On Friday morning, the alarm clock radio woke us to the horror of the night before – a lorry crashing through crowds in Nice – 84 dead, 50 critically injured, many of them children. The driver deliberately swerving to hit as many people as he could over a mile…after the fireworks – Bastille day!
I have run out of words to even begin to describe, or come to terms with, the reality of this tragedy…
Dreaming: he headed towards the glass door then gasped as it broke on impact and ten thousand shards settled on the floor around him, as he stood screaming in the lobby.
Who could have guessed one man’s clear, premeditated, sick decision, to wait in that lorry until the time was ‘right?’ Not ‘mad’. Murderous! Somebody else knew…
How can there be
so much space
between who we are
and how we may appear?
Friday evening was such a blissful contrast. We went to Amy’s book launch at Wilton’s Music Hall, a truly unique and delightfully restored venue. Coincidentally just around the corner from The Royal College of Psychiatrists, and near Lehman Street. (Lehman meaning lover.) It was an evening of hope and of celebration with poems sharing the joy of love, of loss and the spirit of great women across the last century. (See Houdini’s Wife & Other Poems.)
News from the Tour de France, was of Chris Froome who’d crashed into a TV motorbike on Thursday on Mount Ventoux. The motorbike had stopped abruptly to avoid hitting a spectator. Froome found himself running up a stretch of the mountain, without his bike.
In the Saturday Guardian, it was recorded that on the Friday the stage winner, the Dutchman Dumoulin, had said that he’d wondered whether the stage should go ahead (in view of Nice) adding ‘I’m happy with the win but its overshadowed of course. It’s a strange day with very mixed feelings. I’m happy with the win, but cannot be happy.’
When has the world been a truly happy place? There is always suffering, as Buddhists would acknowledge. It seems that there is, at any one time, something awful happening in some part of the world…
How do we reconcile this with calm reflection, mindfulness and the world of the arts and creativity?
Whatever we write, cannot undo the pain, the trauma, the loss. And yet we have to add our voices, in whatever way we can, even if it seems we’re already part of the silent majority who will not stand for violence.