The following piece is a reaction to the events on January 7, 2015 in France by Martina Sternfeld. Martina can be reached at email@example.com.
last night we had search and rescue missions running over the English channel and most especially right at the beach outside our door. the helicopters were at my window level blowing the tree tops in my buildings garden. the coast guard was on the water with lights strong enough to make it feel like we were in the middle of the afternoon. it made me incredibly sad because I thought back to when the children would wake me up in the night and I would sit with them through a feverish period or a bad dream and I reflected that here I am and always have been a liberal minded woman. I don’t believe in God or religion. I don’t believe in luck or dreams coming true. I don’t believe in the death penalty. I am the daughter of a soldier who died in his prime as a direct result of his service to our country where he fought so that we could be free. all of us. to practice whatever human ritual we wanted to. I lived in that world for my whole life. every mother wakes up to the fevered scream of their child in the same exact way that I did and yet now, today, I can feel it when I walk past my head shrouded sisters on the streets that a stake has been driven into the ground between us. the people who did this have become virtual movie stars, their faces on the front pages of all our papers and each and every one of our many means of communication. they are nothing more than publicity hounds who make the suffering of ‘everyman’ so much more profound on the planet. the horrible conditions that our fellow human beings live in all over the world, which should be the true subject of our attention pales in comparison to the car chase and shoot ’em up action these egotistic savages perform on the worlds stage. they add nothing. they help no one. no matter where we are in the world, our children will all wake in the wee hours with the same feverish cry. that is the one we should answer. we need to listen to the light in our hearts. it is still there, burning brightly in our children. we must stand together and fight for them to have the world they deserve and which we are capable of giving them. ‘hands across the world’. today I will try harder to wish my neighbour well.