Yesterday, as I travelled home on a packed rush hour tube train, I thought for the first time in many years about the events of July 7, 2005. The feelings are more prominent as Summer approaches anyway but it surprised me because I tend not to feel any anxiety on the tube any more and it often goes unnoticed. It also highlighted how much life has healed since the explosion went off on my train.
It was probably the packed train, being held in the tunnel for an extended period of time and the first whisps of Summer that brought back the memories of that day for me, on my journey home last night. The images of what happened flickered through my mind like someone else’s dream and then the train moved on through the tunnel again and I went back to my book.
When I got home, I heard the news on the radio along with everyone else around the world; there were two explosions at the end of the Boston Marathon. I know how those people there are feeling today, those who felt the panic of not being able to contact loved ones, who are suffering mental and physical injuries and are still in a state of numbed shock.
Pictures in the paper look so frighteningly familiar of other significant explosions in New York and Madrid. Boston has now become part of a family of Cities scarred by a war against ideology that cannot be won on either side or, it seems, ended. While there is no information why this attack was committed, it seems that events like this are becoming a shocking part of life for this generation. They rebound across the world.
When I was on the Kings Cross train on July 7, it wasn’t just me who was impacted on that day. My husband ran from Highbury where we lived, through Finsbury Park and down through Camden just to get to me at Kings Cross because all he had was one short text before the phone signal went. My housemates located each other online that morning and I read afterwards their concern about not being able to get hold of me but not knowing I had gone to work that way at that time. And my Mother, who I called to say what had happened and not to worry when the news came on but I was safe in Kings Cross, was then told at work a second bomb had gone off in that station in all the misinformation of the day and could no longer get hold of me. All those people wore scars of the day without even being in the vicinity. And more besides that we don’t know will have been impacted.
I want to say to the people whose lives have been torn apart by what happened, to go talk to others who were there. What they are going through and feeling, so are others and only they can really understand. That real genuine fear that you are going to die, that your life is over and you are about to feel it, really feel death is so powerful that it is hard to describe. The need to say just one more thing to the people you love is overwhelming, to let them know you are okay when you know you might not be. It affects you and it changes you for better and for the worse.