Money can be personal and it can be political. By that I mean we feel its impact acutely both in our individual lives and more abstractly via some sense of how the high street, the county, the country seems. Right now, I have a personal shortage of dark vulture-swung-canyon proportions, mirroring that which apparently afflicts the (entire?) eurozone.
So am I a special case? Clearly not. Is there any comfort in this current, fateful tessellation of inner and outer skinthood? Is there bollocks. The laughably small business I have lies broken-backed on the valley floor whilst the inevitable narrowly post-dinosaur nimrods scan for signs of weakness. The fact that half of Europe feels like this fails, at this particular moment, to lighten the spirit.
So I need to make jokes/watch wonderful sport/write about stuff/recycle the juicy juice/hope that something gives. And I am. Believing and offering up and pursuing, with my characteristic utter lack of proportion, rationality, guile. Hugely, honestly aware that though I can’t afford to fix the truck/am not able to draw cash from the business etc. etc. my more significant privileges remain free from the shadow of capital(ist) fact.
And I breathe them in deeply and think, powerfully and laterally and without any despair how we might dance through this together. Work on the refinery shutdown; work at the gallery/tourist centre; work please god following a call sending me urgently to New Zealand to shadow Eddie Butler, who’s having trouble with his laptop… and writer’s block… and could I possibly knock out coupla columns? Likely or unlikely ways onward.
In one sense I love this knife-edge of possible bankruptcy and possible mindblowing leap forward. At the risk of sounding nauseatingly indulged (I can’t make you believe that there’s really no financial airbag here but I’m not seeing one) I’ve often claimed to be contentedly insecure. Not entirely in some crypto-buddhist unattached present, but pretty close, where a healthy insecurity is certainly preferred to a reactionary stasis. As a unit, me and my beautiful wife do believe we can live for a while off our wits and now we may have to. This, for us, is a test of will and imagination as well as book-keeping.
Each of our cases is unique and I seek no comparisons, being clear that we are fortunate that the prolonged exercise of my evidently poor business skills may yet be a springboard towards less prosaic business in an ideal world. Conversely, and necessarily, I am gearing my expectations down (too), being prepared to go back to where my working life started – in the frozen food factories of Great Grimsby, if you must know – or to the Pembrokeshire equivalent.
How many of us now, with how many cruel or crushing backstories are congregating in this generally greying niche of the crisis? How many have real hope of betterment? Or of achieving financial parity ‘once things straighten out’? Best not to focus on these abstract economic concepts too keenly methinks; we might find people wriggling underneath.
One thought on “An economic crisis”
Bowling, I found this an incredibly moving and important piece of writing for our times. I plan to forward it to as many people as possible.