When I sat down to write this afternoon, I felt overwhelmed by all I wanted to say. So much has happened, but where to start? What did I want this to be about? What did I actually want to say? What can you say that isn’t hollow and superficial after you’ve seen something incredibly traumatic?
I wanted to say how sorry I am for those taken hostage yesterday in Martin Place, and their family and friends, who are trying to come to terms with such a violent act.
How much it hurts knowing that two people died, and that the gunman clearly targeted women.
How thankful I am for those in the emergency services who put their lives at risk to help people every single day.
For the cautious reporting of the ABC and AAP.
For the backlash against that horrendous behemoth of a publication called the Daily Telegraph, and (more importantly) the total arseholey-ness of Rupert Murdoch.
And for the solidarity of Sydneysiders who are living the virtues of tolerance and respect through the vocal #illridewithyou hashtag.
Here’s a snippet from Tessa Kum, the woman who started the hashtag after seeing an act of kindness reported on social media:
‘It just seemed that a simple way of promoting that kindness would be to say if anybody catching public transport didn’t feel comfortable just because of what they were wearing, I would sit next to them, so they weren’t alone.
If anything, for any horrible reason should happen, they’re not alone. I don’t think it’s anything that needs to be restricted to Muslims or religious garb—this could go for anybody who has a visible presence which automatically singles them out for attention.’
But the recent felling of a young cricket star — Phillip Hughes — in the middle of the SCG, and the emotional fall out from it, it’s always a timely reminder that we have no idea what is going to happen in our lives. And 2014 has been full of such events — losing two Malaysian Airlines planes, the Brown twins dying, Crimea/Ukraine/Russia, 276 girls abducted in Nigeria, the deaths of Robin Williams and Maya Angelou and Gough Whitlam — to make you sit up and declare “Enough killing time! Let me just get shit done for I may not have tomorrow”.
I scribbled that on a piece of paper this morning, and now I’m going forth and achieving the things I need and wanted to today in a city that is safe, capable and measured.
Life is short.
I’d best get cracking.
PS: He’s a beautifully writen tribute to Katrina Dawson, one of the two people slain in the siege.