Everyone has their triggers, something which makes you halt in your tracks with a big fat nope… enough is enough… time to slink away…
I passed displays and presentations in humbled silence, reading clips from peoples lives, the mundane transformed into the extraordinary by disastrous events. The pocket watch that had stopped at 8:45am, bottles, shoes, toys, clothes… A scale model city with a scale model bomb.
Then turning a corner, there is a stone step, just a step from a bank. Nothing else, just a step… I looked closer, reading to accompanying blurb… Upon the step was a dark circle, hardly noticeable until you read the information. I was looking at a shadow from the flash, the dark circle, a customer waiting for the bank to open, nothing, absolutely nothing remained to identify this individual. All that left over from their life was a dark circle upon a stone step.
This was my trigger and I *had* to leave! Head down, my pace quickened, but I remained respectfully walking throughout the rest of the museum, following the exit signs with hardly an upwards glance. Fighting to hold back tears and pausing only to sign a deceleration for nuclear dismemberment upon my way out.
I was torn, broken by history and badly needing fresh air!
As I stepped outside and breathed deeply, I was greeted by the ‘Fountain of Peace’ … I breathed deeply, the sound of running water was refreshing, I felt a cascading wave of relief wash over my very soul.
The peace of the Garden I now stood in was refreshing and even though I would know that that step would remain with me until my end of days, so would the peace I felt afterwards.
My contrasting emotions. The war and the peace. The tragedy and the recovery.
Several streets away from the Garden down a small side street, is an unremarkable stone plinth. No frills or fuss, no attention or drama, just a simple stone plinth. This is the only indication of the actual epicentre, tucked away from the glorious garden, far removed from the museum of tragedy.
A simple memento – A permanent reminder to the world…
A. Harrison 29.04.16