New Zealanders are reeling after the atrocious events in Christchurch on 15 March 2019. We grieve for those who died, for those who have lost loved ones, for the injured. We think of the many people facing long recoveries from life-changing physical and emotional wounds.
If there is one thing about this terrible time from which I, and others, have drawn hope, it’s been the overwhelming response of connection, compassion and support. There has been a powerful communal instinct towards repair and healing. One manifestion of this is the urge to make. It’s in the service of this urge that so many of us have gathered flowers and arranged them in bouquets, sung together, walked together in silent vigil. Others have cooked meals, baked bread, provided transport or translated words. I happened to visit a wool store yesterday, and was invited to join in on a project that has sprung up to knit socks and face cloths for women from the local Muslim community. “We want,” said the shop owner, “to show that we care about our fellow citizens from top to toe.”
All over the country there are many more examples of people who have picked up tools and instruments to do their bit to create harmony and cohesion: brush stroke by brush stroke, stitch by stitch, note by note, word by word.