Rania is not a name I will forget in a hurry. A friend’s tweet this morning pointed me in the direction of The Guardian.

Yesterday I wrote about ‘healing the world that touches you, that’s around you.’ That touching can and must include any and all means of communication that might open human hearts too quick to judge the intentions of millions of this world’s displaced people.

Made with immense courage, dignity and good humour by a twenty-year old young woman, necessarily fleeing the war zone she still calls ‘home’, may this film open hearts and minds; may a deeper compassion be shaped in the hearts and lives of humankind the world over.

Wall-construction needs to involve the rebuilding of shattered homes. All talk of ‘refugees’ needs to be set in the context, the possibility even, of how it might be for any of us were tables to be turned. Could I pack my life and loves into a small rucksack and head off, smiling and gutsy, to I know not where?

Rania. Ayman.Β Christopher Columbus. Let me not forget their names!


Pianist Stephen Hough (The Guardian: Arts hit back at Brexit) looks for vibrations deeper than words:

Musicians keep playing when the lights go out, when people are suffering, confused or angry. In every generation, politicians let us down but music can lift us above the fighting and the mistakes. It does not offer answers to specific political questions. Instead it looks beyond them. Classical music thinks in centuries, not four-year terms.

One of the things that touches me most when I play for an audience is that, although we may be unable to communicate in words or have diametrically opposed views on hot-button issues, while the music sounds we can be at peace, we can be friends. The vibrations that fill an auditorium have no passports and they unite ears when hearts may be divided.

Whether in or out of Europe, we will always need to be building – and repairing – bridges. Sometimes the arts can be the only way a connection can be made across turbulent waters. On my piano at the moment sit scores of Beethoven, Debussy, Franck, Schubert, Liszt – a European community that can never be divided.

The Guardian, 24th June 2016

I wept for shame upon hearing the result of the EU referendum. I wept for joy when I heard violinist Joo Yeon Sir’s Lament, and still do when I listen, over and over again, to Ola Gjeilo‘s The Ground. Music tells us that tears of both shame and joy are ultimately channeled into one and the same great river of life.

It’s that kind of connection, vibrations with no passports, that will make us – all humanity, that is – “great again”.

From above

I’ve just seen a fabulous time-lapse video, in The Telegraph, of night-illuminated UK from above, made by Major Tim Peake up there in the International Space Station. And Ian Sample of The Guardian writes today:

Traces of DNA found in remains of
Neanderthal woman show date of first
human-Neanderthal couplings is tens of
millennia earlier than previously thought

Further to yesterday’s post I muse that we’re capable of looking backwards (in this case tens of millennia after events took place) and forwards, sideways, up and down, from above and from below – consciousness capable of “infinite extension” on the road to integration. There is plenty of cause for hope – and daily evidence of growth.