Last year, today, I was in London. It has been one more year, in my life, after being just minutes away from the explosions, one of which I saw and heard. I realize that I could have written more dramatically last year, as I reflect on many things. You know, like a journalist on the scene. Captured those horrifying moments when time becomes eternal in words that would resonate. But no, I reread my writing from London’s Tavistock Square and its almost bland and matter of fact. Perhaps that was the only way to deal with it at that point?
All I wrote on the 7th of July last year with reference to my state of mind was,
They’re saying it started at 8.17am with explosions at Aldgate, kings
cross and two other tube stations, the bus was the fifth. earlier this
afternoon they were letting us out for a bit but I went to lie down
instead as I just didn’t feel up to going out. now they are saying the
police called and asked them to keep us all in as they are not yet sure
the area has been secured, the bombs were apparently small in backpack,
rucksack type things
What those words conceal are the fear and the sheer horror of what was happening. Of wanting nothing more than to crawl into bed and cover my head with the sheet. Of feeling alone in a foreign country and city with a nightmare raging around me. Of helicopters and sirens and smoke and the smell of fear and tension. And yet, not wanting to admit to any of that because after all, I was safe, wasn’t I? Nothing major had happened to me, so who was I to create a drama about just happening to be 20 meters around the corner. There were people in far far worse situations, and so many injured and dying. Best to minimize the situation.
C’est la vie. Life goes on. Man’s inhumanity to man can be shut out, it happens ‘over there’, not here. When do we stop and say, Basta, bas, enough?