On Referendum Polling Day, 51.9% voted to Leave —those in favor of leaving the European Union, and 48.1% voted to Remain — those in favor of remaining part of the European Union, splitting the nation almost in half.
Daisy Buchanan, a columnist and features writer who typically covers arts, entertainment and women’s issues, tapped into the nation’s zeitgeist in her article in The Guardian, ‘Referendum Anxiety’:-
‘I don’t know about you, but I’m having a really relaxing, productive day. After going into the polling station, I returned home and compulsively ate Kettle Chips for an hour as I contemplated a post-apocalyptic future, and wondered whether everything will be upside down and on fire this time tomorrow as voters react to the fact that they didn’t get the result they wanted.’
What is Life in Limbo like? What is Limbo, for starters? The dictionary definitions of the word are more disturbing than I’d realised, but they do accurately describe how people in the UK are feeling:- a condition of prolonged uncertainty or neglect; an intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place; a place or state of imprisonment or confinement; a place or state of oblivion for persons or things cast aside, forgotten, or out of date; the abode of unbaptized but innocent or righteous souls, as those of infants or virtuous individuals who lived before the coming of Christ.
Hey! What’s the name of the game you play at parties, with a stick, and you try to go under the stick without touching it?
It’s a West Indian dance in which the dancers repeatedly bend over backward and pass under a pole that is lowered slightly with each pass. Here’s what happens:-
If only that was the limbo we were in; But life in the UK is not in a fun limbo. It’s in a more serious, severe kind…. where you are inert, frozen, and in a nebulous unknown space and time…hoping you’ll get a response shortly.
It’s hard to imagine unless you’re living it. If you haven’t been affected directly by these events, and cannot quite relate, then here, try this:-
Think of something you’d like an answer to. Ask the question. Then wait for an answer…. Here’s what happens:-
Repeat the question. A bit louder, perhaps, and wait a bit longer… Still no reply, and while it is testing your patience, your only option is to wait…. So you take a breath in and hold it, hoping you’ll get a response shortly.
You wrestle uncomfortably inside your skin in slight disbelief, not quite verging on despair, yet. You take a step back; you open your mouth to catch some more, by now, needed air, while you continue to wait, by which time you are sort of semi-frozen on the spot…
You might change your facial expression to one of further incredulity. Your mind is racing now, a kind of fury is building inside you… and then, you sense that you might not get an answer at all, and you realize you are, actually stuck. And now, the person asked? You cannot see them any more. Have they left? And if so, when will they return?
On top of not having any answers, and being unsupported, is the uncertainty of how long this will last, which increases the momentum downwards and backwards and decreases any remaining impetus to unfreeze and move in any direction at all,if ever again….
It’s amazing how quickly these layers can build up… in limbo.
There is another game, it’s called Statues, and Life in the UK is not unlike that game, where you are commanded to freeze on the spot by the leader, and then you wait for a team member to run passed and set you free, but here, in the UK, it is not a game, and here we do not know who are leaders are, nor if any players will set you free. So we remain frozen in whatever position our eyes mouths and limbs were in when we were commanded to do so…. no doubt feeling awkward and desperately uncomfortable, if not in some kind of real pain until something changes… and that could take two years…
The former Prime Minister, David Cameron, who was in favor of remaining in the EU, and who’s idea it was to give the nation the opportunity to vote on this issue, admitted defeat and resigned the day after the referendum election. An interview with David Cameron, in GQ magazine, posted online on June 23rd, offers some insight into the entire debate from the perspective of the man who held the highest political position in the country. Described as ‘a man in a hurry’…. and a man ‘saddled with the ignominious task of managing this country’s extrication from Europe’ — a task he swiftly opted out of.
Cameron left the nation leaderless, followed by the next in lines for the role, BREXIT campaign leaders Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, also swiftly jumping ship, in an appalling display of cowardice, as they threw salt on the nation’s wounded and blatantly ran away from their responsibilities. These were, shamefully, politicians who cared less about the effects their campaigning than about their strategically ego-driven and wholly self-centered career paths. Bollocks to them!
A new Prime Minister, Teresa May, is in office now. She wasn’t a big noise in the months before the 23 June, but she was in the Remain camp. That said, her first words upon appointment were ‘BREXIT means BREXIT’ and has taken the responsibility that Cameron left behind. However she has assured the British people that nothing will happen until at least 2017.
It appears that neither side actually expected the leave result. No one put Plan A, B or C together, and so, for BREXIT means BREXIT, read LIMBO means LIMBO.
There really is only one way to survive this limbo, and that is to live small, live slow, live easy. Especially in summer. Take it one day at a time. Take day-sized bites. And chew well. Oh, and Breathe. Deeply. For G-d’s sake, don’t forget to breathe.