Rounded Characters

A glorious sunny spring day here on the side of the Malvern hills; bluebells are out, wrens are nesting, nuthatch is bullying bluetits on the birdfeeder. Shame I have to be off to the day job in a moment: would like to be pottering in the garden or walking on the hills. We’ve had one small shower of rain in the last month, though, so could do with a bit more soon, or I’ll be watering the veg patch. One thing alone won’t do. Sunshine alone creates a desert. We cannot romp through life in unremitting joy. We need the downs to appreciate the highs of love, success and friendship. Also reminds me of my parents’ Quaker saying: “There is that of God in every man.” We need to remember that no one is unremittingly evil. We need to label behaviour not the soul. We need to offer a way forward, not damn people to repeat wrongdoing because they can see no other way. On the other hand, as a writer, it’s great to remember There is that of Evil in Every Man, too, hallelujah! Even the most perfect hero has imperfections, tragic flaws waiting to unravel his plans: greed, jealously, misplaced love, stupidity. Let’s give our heroes – and ourselves! – some leeway.

In the garden

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