙂

I loooooooove Christmas.

I’m trapped in the middle lane of excitement though. I’m an adult. (No, honest I am!) So I have a certain responsibility to behave in a relatively mature manner. But because I’m the baby of the family (and have managed to retain the title, despited numerous nieces and nephews and a few in the next generation), I fully subscribe to all the tinsel, lights & pressies! I still have a childlike excitement at the thought of ripping Christmas paper off stuff tomorrow 🙂

It’s my family’s fault, they forgot to remind me to grow up!

But… I am a bit sad today. LIke all special days, everything is bigger – including the stuff that’s missing. Like time with my mam, or my own kids to pass on the Christmas nonsense too.
I’m so grateful that my family let me insert myself into their Christmases, but I see them making their own new traditions with children and grandchildren. It’s circle of life stuff I know but some times I feel like my circle got a bit bashed up and every so often I come across a little dent…

I know I know… I have so much more than many people this Christmas. Believe me, I do know how fortunate and blessed I am to have so much and so many to share it with.

Away in a Manger
Away in a Manger

And of course there’s the Reason for the Season…! The first Christmas had family, but not a straightforward one! There were visitors and gifts, but in the middle of the joy of a newborn there must have been disappointment. I’m sure Mary would have preferred to have her baby in familiar and ‘CLEAN’ surroundings. And both her and Joseph must have been filled with fear and apprehension at what the future would bring. But in the midst of all that mess and uncertainty the Angel declared that it was “news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10

There is joy at Christmas, regardless of our circumstances…. and as they say, it’s not just for Christmas…. 🙂

One of my favourite lines from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.”
I will enjoy my memories of the past, enjoy the season with my family and trust God for the future!

That’s my resolution… what’s yours 🙂

Happy Christmas everyone.
Thanks for reading/liking/following/commenting – much appreciated 🙂 xx

Response and follow up to – Saying it out Loud

On Twitter earlier this week, I referred to this old blog post. For some reason it had popped into my head and I was mulling it over. The post mentioned that for the first time, I’d done a public talk about being childless.

I got a couple of comments/questions about it. After thinking about it for a while I realised that unless you knew the Bible story I referred to, it might not make sense. So, rather than add the story as another blog post I thought I’d put the recording of the talk up on MixCloud. It’s about 20 minutes long and still may not make sense 🙂

You’ll find it here, if you’d like to listen 🙂

Discarded & Unnamed

Most of the time it doesn’t hurt anymore.

I go about my day to day life and I don’t even give it a thought.

Get the odd twinge, when I hear of pregnancies  but in general, not having children doesn’t often cause me much pain anymore. Usually I’m just so delighted that there’ll another little person in my life that the joy outweighs the sadness.

But today it’s tough. Today it is painful. Today it feels REALLY unfair and the whole world feels upside down. Mainly because of an article I read in the online version of the Telegraph [1]

248 human foetuses were found in a Russian forest. 248 little tiny people whose lives ended or were ended. When I read the article it was almost crushing.

I’m not going to rant about abortion or stem cell research. I disagree with abortion, anyone who know s me would know that. But I don’t have a fight in me at the moment. All I have is a pressing sadness that for some reason I don’t have a child and 248 tiny humans were packed into plastic containers and dumped in a forest.

LORD, I don’t understand. Help me not to despair about the total upside down nature of this situation. Which is mild and could be thought as nothing compared to a lot of other imbalanced and unjust situations in the world.

248… discarded and unnamed…

And I am sad.