THE TALKING UMBRELLAS

 umbrella
Each morning we wake to the same sounds; calls to worship, gunfire, explosions. Unless there is a ceasefire this is what we live within, this is the reality of our story, this is where we must cling to our own identities and beliefs.
Today is the second day of a ceasefire. We are Christians and as we attempt to make our small preparations for the coming celebration of Christmas we need to be careful, cautious, keep things hidden.
We will make berry buns, we will make toys for the children, we will create Christmas cards, we will in the safety of our homes recall previous celebrations,we will share the message of this season. We will find and share the light.

Today I am standing back from the beach beneath some trees. I cannot easily be seen here. These trees have so far survived the conflict and at times sudden gales. These days nobody but a mad man would go on to the beach.The sea looks as if it has been flayed. And there he is, the man who is mad, suddenly there; searching for dead fish and wood and rags.

Of course I have an umbrella with me at all times, night and day. That is the only way I can hide. Many people do this nowdays,when they use their mobile phones, when they want to pray, when they want to be alone. The umbrella hides the speaker. It encloses the being of the speaker. It offers a sort of freedom.

“Hallo. Is that you? What can we do to help each other? I think you are better off in the camp. It is terrible here. I have gifts for the children but no way to deliver them to you.Your mother has made some clothes for the children and there is a toy for the boy but how do we get them to you? Hallo. Hallo. Are you still there?”

David Grubb
Picture Nick Victor


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