I lit a candle today.

I lit a candle today.

It was blue. The colour of a summer sky. The kind of sky that you lie on your back on the green next to your friends and loved ones with, and look up into, and know that it goes on for ever.

That kind of blue. The kind that comes for a few days or weeks every summer. The kind of blue that you can look up into and think: How lucky am I, that I can be here and talk about nothing of consequence and feel the warmth of the sun on my face and think about how beautiful and wonderful it is that of all the possible worlds, I am in this one, and I am happy, and it is so good to be alive.

I lit a candle today.

Because today a man with a gun and a knife decided that it was more important for him to hold onto his beliefs than for a woman to live. Because a woman did her job in the open. Helped folk to fix their problems. Tried to make the world a better place.

And then a man killed her for it.

I lit a candle today.

Because for the last ten years or more it has seemed as if few people in the world are capable of speaking the truth:

That the best of times feel further away now than they ever have.
That the world is a terrible and fearsome place.
That we don’t know how to make it better.

I lit a candle today.

Because the rage I hold inside right now has no outlet. Because I’m sick and tired of this fucking world, and the way it makes me feel. Because I’m scared. Because I think this may not even be the worst of it. Because there are people who preach hatred of the Other, and these people are not called out for being the bastards they are. Because the gap between the rich and the poor is the worst that it has been since records began. Because we’re told that it’s the poor people, the migrants, the people that aren’t like us that are the cause of our problems. Because those lies are being believed.

I lit a candle today.

In the summer, in the centre of the city, you can still lie on the green with your friends, and look up at the blue, and think how lucky it is that you’re alive, that you have friends, that you have food in your belly and a roof above your head.

But the day ends. And I’m scared of what the night may bring.

I lit a candle today.

Melting blue onto the stone by the side of the green, dripping melted wax there to hold it upright. A base. Something to stand upon, to hold it tight so it could burn. As the sky started to fade, a light to see us through the darkness.

I lit a candle today.

Because I knew that I needed to do something.  Even if I was scared, and enraged, and didn’t know what to do, I could still do this,  I could still say there is still hope, there is light, even in this darkness.

I lit a candle today.

 

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