quaker fencer

kathz isn't quite my name. I may be a Quaker. If I'm a fencer I'm a bad one and I don't do sabre. If I'm a Quaker I'm a bad one - but you've worked that out already. Read on. Comment if you like. Don't expect a reply.

Location: United Kingdom

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I joined the march

It's over now. We accomplished our circuitous and inevitable shuffle from Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. Like many people, I ended up in the National Gallery, reflecting on the wealth and power that caused so many splendid paintings to come into existence.

The paintings could not soothe me as they sometimes did, although I paused and was moved by Zurburan's tiny cup of water with rose and by Rembrandt's loving depiction of Hendrijke, her shift raised as she stands in water. But the tenderness of the paintings I love sometimes seems outweighed by the exultant cruelties elsewhere on the walls - and cruelty was in my mind, thinking of the inhumanity that drew so many of us to protest on a bitter, wintry day.

We're not - or most of us are not - the great committed protestors of our time. I think of Tom Fox and his fellow peacemakers. I think of Brian Haw, driven by conscience to camp in Parliament Square and search for the heart of government, if such a thing exists. I think of Lindis Percy and Anni Rainbow - and of so many people who live their beliefs and endure jail, brutality and worse to make a stand against evil.

In the end, a difference may be made. In the end, we may rediscover love and tenderness - and learn to allow one another space for the joys of daily life. Losing a day in protest is not so bad. Seeing all the others shuffling between the two squares and still determined and hopeful - that was worthwhile.

And so the resistance continues. "Resistance is futile." May be - but, even so, I resist.


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