In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk

What is a Hyphen to do in 2020 ?



There’s A and there’s B, but that’s not all. There’s also the connection between them. What is it ? They are sharing more than just the air. They were born to share more than just opposite sides of the same wall.

A hyphen-line, a connecting scratch on the page, a fragile raft of some sort or other. Must it be a fault-line ? Or just a fleeting extra to the fatal reality of Me and Mine ?

Or, on the contrary, is the mysterious line which connects one to another the only thing that really matters  ? And humanity’s only hope ?

These ideas/images/questions stem from a book called “I and Thou” by Martin Buber. And the small charity I founded and run (called “Hyphen-21“) was inspired by that book, and the stand Buber takes on the centrality of the hyphen that truly connects me to Thee, me to all that’s outside of me. (The “21” belongs to our present century, of course).

And every year, in the still period between the ending of one year and the starting of another, I have arranged for our accounts to be sent to Companies House and the Charity Commissioners ; and have written the annual report that for a while had to accompany the accounts, but now only needs to go to the charity’s Trustees as part of the accounting package.

I enjoy the accounting, the looking back and appraising, the looking forward and exploring, the trying to make sense of, the charting of a course through.

But what of this year ? What sense can I make of anything ? What sort of passage can a hyphen provide through a tempest, a plague, a flood ? What connections can be made to hold ?

I decided to send out the usual report a bit more widely this time, beyond the Trustee circle. Would anyone make time to read it ? Would anyone have time enough to make some time ? And now I’ve decided to go one step further and  post it up here. It’s basically asking questions in general, rather than reporting in particular. Where have we got to ? What’s to be done ? The questions belong with all of us.

When I began the report, the UK general election was about to take place. By the time I’d finished it, I already knew the result. Here is a link to the report.