Yesterday was an extraordinary day and today continues in this extra-ordinariness. I noticed a picture on the front of yesterday’s Irish Times. (I cannot for the life of me find a copy of it on the web.) It shows the place where Hamas blew up the steel fence between Gaza and Egypt. This enormous rusting fence fallen flat, gargantuan in its proportions. People scrambling over this and back into Gaza with things that they cannot get at home. It’s their home after all. This small strip of humanity where people want to live. The opening into Egypt provides an insight into the plight of the Palestinian people living in this place right now. It was like peeling back a plaster and seeing the horror. Despite all of the steel fencing Israel erects all around them, the massive concrete slabs (CRH subsidiary by the way) elsewhere in their land marking who can have access and who cannot have access to that most precious of resources for people here – water. Other pictures showing Egyptian riot police fighting back Palestinians make this more real than any right-wing warnings of terrible things in ‘the future’.
My older brother’s wife had her first child, a lovely little boy, the first of this generation of our family. Given that the last baby to come into this family was 30 years ago today seemed all the more poignant. I have Spanish family now in a new way and his birth merely concretises this for me. My reflections upon this on the couch yesterday gave me the space to realise this new meaning for the word ‘related’. I have a relation with this other family in Spain, not really my blood but a relation that is not just a passing concern. Oscar will grow into a lovely family there and be told about his relations in Ireland and wonder why they don’t speak in the same way as he does. He may live to see the turn of the next century.
I was typing this and iTunes was playing Antony’s Fistful of Love and Lou Reed’s intro was a new lyric again. It takes on new meanings almost every time I have occasion to listen to this beautiful music.
This is all quite easy if I can forgive myself for making things too complex.