The Give of the Wall

On Hope & Faith

Carrie Twomey with some thoughts on the awakening to and rejection of the massive injustices that are a central feature of the "War on Terror."

Years and years ago, which I can say now because that's how old I am, while in my head I am still in my 20s that was actually two decades ago, and the memory I am thinking of comes from even before that, when I was a younger girl, full of the discovery of the horrors and wrongs of the world that fuel the idealistic and naïve passion of youth, my father told me the way of things.

Change is something you always work for and never, or rarely, see yourself. It does not happen overnight. The change you are working for comes after you are gone from the work you have done.

These were not words of discouragement, but guidance, and I have never forgotten them.

It is probably one reason why decades later I still burn with a naïve passion that rails against the horrors and wrongs of the world, because I know it is not the speaking out against them that prevents their change but the silent acceptance, the shrug of shoulders that allows them unchecked.

Every voice, every action, is a blow against the wall of oppression and tyranny. And it takes years, it is slow, and it seems, when you feel you are on your own with your tiny axe fruitlessly chipping the stone barricade, that it is pointless: like rock given to prisoners to break, an endless supply.

But while you are chipping, others are too. Sometimes you work together. You learn of others and give them encouragement - you know their struggle because you are struggling too. And this is the work that will break through the wall.

I have hope, I know change is happening, I can feel it, sense it in the vibrations that travel up my axe, the give, the weakness in the stone. I hope the change brings us to a better place, because the cost is so high. But this World "War on Terror", this slow Holocaust we have been living in, it is being exposed, the crimes are naked now and there is no hiding, no propaganda that can continue to cover-up their horror.

I have faith that we are in the midst of massive change, and I see how it has taken us years to get here, and while the give of the wall quickens my pulse, I know it will be some years yet but we are getting there.

We will break through.


  1. Maith thu Carrie, my thoughts exactly. We are entering a new age and I think we will win this one - our day is coming and we can see it in the subtle shifts over the last 18 months, as you allude to. It's only the beginning. Most of us thought Syria would have been steam-rolled by now but when the crucial moment came something deep inside the awakening people seen straight through the false flag and the lies and dealt an unexpected and fatal blow to their scheme. Their plans have also hit major trouble in the Ukraine, they just cannot get away with their endless plotting and lies and killing as in the past. And now the situation in Palestine is not working out as expected despite the massive suffering being inflicted. If you go along with this sort of thing we are now in Aquarius and the old world will soon be no more, it's then we'll see the rising of the moon and freedom. It is inevitable. We the people are a powerful weapon and if we only knew who we really are and unleashed our power nothing could stand in our way, we could move mountains. The empire is crumbling, the empire, to borrow Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah's memorable analogy of Israel, is weaker than a spiders web, because it depends on deception and the ignorance of the masses. We will see it fall and the dawning of the new age when peace and love rule supreme. It just might not be as we understand it! We have been around since the beginning of time and we will always be around because we are more than what we know or realise or can possibly ever understand. A mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam I've heard it described; an ocean of infinite consciousness - the interconnectness of all things that have ever been and ever will be. Then again as anyone who knows me personally will tell ye I'm just clean nuts. Victory to the people! Long live the people! Tiocfaidh ar la!

  2. The world is witnessing an earthquake and people are longing for justice and freedom

  3. I think this post is so beautiful and inspiring, as are the two comments from Sean Bres. It's so easy to fall into despair at the state of the world and think to yourself "What difference can we really make with our tiny little group?" when confronted with such enormous evil as we are seeing yet again in Gaza. And sometimes you get to the point of wondering if, really, all the effort is just to make yourself feel better, because you almost stop believing that anything will ever change. Then something really inspiring comes along and shakes you out of your self indulgent wallowing and you say to yourself, "Pull yourself together you twit and get out there with your leaflets!" Reading this post was one of those moments.

  4. Sean,

    we are around about a quarter of a million years. Time started about 16 billion years ago!!

