Two days of sitting in my motherÂ’s new flat, unpacking boxes of books and family pictures, making coffee and toast, putting covers on sofas and laying out rugs. And listening to the radio. Solidly, all day. Listening to at first confusion, and then conjecture, and as time has moved on, to the revealing and tone of information that makes me scared.
Every news bulletin (on the BBC at least, that’s all I can get good reception of), is having as its main story Tony Blair’s statement that there were probably more british people killed in the – what is it? tragedy? disaster? everyone’s calling it ‘the outrage’ but that somehow sounds like – it sounds wrong. – the events of yesterday – than had previously been thought. The next story is the statement from the UN claiming this as not an attack on the US, but on the whole of the western world. The two stories juxtaposed make me worry that we’re heading for something big and bad, behind which the nation will be expected to rally (easier if we know that we too were hit in this strike…) I don’t think I’m being paranoid, although that would hardly be out of character, I hear this worry and confusion from call-ins on the radio and from friends around, desperately calling home to check that everyone knows where everyone else is.
Up til 4pm yesterday, when I came home to the radio, I was having a lovely day off. I need to find maximum-volume yank-boy, to make sure his mother got here safely yesterday.
Other than that, i don’t know how or what to say. I feel for people. This being a very holy island and all that guff, there’ve been e-mails pouring in all day from associates in the states, asking for prayer for everyone involved, for those killed, injured, waiting, watching, weeping, leading, causing, killing, grieving, so many candles have been lit, prayers said, my mother is leading a vigil as we speak. I’m not very good at the religious stuff, I don’t know what I believe and I refuse to believe what everybody else does just because I work here. But last night I was asked to read at the service, and I did, because it seems to me a prayer very fitting to the day, and one that didn’t mention anything particularly Jesus-y, which is the bit I have the main problem with. The prayer began:
Watch now, ….
with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight
and give your angels charge over those who sleep…
it goes on. and is more beautiful. and brought me near tears. But I have no right to speak. I wasn’t there. I don’t know anyone who was there. I’ve no right. I worry. But there’s nothing I can say.
The rain is coming down hard on the skylight. It’s pitch black and it sounds as if someone is throwing m&m’s at the window.
More boxes to unpack. The radio’s still on down there. I couldn’t turn it off.