I am sitting on my own in front the television in the living room. My laptop settled upon a cushion. I am spring cleaning today’s emails. The news reporter’s voice is clear, but his words are at the back of my consciousness. My wife is in the dining room. She is working.
The voices talk of remembrance… highlight the names of the British victims… the English football team pay their respects before training. Reporting turns to narration.
You stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred.
I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know. If the God for whom you kill blindly made us in his image, every bullet in my wife’s body would have been a wound in his heart.
Therefore, I will not give you the gift of hating you. You have obviously sought it but to reply to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same thoughtlessness that has made you what you are.
You want me to be afraid. To cast a mistrustful eye on my fellow citizens. To sacrifice my liberty for my security.
We are only two, my son and I but we are more powerful than all the armies of the world. In any case I have no more time to waste on you.
I need to get back to Melvil who is waking up from his afternoon nap. He’s just 17 months old. He’ll eat his snack like every day. And then we are going to play like we do every day and every day of his life this little boy will insult you with his happiness and his freedom.
Because you will never have his hatred either. – Antoine Leiris
I can appreciate the timing of this passage. Of a child interrupting a quiet moments work. I am left holding back tears. Quiet. Reflective.
Tonight, Wednesday, the BBC offered an Antoine Leiris reading on his own post.