Sunday, November 09, 2014

Write 25 years.

25 years ago today, the Berlin Wall fell, and I began to write. That is the day I started to write, in the way it means to me to say I write. I can picture the notebook I wrote in, and I'm fairly sure I still have it and know roughly where it is, but I do not have it here, thousands of miles away in Tanzania. I remember watching it on TV, the Wall being scaled, people knocking down pieces, maybe helping others up? What did we see that first day, rather than the elisions and collations of later days and weeks, of the many re-runs since, the post-constructions of the Wall's destruction? 9th November 1989, the date has stayed in my mind. I have often thought that coming to political consciousness with the fall of the Berlin Wall, followed so soon after by Nelson Mandela's release from prison, watching him walk to freedom, that these two events, so momentous, so significant, and so peacefully achieved, influenced me and my generation to feel that anything was possible, that a better world, a much better world, enormous change could truly be achieved and achieved non-violently. I watched as massive change that seemed unarguably for the better happened before our eyes, through the actions of ordinary and extraordinary people, through long-term struggle and spontaneous uprising, making the possible manifest, and it was a better possible, a shift for the good. Things could change and we could change them. And that was a good thing to become conscious of. And to write.


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