i am no bird; and no net ensnares me


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July 7 was an emotional earthquake,” she said. “In an earthquake, everything is shaken to the core. The foundations are split and everything is exposed and you can’t start rebuilding until you have sifted through the rubble and the muddle. Issues of faith are part of that rubble and muddle.”

This was cited in an interview conducted many years ago in the NY Times.

It was believed that Jenny Nicholson was reading The Magician’s Nephew on that day in July 2015 whilst on the tube at Edgware Road.

In the same article it was said that Mr. Lewis — “A Grief Observed,” published in 1961 after the death of his wife, the American poet Helen Joy Davidman — at a time when his faith was shaken into the suggestion that God “hurts us beyond our worst fears and beyond all we can imagine.”

In the recent BBC documentary, London Underground, agreed to halt a train briefly at the place where her daughter died. The moment was entwined with her musings on the Pietà — the Christian vision of Mary cradling the broken Jesus after his crucifixion. After the bombing, she said, “physically holding and cradling” her daughter was impossible. But she had wanted for months to enter the tunnel “and just stand a moment at that place where my daughter’s life ended.”

Parents don’t want nor expect to outlive their children. It seems unnatural and but I continue to witness that so much of what happens in our world is unnatural. I’ve given up trying to make sense of it all.

Yet I do know that amidst all the madness, courage, strength and hope, do exist. It is not lost. It is not gone.

And so as a Londoner but more as a human being, I’d like to wish you much peace, much faith to all left behind, and struggling to find faith even after 10 years.

My thoughts are with you, my heart holds yours for we are after all, all connected.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

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my love letter to london


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My dearest London,

Our anniversary is coming up. Tell me what would you like sweetheart?

Another Eye? Or a clock tower?

How about another river that flows through you and your many nooks and crannies? As the wise philosopher Heraclitus once proclaimed, one can never step in the same river twice but you and I both know the Thames needs a respite from all who have muddied your waters. I’m sorry if I’ve added to it on many a boat ride I’ve taken to visit your sister, Cutty Sark.

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I think we’ve been good to each other. We’ve had our falling out from time to time but show me which couple hasn’t.

You know our relationship is one that fluctuates from love to hate at any given moment in time. This can’t be helped. You can be so cold in your ways always wanting more from me, everytime. You take and take! But I’ll give you this — unlike previous lovers, you’ve not made me any promises. So no promises broken as none were made. And I must admit that in my more contemplative moments I do know you’ve given me a lot, well all that you can at least and for this, I shall always be grateful. We don’t talk about it much but I know that you know only too well that I left my previous lover KL, in the Far East, to be with you. And although there have been moments I’ve longed for my old love I know that I could never leave you. You mean too much for me to walk away. And I hope, in my own small, silly and many clumsy ways I’ve given you something back too?

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So let me know my darling what you’d like for our anniversary. It’ll be 13 years soon and what a whirlwind of an affair we’ve had. I quietly look forward to more.

I ask only this — please be good and gentle to me like you know I will, to you.

All my love,
A xxx

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love letter to london, #1


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Love is in air this week.

It’s unmistakable. You can smell it in the air along with the smog and a host of other stuff!

Timeout (a free magazine in London often read by tube commuters) is running a series of love letters written by its readers and today is letter #1 from Gentle Author.

Enjoy!

London my love,

I loved you from the first moment I saw you and I can never forget how beautiful you were then. Over all these years, as I have got to know you closely and we shared a life together, I grew to believe that you belonged to me.

Yet you have changed – and sometimes now I feel you are being taken away from me but my love for you has never wavered even if, when I no longer recognise you, it fills me with grief.

Looking at old pictures of you, I realise you have always been changing and I was infatuated when I believed you belonged to me, because I thought foolishly that I had discovered you for my own.

You are a whore, but I cannot blame you for seducing me – because I wanted to be seduced!

Knowing I am one of countless thousands that have been seduced by you does not lessen my affection for you. If I am possessive, it is because I want to protect you from those that would exploit you. You have been through a lot – things that have formed you and things that have damaged you, but they are part of who you are and I cherish it all.

My old love, please have the courage to resist those who tell you need facelifts and want to tart you up with expensive trinkets. They want to pimp you out and put your prices up, so you will be only for the rich. Then you will have to turn people away, when you have always welcomed all comers, including me – and that is what I love about you.

TGA xxx

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london’s lines and squares


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Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I’m ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, “Bears,
Just look how I’m walking in all the squares!”

And the little bears growl to each other, “He’s mine,
As soon as he’s silly and steps on a line.”
And some of the bigger bears try to pretend
That they came round the corner to look for a friend;
And they try to pretend that nobody cares
Whether you walk on the lines or squares.
But only the sillies believe their talk;
It’s ever so portant how you walk.
And it’s ever so jolly to call out, “Bears,
Just watch me walking in all the squares!”

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