  5. All depends on what you're concept of 'we' is though Tony. I'm not going there, some things are best left alone! Oiche mhaith

  6. Thanks for the kind words by the way Sarah. I believe 'we' are everything that has ever been and ever will be, the very essence of all existence - as old as time itself

  7. Sean,

    Being nuts is underrated it is those who claim to be sane that are very suspect.

  8. This should give us hope - The #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies campaign for coexistence gains momentum, with photos being posted to Facebook and Twitter carrying messages of peace.

    One couple’s photo has become the face of the campaign: a selfie of half-Lebanese Sulome Anderson kissing her Orthodox Jewish boyfriend, which she posted to Twitter with the caption, “He calls me neshama, I call him habibi. Love doesn't speak the language of occupation #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies”

    Here's the link to the article in Haaretz

  9. Tain there's hope for some of us on here then yet!

  10. Sean,

    there is always hope as your complimentary comment suggests at the moment we are feeding on despair and helplessness drenched in guilt. I am talking with a friend about hope and help and what concerned people can do to help.

    Once you fall into the sanity trap you will believe whatever rubbish governments have to say or do. Better to be nuts with your eyes open than sane with them closed.

  11. A great piece Carrie it is poetic and uplifting the powerful sentiment sank deep within my subconscious awakening voices quietly chipping through to my conscious mind.

    This slow holocaust awoke an old friend whom I stumbled across at Belfast central library which was funny as I was on the beak from school (absent for no reason) perhaps it is that your piece is contemplative and seeks to acknowledge the humanity that is being robbed and striped away from so many people in the war on terror which robs the innocent and voids their humanness implying they don’t feel the terror inflicted upon them.

    Perhaps it is the calmness of your observations that sounded familiar as when I read Primo Levi the voice in my head is calm and contemplative observant unlike when I read Kafka the voice is anxious with a sense of desperate urgency.

    Somehow I believe somewhere in the Gaza chamber someone is quietly living the same humiliations as Levi quietly observing and thinking much the same as below. Somehow this regime has forgot what the Nazis done or just ignoring it as the Nazis got away with it under the blanket of a world war and this regime is conducting a members only one sided war punishing an entire people for the minor actions of a few.

    Ist das ein Mensch?, If this is a man?

    “You who live safe
    In your warm houses,
    You who find, returning in the evening,
    Hot food and friendly faces:
    Consider if this is a man
    Who works in the mud
    Who does not know peace
    Who fights for a scrap of bread
    Who dies because of a yes or a no.
    Consider if this is a woman,
    Without hair and without name
    With no more strength to remember,
    Her eyes empty and her womb cold
    Like a frog in winter.
    Meditate that this came about:
    I commend these words to you.
    Carve them in your hearts
    At home, in the street,
    Going to bed, rising;
    Repeat them to your children,
    Or may your house fall apart,
    May illness impede you,
    May your children turn their faces from you.”

    I also found myself thinking about the POWs and the no wash protest as they clung onto their dignity as the world passed by eventually leading to the hunger strikes, there was never enough news and that feeling of helplessness lingered. The quiet relief when the late Vol. Brendan Hughes displayed his humanity and integrity:

    “As the IRA leader in charge of that hunger strike I had given Sean McKenna a guarantee that were he to lapse into a coma I would not permit him to die.

    When the awful moment arrived I kept my word to him. Having made that promise, to renege on it once Sean had reached a point where he was no longer capable of making a decision for himself, I would have been guilty of his murder. Whatever the strategic merits of Bernadette’s favoured option, they are vastly outweighed by ethical considerations.”

    The shame the Netanyahu’s within the RM insist on robbing his memory. The quiet relief was short lived as the 2nd hunger strike left ten brave men dead. It is the poems of the late Vol. Bobby Sands that your piece brought back to my mind.
    More specific The Rhythm of Time the last verse:

    “ It lights the dark of this prison cell,
    It thunders forth its might,
    It is 'the undauntable thought', my friend,
    The thought that says 'I'm right!”

    There are many voices saying the Palestinians are right! Perhaps I have read too much poetry over the years and completely missed what you are saying but it was the calm contemplative observations that made me think many different thoughts more than I have room for in a single comment.

  12. I suppose each of us are a grain of sand in the sandstorm of protest.