Genre Blender: After the Lights Went Out – a Letter from Jo’s Mother


For this weeks writing challenge  two genres are to be blended.  I have chosen to do another piece of writing related to my novel.  This is a letter from Bella to her daughter Jo who is charged with returning hope to a lost human race in a dystopian future on a dying earth.


Darling, Dearest Jo,


What I am leaving you here is basically as much of the contents of my head as I can give you.  In the hard drive, you will find my diary which explains everything.  Also in it are all my favourite songs, all my favourite movies and all my writing.  It would not mean much to some people, but I know that it will mean something to you.


I am so sorry that I could not stay with you.  Nothing gave me greater pain than having to leave you behind, but there really was no other way for me.  I hope that in time you will understand that.


I want you to know that I love you in a way that words will never be able to sufficiently describe.  I feel like my heart is somehow bigger than it was before, it has swollen with love and pride for you, you are such a miracle.  Every child is a miracle, every birth is a miracle.  I only wish everyone was able to see that before, they will ever so much more now.  To think of a world without children is bad enough without understanding what that means for us, the human race.  You are special Jo, I knew it as soon as you started taking shape inside of me, as soon as I saw what was happening to the world, the wonder, the hope, the joy of life turning to ash with the fires and the wars.


Your life Jo will not be as easy as I would like it to be, you have a purpose and that must come before all other things.  You will realise this as you become a young woman.  You have to go out into the world Jo and find all the lost people, the people hiding away, the people who may be waiting for the end.


I fear Jo, that the world has been gripped by a feeling of desolation, people have lost faith in everything, people have lost purpose and if we are to survive, what needs to happen is for a new feeling, a new way of thinking to grip the minds of the people left in the world; they need to relearn hope and faith.


By the time you are eighteen, word will have spread throughout the country about a girl that is going to save the world.  You might laugh, you might not believe it, but the story is about you Jo, and it is true.  You will go out into the world and give people hope again, you will teach them what matters, you will help them to have hope again.  You must go everywhere in the world spreading this feeling until you are confident that all the world has remembered to hope and children are born once again.


You might think I am crazy, there are plenty of people who do, and there are those in the world who would lock me up and take you away from me and give you a different kind of life that would mean you lose your innocence and your own hope a long time before you should.  I have left you to be raised by two of the kindest, most wonderful people I have ever met.  When I arrived at the farm here, I was not sure what I was going to do, my only thoughts were to find you somewhere safe.  You came early and I hadn’t really worked out what I was going to do when I came across Ben and Susan.  I knew that the universe had guided me directly to the answer – it has a way of doing that Jo, you will learn that.


At the right time, someone will come for you, an opportunity will appear for you to go on a journey, you must take it, I have told Ben and Susan the same thing: if the right person comes for you at the right time, you must go with them.


By the time you are fully grown, everyone will be looking for you.  I have spread word over the cities and sent messages in bottles about you.  Even before you do anything, you will start to save people, because even if there is one little part of them that believes in you, one little bit that believes you might help to save them, there is a chance we will survive.


People believe that the God is punishing them, or that there is no God and that the earth itself is revolting against humans, or we are killing it and it is dying.  That is not true Jo, the earth and the universe knows exactly how to live, it is life itself.  It is the people, Jo, who are punishing themselves, revolting against themselves, giving up.  You cannot let them give up.  I have tried in many ways to try to tell them this but they think I am crazy. They did not like the things I was saying because I was rebelling against their systems, against the governments and against the order of things that they could not see was destroying us. Others like me were finding out the truth about their so-called “wars on terrorism” about the oil, about alternative energy, about the capitalist system that was turning the heart of the human race to stone.  There were websites, blogs and facebook pages which were spreading the word and people were listening.  More and more people were coming to the same understanding and the governments started to put a stop to them, because it didn’t serve their purpose which was to covet power and money.


There is a philosophy about existence I once read, and I am not sure where now, but it says that the world exists constantly in a battle of good and evil and it is always a very close battle, swinging slightly one way and then the other, but only ever so slightly so that it always remains in balance.  There is a part of me that believes that and that believes that what is happening now is that the world is out of balance, it has swung too far to the wrong side and not enough people are fighting for the good side, so it seems as if the earth and people are dying.  What I hope is that even now when things are so bad, the universe still knows exactly what it is doing, the universe or God or whatever or whoever you believe holds the power of the earth. I just call it the universe because I am not sure what it is, this power which is in everything.


