I wasn’t going to blog about it. I’m almost immune these days – it wasn’t stomach twisting horror, but a resigned and tired “here we go again” that hit me as I prepared to leave England on that night.
More blood, more innocent people dead, more extraordinary human kindness, people screaming for Muslims to answer – to say something, to prove they are the ‘good’ kind, more Muslims justified fear and frustration, and even more people urging us all not to hate each other.
I have friends and acquaintances all over the world including people from countries that have been affected by terrorism. Americans who saw the towers fall. A Norwegian who waited to hear if her daughter had been shot by Anders Breivik. I was in London with a friend on the day of the 7/7 bombings. I have friends in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm. My coach home from Brussels escaped the attacks by hours and was searched by armed police. The violence isn’t suddenly ‘hitting home’ for me and even in a country that is a stranger to me, terrorism is no less hideous.
Every single person I know affected by terrorism has been asking the same questions and suffering the same way: Why kill innocent people? Why use the cover of religion? What do people do? How can we fight back? Why? Why? Why?
To quote Tolkien (or King Theoden): “What can we do against such reckless hate?”
I’m safe, for now. I can’t not travel. I can even guess where the likely targets would be and I’m there a lot. It’s terrifying, but that’s the point, right? I’m still going. I’ll read my book and stick my headphones in my ears until, if there is an attack I can’t escape from, I’d be gone before I knew it. That’s all I can do when ‘staying safe’ is a relative term.
In the wake of an attack, I’ll keep sharing the practical help guides- like the link here. This is the police advice on how to help Manchester: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-terror-attack-how-help-13076350
I’m sorry this isn’t a message of hope. Of love prevailing, or dreams of peace. This is simply me putting words behind my gritted teeth and refusing to change my ways as like most governments, I do not negotiate with terrorists.
More knowledgeable people than me have advised how we can help (linked above)- do what you can, regardless of which country is bleeding this time.
To the people behind this: fuck you, I’m not broken yet.
To Manchester, stay strong. <3