On the 7th of July 2005, London was rocked by one of the worst terrorist attacks it has ever faced.
I barely noticed.
I grew up in the 70s. You couldn’t live in or around London without the threat of a terrorist attack. I will not debate here the huge gulfs in ideology and practice between what is now known as ‘the troubles’ and those behind the 7/7 attacks. If Nelson Mandela has shown the world one thing it’s that one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.
The point is that I had become numb to such events. The constant violence on the news. The attempts by the media to make us scared of everything. It had become like a white noise to me.
Then a few weeks ago, while I was still composing this very volume, the Paris attacks occurred.
The following poem, written by my friend Elise, brings home to me all those things I can no longer feel.
I have helped only with a little editing and formatting.