Vigil day 34: Robin day 7

The Statue
The Statue

The beautiful pealing of cathedral bells is a pleasure I don’t experience on Waiheke, and has particular meaning for me: on Thursday and Friday before I started my hunger strike I stood out in the early morning commuter foot traffic, wearing ‘Fasting for fast action on Climate Emergency’ bill boards and ringing my hand bell.

‘Town Criers’ in ages past spread important news this way. My voice is no match for traffic so I didn’t do much calling out, just handing out leaflets. I had a range of reactions from thumbs up and smiles to shaken heads, poor dear…! I’ve since learnt that this isn’t ineffective way to communicate in this day and age.

The other reason I took this action is referencing the following poem, which seems particularly apt in ways John Donne would not have considered, as well as the ways he meant…

For Whom the Bell Tolls,

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by
the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory
As well as if a manor of thine
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

This is relating to human beings and how every loss, or death, is an injury to the whole. Humans are interconnected with one another and can therefore not afford to be flippant with one another’s lives.

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