Whilst heading to my osteopath appointment this morning, I read a article about John Cantlie, who is the latest British hostage to be held by IS or ISIS or whatever the hell those silly bastards are called these days.
I can imagine nothing more horrific than the situation Cantlie is in. Surely it's only a matter of time before those animals behead him, yet in the meantime they're forcing him to read out propaganda messages criticising his own government. At a certain point a life like his surely becomes unliveable. He must wake up every morning wondering if this day will be his last, wondering what ridiculous message he'll be forced to read out next. In fairness to him, he always seems to read in a way which subtly tells those who understand sarcasm he has no belief in what he is saying. Cantlie by name, can't lie by nature.
It strikes me that Muslim terrorists thrive on humiliating people, which, in my view is the lowest and most tragic practice. Just as children in playgrounds are cruel because they don't yet understand humility and empathy, so these people use rape and loss of dignity as their tools. My one hope is that, when they themselves die, there will be a moment, before complete oblivion, when they realise they aren't going to a place where they can make love to virgins and whatever their un-evolved brains tell them to expect...
The osteopath informed me that my back situation has now moved into the "managing" rather than "curing" phase. The mild scoliosis of my back, coupled with my less-than ideal working posture apparently means that this is the best scenario I can expect. So I could be in osteopathy on and off for the rest of my life which seems a little insane.
I came home on the tube, and entered such a peculiar trance-like state somewhere near Archway, that I entirely missed Highgate tube! It was only the tube bursting out of a tunnel somewhere before Finchley Central which made me realise what I'd done. It was hugely confusing!
The rest of the day was spent writing the Fleet Singers piece. It doesn't yet have a name. I probably need to think of one. I got Nathan to read out all the poems I've selected, so I could hear someone else's rhythm patterns. I think I'm definitely there and have selected the most appropriate poems. It's such a shame I've had to cut so many that were submitted, but some of them were so personal, I thought the writers might actually feel a little uncomfortable hearing them being sung. I made a decision rather early on in the selection process only to include (universal) poems which I thought larger numbers of the choir stood a chance of empathising with. I also had to cut back on the number of poems about trees! John Hegley's poetry workshop, which generated many of the poems submitted, used trees as a theme, and people were obviously hugely inspired! I think, perhaps 2/3rds of all poems mentioned trees in some capacity!