Wednesday 1 July 2015

On the ties that bind us

Tonight I was meant to post my regular "Let's Talk About..." column. This is a light-hearted section in which I poke fun at current political, social, cultural and economic affairs. But I'm not doing that tonight.

Who am I kidding? When a gunman goes on the rampage and kills innocent tourists. When innocent people worshipping in a church are killed in cold blood by an assassin who made their acquaintance moments before. When innocent commuters are blown up on the tube... am I going to be all laughter and fun?

The people killed in Charleston, in Tunisia, the man beheaded in France, those murdered in London on 7/7, these people are/were my brothers and sisters. The ties that bind us are far stronger than our differences, whatever these differences may be: nationality, skin colour, creed or lack of it thereof, gender, (dis)ability, sexual orientation. They matter not. The ties that bind us are human ties, the type that you cannot break by pulling the trigger of an AK-47, or by detonating a bomb in a crowded train carriage.

For the next ten days my blog will be closed as a mark for respect for those murdered in Charleston, Tunisia, France, Nigeria and on 7th July, London, the 10th anniversary of which will be next week.

I will return, however. I will return on Saturday 11th July and I will bring my usual mirth and - warped - sense of humour with me. Because terrorism, whether state-sponsored or religiously motivated, is afraid of laughter. For a better example, look at Charlie Hebdo. Who knows? I might be the next victim on the London Underground or at a beach resort in Europe or north Africa. But if I shall be the next one, let it not be said that I went down crying, beaten, defeated. I am crying now, for my murdered brothers and sisters. But on the 11th July I will come back laughing like Maya Angelou: "'Cause I laugh like I've gold mines/Diggin' in my own backyard".


  1. Good for you - taking a decision to go quiet as a mark of respect. And I agree - the ties that bind us, our mutual need for food and shelter and to have those around us to love, are far stronger than anything a gun can destroy. My thoughts - like yours - are will all those involved.

  2. Cubano, it's a powerful action to commemorate and be silent for our fallen. If I didn't have my Gullah posts to re-blog, I would have called for silence too. It's getting to be too much to handle.

  3. "The ties that bind us are human ties" Yes. I've chosen to honor the Charleston victims through exploring the concept of forgiveness. Your silence will be a powerful tribute as well.

  4. Silence is a powerful way to tribute indeed

  5. Thank you.
    The sooner more of us realise that we are (or should be) a world-wide community the better.

  6. I commend you for your sentiments and your gesture, CiL.

    I think it is a truism that evil is as real as the sun in the sky. I have been reading about the terror doctrines advocated by Vladimir Lenin and practiced by the Bolsheviks following the Russian revolution. Among the various political/philosophical elements competing for power, it was the one employing the greatest forces of terror (evil) which won that battle. There are new battles erupting by the hour.

    It seems I am into citing quotations lately. Another one which is popular, but for which no one seems to be able to find the exact source (if, indeed, one exists) are words to this effect attributed to Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    Right now, it is clear too many people are doing nothing.

  7. Bless You for this strong statement



  8. This is indeed a powerful statement and reaction. I agree that we must focus on what binds us as this will never totally go away.

  9. I was appalled to hear about the church assassin. :(

  10. It is good to be quiet and reflect. I am proud to be your sister.

  11. a powerful statement indeed... not being defeated by the things that happen - i was shocked when i heard it and i cannot understand how human beings can do something so terrible to other human beings

  12. You are such a wonderfully compassionate person! I'm proud to be tied to you.

  13. As I have said before, I am scared. Scared of what will happen next, scared that the world seems to be tipping the wrong way, scared for the people in it. You speak for us all and I am proud to know you.

  14. A nice reminder of how we are closer to one another than different...

  15. Yes, it was terrible. We should all realize by now what we are doing to each other by all the negativity.

  16. Hi Cubano--I have been on a break too but for happier reasons.

    But the violence that you describe is heartbreaking. I've been in a situation where I had very limited access to the internet or news coverage, and so though I read briefly of the attack in Tunisia I have not been able to follow it very closely, or get anything beyond most salient details--horrible--but Charleston was closer to home. Just heartbreaking--especially for someone like me who grew up at the edge of the American South. That's not right--heartbreaking for anyone--but with a kind of resonance for those who had contact with the South as a child. I would urge you to watch Obama's eulogy if you haven't. It is quite an incredible speech for a sitting head of state. Take care. k.

  17. This is a very moving statement! There truly is way too much heartbreaking violence in this world. Coincidentally, the poem of mine that you commented on shows the same thing...the crazy senselessness that operates in today's world. And, yes, we do all need to think about the things that bind us together...and work toward positive ways to show it! See you on July 11.

  18. Beautifully said. It is so difficult to comprehend such hatred. The young man in Charleston even commented about how "kind" the people at that church were to him... and then he killed them, anyway. I don't get it. Bless the people from that church who are talking about love and forgiveness, in spite of what that man has done. They are the kind of people who will help us re-unite. And so are you.

  19. How amazing of you. We're on our way to Charleston now as part of our pre-planned vacation.

  20. Oh CiL...I have to admit, I am really afraid. Afraid of the way society is headed...afraid of the kind of world our children and grandchildren will have to live in.
    And since becoming a soon-to-be grandmother, I worry even more.
    Why do some people feel the need to treat others so cruelly?
    It is beyond my understanding.

    You have voiced the fears and thoughts of so many of us here, and I am deeply moved by your words.
    I, too, am so proud to know you...

    Have a good weekend. :))

  21. I appreciate your respect for the dead.
    I dunno. The media tries to force the differences in this.
    and I guess that some is about hate. But this is an issue
    that is far bigger. And just because these made the news
    doesnt make them any bigger than the two black gun men
    that shot 10 in Phillie. or those that died in atlanta tonight.
    Or the homeless man that died of heat exhaustion.
    Its bigger than race. gender. this is a human issue
    if everyone would stop waving their flags.

  22. You said it so beautifully.

  23. Well said. I respect your silence too. These are horrific times but not without some light. There is now pressure in the south to lower that racist Confederate flag. Obama gave a beautiful eulogy (hear it in full on Youtube) and is actively pursuing policy to address the racial inequities, like desegregating poor neighborhoods. What we need more than anything in my country is a tighter gun control law. I feel also for the Tunisians who will lose the tourism that bolsters their economy. That savage gunning down of tourists was appalling.

  24. What a wonderful post. Thanks for visiting my blog, so I could find you. I share your feelings to the max. Closing your blog in respect is beautiful. The world is rather mad right now, and unaware people who have uinawakened consciousness are reacting. Credo Mutwa, the African shaman says it is time for us to awaken Mother Mind....that is what I will write about today. There is enough warrior-mind in the world. Now we need to soften, to recognize the other beings we live with, both human and non-human, with whom we are interdependent. "What happens to one, happens to us all." Namaste.



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