If nothing else Jo, for your own soul, you must fight for the good.  If you are growing up in the world I suspect you are, you may find it difficult to see any hope or understand faith, but you must find it, you must fight for the good in you every second of every day.  It is not something that you just have to do once and then you are good and everything is fine, it is something you have to do with every thought, every word and every deed. It is something that has to be done again and again and again all throughout your life, no matter what you are going through.


Things will happen in your life that you will have no control over.  You have to understand what things you have control over and what things you do not, you have to clearly separate these two things in your mind and concentrate only on the things you do have control over starting with what you choose to think.


You can choose to believe that I am mad, that this is all just a fabrication and the earth really is dying, or you can believe that just maybe there is some truth in what I am saying and that if you believe in what I am saying, the impossible may just happen, that if you tell people there is still hope, they will believe you.  That is all I am really asking you to do, tell them not to give up, tell them no matter what hardships they have faced, no matter what losses, no matter how many people, how many things have died around them, there is still hope, there is still life.


Maybe this is just a period that we are going through in history where the universe is righting itself, maybe there were a lot of things going on in the world that were bad and that had to be stopped, and this was the only way to do it.


I don’t believe that there is no oil or that there are not numerous other sources of energy that could be used to get the world up and running again.  I think what the world needs to do is remember what is really important, what is really necessary, what you really cannot live without because Jo, you will not believe the things people think they could not live without before, the things people believed they needed.  We had so much, we had everything we could need and more, but still people wanted more and more and no one stood still and appreciated what they had.  People did not want to sacrifice luxuries for things that would have made the world a better place.  They would not give up a little so that more people could have something.  Yet here I am, giving up the most precious thing in my life so that they can understand this, so that they can be saved.  I probably won’t even live to see the earth saved, I may never know if this crazy plan has worked, but still I am giving you up so that they can have you.  I am making the biggest sacrifice I could possibly give, I would give my own life, I am sure before I am finished I will, but that does not mean nearly so much to me as your life and  more importantly what you do with it.


I want you to live in a world where you can have your own children, I want you to know peace and hope and carefree joyous days.  I want you to fall in love, have a family and experience everything that comes with that.  I want you to look around yourself every day and be grateful for the world around you, to appreciate the earth and everything in it.  I want you to see everything, to know everything.  So learn Jo, learn from everything, learn from the things other people say, and learn from their stories, whether told to you in person or written in books, or shown to you in films, music or art.  These people create these things because they have something to tell you, something to say, some part of themselves or their lives that they are sharing with you, a little secret so that when you see it you recognize yourself in it and for some reason you cannot explain, for a few precious seconds, everything makes sense to you.


See the good in people Jo, look for it, most of the time it is there.  Encourage the good in people, feed the good wolf.  Be kind, be caring and do not be afraid to be that way even when it seems no one else is.  Respect life, respect other people, respect their choices and forgive their mistakes.  Do not judge them.  Understand that we all need to make mistakes in order to learn.  Understand that there are many things that people will do that you will not understand, and you will want to stop them doing things that they will do anyway.  You have to let them learn, but think of them kindly, show them compassion, breath in their troubles and let them out with your exhalation.  Meditate and do yoga, I promise you if you learn to do it early, it will help you through life in the most wonderful way.  It took me nearly thirty years to look for it and it has been the most helpful thing I have ever done.  It is the one way you can daily give your mind and your body a hug.


There is so much I want to say to you, but there is no time, I have to leave you before I cannot because every day I stay it is harder than ever to leave.  When I leave I will never be the same again, not until I somehow hear that you are out in the world spreading hope and joy.  Then wherever I am I will be in peace completely.  I cannot tell you where I am going because I really do not know.  I do not think it will be possible for us to meet in this lifetime and even if I do meet you, I may not be able to tell you who I am, but why don’t you think that every strange lady you meet on your journey might be me.  There is a religion that believes that every soul you meet was once your mother, although that is quite a funny thought, if you treat everyone with the same love and respect you do your mother, you are doing things the right way.  You are everyone’s daughter Jo, I don’t deserve to have you all to myself, so I am giving you to the world, I hope they appreciate you.


I will love you always in everything I think and say and do.  Whenever you are feeling alone or sad or you think you may be losing hope, think of me and know that I am thinking of you, rooting for you, hugging you when you are quiet and on your own, smiling at you when you are having fun, laughing with you, crying with you, connected to you always even when you are unsure, even when you make mistakes.  Think of me somewhere watching your story like a movie, a little audience in the sky, in the trees, in the wind, in everything that has life in it.

I love you, always.


Bella, your mum

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