After much hesitation, I’ve decided to post what I have written in the sleepless night that followed the November 13th attacks. Hesitated because I’ve always been uncomfortable with putting stuff out there that has been written in the thrall of emotion. Hesitated because this doesn’t seem like the place to put it out. Hesitated because I don’t want to be part of the discussions that will arise from this tragedy, the shortcuts and simplifications, over-emotional appeals and self-aggrandizing statements.
But if I don’t use this plateform to express genuine emotion, flawed as it might be, what is the point of writing at all?
If I don’t use this platform for other things than pretty pictures of sunsets and entertaining tales of adventures, what is it really worth?
If I shy away from other people, their opinion and reality, from the painful questions that come with it, why would I want to publish anything?
Excuse my shortcuts and simplifications, over-emotional appeals and self-aggrandizing statements, I’ve just woken up and the wake is painful.
One o clock. The phone rings. The words cut through the thick fog of sleep. The world cuts through the bubble of meaningless plans and hopes and dreams. Terrorist attacks. 129 dead.
I check on those who are there. Those who love football, who love music, who love food, who love life. It could be anyone.
The randomness of their attack makes me feel fear. Fear what I feel. Hatred. Anger. Directed at no one.
But anger needs to be directed. The images I haven’t seen and names I haven’t heard yet are already burning into my mind’s eye. Burning words of hatred not yet spoken waiting to be said. Waiting to be aimed at someone.
And as the first wave shock subsides the certainty that someone will say these words, will play the part, lay our hearts on the line. Some of the media. In a frenzy. Sniffing blood. Some of the politicians. In dammage control. Sensing opportunity. Some of us. In pain. Drawn in.
When they will close our borders, try to narrow our minds and tighten our hearts, everyone will play a part.
To defend liberty by not letting go of our freedom to think and to forgive.
To safeguard equality by not condemning all of them as uniformly evil.
To claim fraternity by not hating those who weren’t born our brothers.
To stand as one without making our ground a battlefield
To think as one without yielding to uniform thought
To walk as one without marching for vengeance
To sing as one without chanting discord
To be as one while remaining each one
To make sure they haven’t won