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.. Sorry Southampton….for I have never told you this..I was just a young kid honouring her Celtic roots in “silent witness”…
It was the year that I got to study art formally at Southampton School of Fine Art.. art before this was a hodgepodge. At 16 years, I got my Grade 13 art (2 years earlier than most) at a Kingston collegiate; and had the emotional/financial support of several Economic professors from Queen’s to see to it that I arrived safely… love you Dick-Dick & Diana for this, you will always have a special place in my heart for your belief in me.. you too Doug and Trish, Gordon (Chief) and Sandy, Frank and Nancy … I owe so much to you guys!! ..that and one vice-principal, Mr. Callaghan.. for your connections to the art school!
That was the summer that the Irish Terrorist Campaign ramped up its energy to a Druid’s blaze… (never lived life placidly – doubt I ever will).. nearly got killed by them that Christmas Eve.. they had already killed the cop by the art school earlier …. and I found their hiding place that night (crying over a boyfriend’s harsh words said earlier that evening)…
… Never told anyone about this for decades – never lept so high or so quick over a 4′ iron rod gate, as I did that night – Adrenalin infused into running for my life (intuitively) – got out by the skin of my teeth that night.. they had chosen our neighborhood’s private garden on Abbotts Way to hide in, and were already there by 1:30am – 2:30am, before I had even decided that crying out loud wasn’t an option at home.. so I wandered up three doors to the lane way’s entrance, then down the lane to our private garden… thought I could ball my eyes out there, without anyone listening (or having to listen).. and get it out of my system..so to speak!
… The cops were banging at the doors by 8:30am that morning – doing some serious house-to-house, and room-to-room searches – I never told my professorial family and was super quiet to the cop standing in front of me.. standing in the hallway that morning of Christmas Eve..
Desensitization and censorship…from there it was on to Middlesex Polytechnic, in London! Irish bombers there too..but their campaign in London was seriously censored to the public there. It was a population of 13 million strong; you could not be everywhere; and you could not keep up to everyone’s daily news feed.. and so you didn’t! It was only when family in Canada would write to say, “are you alright? ..there was another bombing in Trafalgar”.. that I would realize its presence around me.. but I was a Celt, not an Anglo.. so I just soldiered on.. “keep the blood” they would say.. I did!!
You said the police officer died around 11:00 pm that night.. by the tracks and the art school. Those were the rooms that were occupied by our Ceramics Department studios. While I did not take Ceramics formally, I would go down occasionally to throw some clay on a wheel, and just “veg out” .. it was a way to meditate stress away, as well as to invite creative-thinking to connect and communicate with me. How ironic… that of all the places in our school, this was the place that he lay near as he died that night.
He obviously did not make it back in his earth body, to be with his family for Christmas Eve.. I realized and understood why his “brotherhood” was so focused and angry, as they searched our neighbourhood’s homes.. we were a privileged neighbourhood in Highfield Church, within walking distance of Southampton University, and the IRA knew protocol and minimal interruptions on this holiday were the public hand and handshake that would be practiced.. it gave the IRA a moment to breathe and to regroup.. 42 years later, the gates are still there! Inanimate objects to hold psychic residue and tapings.. for future readers to participate in.. in our continuum.
We are all human after all!..quandary..man’s inhumanity to man.. most men do not go to war, to leave their families behind, without serious consideration of their ideologies, and their connection to its dogma.. we all do it.. regardless of our “side”, our views!!
So..onward as a “work in progress” I say.. Must get back on the wagon that makes my energy vibrate so well for me.. which then just ripples out to you..you the world..
To all our relations,