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Even when alone, you're not really

White handwritten text in block capitals against an abstract swirled multicoloured background. Text reads: "Life is so weird let's hang on tight to each other".

When you're predominantly housebound, live alone, are still shielding from Covid etc, you can feel isolated and disconnnected from the world. But we're not, not totally anyway. We're all intertwined. Our liberation is too. I spend a lot of my time sitting looking about at the things in my home, or out the window. It's often all I'm well enough for. Here's some of what I've been thinking lately.

Lots of people have previously owned almost every item in my home. Probably each piece owned by several people before me. I've collected them together, and often wonder about where they were before. Whose house did they sit in?

Someone crafted them. Someone painted and stitched and framed the pieces on my walls. I look at their signatures and wonder who they are, or were.

Someone was wearing the clothes I have on before me. Someone else was wrapped in this blanket first. Someone somewhere made them. Someone tended to the raw materials they're made from.

Someone made my shoes, I'm sure they don't get paid enough. Someone owned and wore my shoes before I did. They broke them in. For which I'm glad because I only really put them on to take out the bins. Someone collects my bins. Someone else, somewhere else, is left to deal with our countries discarded rubbish. I'm sorry.

I plan, make and eat all my meals by myself. I order and pay for the ingredients myself. But someone else grew them. Someone tended to them day in day out. Their muscles ache and their bones are weary. I'm aware of my own aches and pains. Someone transported those supplies to the shop. Someone transported them to my flat. I wonder if they had the radio on.

I put my fresh medical supplies away in the cabinet. I recently learned that gauze is derived from the Palestinian city of Gaza, did you know that? I think of what is happening to Palestinians. All the injuries and illness inflicted on them, the medical supplies they so desperately need and are purposefully denied access to. I think of them, as mine are delivered to my door.

Someone packaged my prescription before handing it to my mum. Someone somewhere is thinking about how to treat my currently untreatable conditions. Not enough people, and they don't have enough money, but someone is.

Many of the medical "breakthroughs" we have today, much of the medical knowledge, is built off the back of the oppression and mistreatment of marginalised people. I think of them. Of Henrietta Lacks, and the countless others I do not know the names of.

Everything I know someone taught me somewhere along the way. Some of it has to be actively unlearned, some of it I was late to knowing. Someone wrote the books I read. I learn things from people sharing their lived experiences through my phone every day.

My electronics were owned by someone else first. Someone was forced to mine the resources they're made of. What horrors they endure.

I think of them. I think of them all. Everyone that's made everything, grown everything. Everyone that's been mistreated along the way. Everyone that deserves so much better.

As I sit here by myself, I'm surrounded by people. Surrounded by what their hands have touched and their minds have known. Surrounded with their passions and skills as well as their struggles. We are all interconnected.

Even when alone. You're not really.


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