Being history

Newly-minted Minister reminded me of an interesting event yesterday, which led to a fascinating (and hope-generating) conversation.

And there was a deep oddity. It is a very strange moment for a historian to discover she is actually the history – and that is what that conversation reinforced for me. I am so used to writing about what others have done, said, written, tried to achieve. It is very strange to find that somebody is trying (and indeed, from what I have read of her writings, succeeding) to do the same about stuff I have been involved in.

It is kind of disturbing to realise how much I have forgotten – some of the stuff she mentions I only remember when she mentions it. And I certainly don’t remember writing the things she quotes at me (though they sound pretentious enough to be mine!) It is a salutary reminder that things that seem huge today and even yesterday will probably have faded from my mind in 25 years; that should help keep things in proportion.

But what has been really really encouraging is that I can see how things have moved when I had thought situations were impossible to ameliorate. I can even see how I have done stuff that has mattered.

But above all, I am so encouraged by Newly-minted Minister and so many others, whose energy, vision, capacity, ability and sheer wondrousness are the future!

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