After all these months of grey skies, the sun dazzles and confuses. Dark, faceless figures stalk towards me. Strange times. The impulse to a different, more creative life wells up only with increasing force, it seems, as work and commuting drain and debilitate more every year and the fear of ending life in penury keeps slowly growing. I've been copy-editing papers by an economist whose latest research shows repeatedly that employing women in their fifties lowers a firm's productivity (not, I imagine, the finding he was expecting or hoping for). I can think of several reasons why this might be so, or be perceived as so, all of which fill me with anger and despair*. Trying not to shrink from the light, to find the human faces of the shadows as they bear down.
* If you're not sure what kind of thing I'm thinking of with regard to the potential of older women, among others, for lower productivity, see this article cited by my friend Maria at Small Change about how much more 'productive' an American psychiatrist has to be these days - a particularly shocking and poignant example, but one that can be extrapolated to almost any kind of job.