November thinkery

Also posted on my Twitter as part of my happy-making thread, but I think this warrants its own post. I just attended a clan gathering to celebrate a matriarch’s 100th birthday so I met relatives I never knew I had. 

Family is also history. Not the state-sanctioned narratives but the ties of time, blood and land that bind us together. Plus the silences that are saying a lot.

I think talking about our histories is both sad- and happy-making. We talked about the Japanese Occupation and how it impacted our lives (our families etc) and how it lingers even now. The elders didn’t talk about it because the memories are *painful*. Three years and 8 months.

I am digesting a lot at the moment. And it’s happy-making, bittersweet. And how I think it ties in with the fight against fake news and how narratives can really affect people’s thinking. And how histories can be so cold and detached with certain agendas – but talk to a witness and you get how personal, how powerful and how deeply raw it is to them. People can so easily demonise and vilify a person… but that person is also a loved one to someone else.

Why is it happy-making, when omg Joyce it’s so depressing? Because as a trained historian and a history teacher, this clicks for me and resonates deep. We forget we are all messy, all problematic and very very human. But sure, we like to categorise people into Good or Bad.


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