I was swimming in the sea this week with my coach who reminded me to use my peripheral vision. There were a lot of people around in the water and on paddle boards. I had been concentrating on one thing she had said about my stroke and I was not exactly taking in what was happening to my left and right. That tends to happen a lot with me. Tunnel vision? Maybe.
Swimming is not the only thing that causes you to use peripheral vision. The adjective definition of peripheral is ‘relating to or situated on the edge of something’. That’s been pretty much me for most of my life. I operate on the outskirts, I see every point of view, agree with everything, and never give my own opinion. Whether it be fear of man, or not wanting to upset the apple cart, or my peacemaker personality. I leave things well alone and do not get involved in heavy arguments. Basically I never have to pick a battle because I have never really fought.
But this is different. The murder by police of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, has evoked something in me. And I will never be the same. Gone are the hiding in the shadows, waiting till it feels safe to speak, gone is fear of man, I will speak now. And I will try not to apologise for it.
Enough. The silence is over.