The sheer and utter sadness

How to even begin to comprehend the tragedy facing Turkey and Syria? The shock. The despair. The searching. The loss.

I drove through London today, watching the life on the streets. The pushchairs and children, the teenage lads heading home from school, the shopkeepers, the dogwalkers, the business people stepping briskly on to pedestrain crossings, the black cabs with their yellow lights glowing, the red buses advertising shows, or vegan bacon.

I saw them all in the spring sunshine, and thought of Syria and Turkey.

We are the same wherever we are in the world. We cherish our families, and belong to our communities. Yet we barely know each other.

Where we can, we head home for our evening meals. We eat. We do the washing up. Perhaps watch some television, then say our prayers. We may sleep together, or apart, but we hope for rest, and expect to see each other the next day. Life feels tangible and confident, then suddenly it is not.

Tonight I shall say my prayers, and they shall be for Turkey and for Syria.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

Mental health: stressed by want, violence and frantic, digital lives

Street art seen in Naples, Italy in October 2016

Street art seen in Naples, Italy in October 2016

It is December 14, 2012 – eleven days before Christmas. I am on my knees sorting through Christmas presents in England when I hear about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

A jagged thud crashes through my heart. One young man has entered a school in America and killed twelve boys and eight girls, all ages six and seven, and six women, in just eleven minutes.

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