Wednesday 3 August 2011

The Colour of Utøya

After the storm
and the gunmetal grey
burst into flame

seagull wings carve
into a desert floor

the colour of Utøya
fading so fast
my heart drops low.

I cannot keep up.

© Shaista Tayabali, 2011
Almost two weeks since Norway lost many of her beloved citizens. At Ivar Flaten's blog in Drammen, my childhood friend Arzanne de Vitre Vesthaug, who witnessed the reason for our flight from Bombay in 1993, has written a powerful piece on the Contemplation of Peace amidst decades of experiencing terrorism, directly and indirectly. She writes, of her piece,
Ever since the first attacks in 1993, I have dwelled on a latent fear I sometimes feel strongly, and at other times forget easily. With each new episode of terror or violence between groups, I am always equally astounded by how politics and religion, (which essentially teaches the same human values independent of who or what one believes in), can be the cause of so much hatred and misunderstanding. I cannot fathom how it is possible, and this makes me vulnerable to great anxiousness. For years I have wanted to write of these feelings, but I have never had the words. I think it is the negative rhetoric around me that has stolen my voice – the language of revenge, hate, judgement. I find it interesting that this piece finally came to me here in Norway, 15 years later. I needed to hear words of comfort and love to be able to write this – and then my words flowed, not in a moment of fear or angst, but in a moment of peace.
You can read her words here.


Daydreamertoo said...

Beautiful prose.
I too, have S.L.E (Lupus)

steven said...

shaista thanks for linking to that powerful piece of writing. i hold fiercely onto the privilege of bringing whatever good i can in the time i am given. steven

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Thanks, Shaista for the link, and for always being a light shining in the darkness. The glow helps illuminate our growing global desire for peace.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Beautiful words here...healing words.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog...much appreciated.

Sarah Laurence said...

Beautifully said both by you in verse and your friend in prose.

Cro Magnon said...

Hi Shaista. Thanks for leaving a comment on my lowly blog. I had to look up 'Lupus', as I'd not really heard about it before. I think I'm now a little bit more enlightened. It's good that you highlight this illness, and I wish you well.

I've just read your friend's piece on India and Norway. When WILL humans begin to live in harmony with each other? Maybe never!

Greetings from the peaceful French countryside.

Claudia said...

thanks shaista for such a beautiful sentiment for the victims of this was such a horrible thing to happen..

Jillayne said...

Another beautiful post, filled with wise words and haunting images.
Some of the most horrific things in our world have been done in the name of politics or religion, which I have always found a little odd, especially with respect to religion. But then I think sometimes perhaps they are just used as platforms for people who have their own ideas...

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