This is a guest post I wrote for Vision and verb shortly after the very sad murder of Jill Meagher in Melbourne. By coincidence Tom Meagher, Jill's widower has this month become an advocate for the Irish White Ribbon Campaign. Tom has been writing about his experiences here on the White Ribbon Blog, it is both a chilling story and a powerful piece of writing. To support their work I am reposting this today.
It's October and the evenings are drawing in. Like thousands of other Irish parents my sons are surfing under Australian blue skies, drinking coffee in the street cafes of Berlin or taking classes in a New York film school. Spreading their wings while I follow their adventures from my perch on the hill.
Tonight the random rape and murder of Jill Meagher in Melbourne, 12,000 miles from home weighs heavily on me. The fragility of life and the grief of others has stopped me in my tracks. My sorrow now is for her husband Tom, her father and mother, for the friends out there. How could any man be so isolated and cut-off from any sense of reality or care, to inflict such pain?
Most days in the grassy wetlands I head out alone with my camera to meet up with one of my best teachers and collaborators, Mother Nature. It's late now but still I pound up the hill towards the forest, muttering to myself about the world, about the fear. I don't pray but I carry all the young emigrants in my heart as I walk the land. I carry their questions and their anger.....
To the west the sun is setting and to the east the moon is rising. I am reminded of other nights when I travelled the world myself. When I slept under the stars in the Black Forest in Germany and a moon just like this one hung over it like a Max Ernst painting. When I wept with frustration at having no where to sleep in Paris until a kind Jesuit found me a room. When I travelled by subway in NY chewing gum as a strategy to look tough, the most innocent looking pale faced girl on that train.
And here, with one foot in a rural haven and one foot in the global chaotic melting pot, with questions, confusion and anger whirring.......this moon soothes and distracts. Before long I am reaching for the camera, besotted by the sky, engrossed in the tranquility.
As I walk home thinking about them all wherever they are tonight. I imagine them under this clear sky with the chubby clouds. And then I close my eyes and with all my heart I give them the moon............