This is not a usual post, yet this one I couldn’t resist.
Partly because this was a celebration of hope for peace in the future.
I occasionally get a true sense of goosebumps & a WOWZA factor that i have to SHARE. One happened when I attended the 100 years Armistice Celebration at AUCKLAND MUSEUM because it was a powerful connection to my early childhood.
FINGERS & TOES
One of my earliest memories as a child was experimenting taking photos of the beauty of flowers in our walled country garden, tendered by my Mum who had exceptional ‘green’ fingers. Not a skill that came my way. My extent to gardening is to experiment with potted plants. 2 other subjects of my photos were hands & feet. I recall being obsessed drawing them because I was fascinated by all the different shapes & sizes of the hands, feet and the differences of the fingers and toes. The technology was not advanced then so photos were not so easily deleted. I know I cost my parents a small fortune in developing & polaroid instants!
I particularly loved photos of hands – to me they were quite fabulous objects. They could do so much and without them we are so limited. They dressed us, fed us, bathed us helped us play, supported us as we attempted handstands and cartwheels, they wrote our names, they created colour with illustrations, they hugged us, they played the notes of all the musical instruments learnt in our family, they were the objects of anything we created. I would look at the lines of my siblings and grandparents hands, reading them knowing how many stories they held. Somewhere i have a polaroid of all my siblings and my mums hands – one facing up and one down and it was a game to guess the owner of the hands.
When a Youth Speaker (Fabiana Mazza-Carson) started with this at the ceremony;
” When I was a child my father told me to look at my hands and realise they were the same as any other persons. He told me when I grew up, what would separate me from every other person, what separates each of us from every other person are how we choose to spend our time using them” I was captivated.
Here, Fabiana writes her perspective on the experiences of the hands of the soldiers in the 1st world war.
THE HANDS OF WAR
Written by YR 13 YOUTH SPEAKER :
Fabianna Mazza- Carson
When I was a child my father told me to look at my hands and realise they were the same as any other persons.
He told me when I grew up, what would separate me from every other person,
what separates each of us from every other person are how we choose to spend our time using them.
Today, when I think of war, when I think of this war, I do not think of soldiers dressed in green or grey.
I think of hands. White hands and brown hands, big and small ones, men’s hands and women’s hands and children’s hands.
What was this war if not fingers resting on triggers, fingers pressed to buttons, dropping bombs,
hands grasped tightly around the handle of a spade or the wheel of a tank, digging trenches,
holding gas masks over faces, held straight to foreheads in salute.
What was this war if not a mother’s palms, reaching up, cupping a son’s face,
palms pressed to together, lowered to benches, shaping biscuit dough.
And what was this war if it was not brothers carried, clasped to backs across minefields,
hands throwing footballs onto minefields turns sports fields, lifting flagpoles, waving pride or regret.
This war was more than the black hand that ignited it and the hands thrown up in surrender that ended it.
To me it was human’s dead on both sides, bleeding the same red, the same hands rendered useless.
To me there is nothing more tragic than the image of hands with so much potential to create,
to express humanity forced for a short time only to destroy before becoming too stiff and cold to hold tools or each other.
Humans too have cried 100 years’ worth tears of anguish and pain over this war and we have created oceans.
There are seas of graves separating different sides but if we grasp the oars tightly
enough perhaps we can row ourselves across them to meet each other.
On this 100 years past since the guns fell silent let us remember those who fell and
those who were left behind and what they all died and lived for.
This war, if nothing else, was one of the greatest examples of man’s potential for destruction in human history.
Yet it was also one of the greatest examples of how destruction can inspire creation.
All we have to do is look behind us to see the evidence of that.
It was human hands who killed the men those crosses represent.
And it was human hands that laid that field, created the building that stands behind me.
When we look at those buildings.When we look at that field.
When we think of this war I hope we can think of the hands that fought it, remembering only in armistice can we move forward.
I hope we can remember that it was these men, our men, who built the rockets that put man on the moon.
Whose hands that broke down the Berlin Wall, liberated Aushwitz, liberated us.
And lest we forget that.
There is something so powerful about reflection
Travel lightly to shine brightly,
Principle Coach | Tides of Change
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