From a young age, writing has bridged my relationship between myself and the world around me. I cannot remember exactly when I decided to become a journalist. I would say it was in my teens when the fire of puberty erupted within and spurred my wish for change, for impact, for influence as part of my entangled expression in and with the planet.
Writing was a harbinger of wellness in that it funnelled somewhat confused meanderings onto a page, it ‘animated’ my thoughts by relocating them in a safe space, unconsciously and consciously clearing away the unwanted ‘weeds’ of “this-is-not-mine” and integrating what resourced and grew me, what inspired and soothed me, what forged my unique signature, what fed my soul and made it sing anew.
This process of creating spaciousness in time comforted me and was an essential tool of relating to my surrounds, and of ‘digesting’ the challenges of living with others. I often wrote in nature. It created a safe positive loop between myself and my notebook, mediated by a pen, a magic wand of a kind. I sometimes say I was raised by the pen.
My native French culture would instil in me its orientation to international politics, holding the bigger picture in one’s mind. It curated and fostered a geopolitical apprehension and understanding of the world that remained with me when I moved to Ireland, an island with a very different relating to the world from a local, more insular vantage point.
I studied journalism in Dublin and noticed those differences in the political landscape as well as the reporting style. In a French newspaper, international news come first; national news second. The opposite holds true in an Irish broadsheet.
I always kept a close connection between wellness and my agency towards promoting it as a journalist. Most of my stories were about environmental, humanitarian and social issues. I met and interviewed concerned individuals and organisations’ representatives, alerted readers of environmental abuses of their land and waterways, investigated corporate fraud resulting in ecological destruction, raised awareness on the plight of minorities, asylum seekers, reported on poverty and racism… I was a freelancer peddling wellness to very reluctant editors.
My words were chopped and made to fit a given space on the page. Journalism taught me confinement and the boundaries of deadlines. Yet the act of publication and distribution transported these words to a virtually unbounded audience. The words detached from me to become part of someone else’s life. They multiplied, impacting and influencing others’ worlds to varying degrees. I wonder whether journalists nowadays realise how much of a responsibility to readers they have because of those very reasons.
How many journalists today have wellness of our environmental, social and political fabric in mind as they write their biased truths? When do the words we print and speak, instead of creating space for reflection, imaginal designs and the possibility of wellness, of active agency, instead confine us into overwhelm and the cul-de-sac of shutdown?