Sitting on the sofa last night the news is clearly and crisply delivered:
My husband turns to me with a look of what? Relief maybe or just a weary cognisance of the machinery of inevitability chewing steadily forward.
This morning an email from my mum with a link to an article pounding irresponsible persons from congregating in George Square to mark her passing. They unleashed the horses and police in riot masks at us there, once upon a time in the days when university education was still paid for by the State and we still felt that activism could make a difference.
There was a time when the very mention of her name brought up an irrational anger in me.
My days of anger are mostly behind me now. Yesterday morning and well before the news broadcast, however, I was irrationally out of sorts. A young woman running for the traffic light nearly barrelled into me as I crossed the road heading towards the yoga studio. Stuck between her forward trajectory and a slightly stationery car, my shoulder instinctively turned and I buffeted her physically away from me. An entirely over the top defensive movement – she gasped in shock more than pain (I hope). As I walked away I looked at the reaction. Why on earth suddenly was I so frigging angry?
Not that I am blaming Maggie or her demise for my actions. I can choose how to feel, how to behave. I am a grown up and a yogi after all or so I would like to think.
How can you possibly blame one woman for the wreckage of social justice, the slow dissolution of the welfare state? She was probably no more than an emetic for the aspiration of greed. A crusader for salvation through home ownership, a pinup girl for free market forces the zeitgeist she brandished like an axe polarised allegiances more effectively than any war ever could.
It is clear to me now that I was always going to be one of those destined to stand on the outside watching as others cranked the wealth machine inside still and dusty corporate factories.
Today I live in a suburb that is a veritable Australian shrine to her legacy. Multi-million dollar homes built by self-made men and women. Amongst these people I am a renter, a lower caste to each and everyone one of my neighbours. Renting is a dirty word round these parts. Such is my destiny that it is more likely than not that I will never own my own home either in part with the bank via a stonking great mortgage or outright. How will that change my life? All I know is that not to have the same goals of acquisition as others puts me in the precarious position of relying on charity in my dotage or hoping my kids will put me up (and put up with me).
Maggie did not create the schism that places on either side of the wealth divide but she grabbed a palette full of residual fears and anxieties and painted a broad social canvas of indifference and self service with it.
I will never say that I am happy that someone else is dead. Death is but a dissolution of a life force that chugs on unabated in her absence. I will only be happy when that frissure that she worried open is filled or the carapace onto which I presently cling splits away entirely letting me drift away with it.
Maybe true freedom will follow?