Saturday 20 October 2018

Long after the horrors, I dream of the dead but wake to find a beautiful spring morning

REMEMBERING: Twenty-four years after the genocide in Rwanda, the kind of hateful, demagogic, deceitful voices that created the tragedy must still be resisted
REMEMBERING: Twenty-four years after the genocide in Rwanda, the kind of hateful, demagogic, deceitful voices that created the tragedy must still be resisted

Fergal Keane

It is always the same dream. The woman hovers at the end of the bed. She is wordless, motionless, a portrait from a quarter of a century ago whose only animation lies in her forever beseeching eyes. There is no need for her to say anything. I know well the message she is bearing. When I wake, it is with tears in my own eyes.

A few weeks back I picked up a virus while working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It meant a spell in hospital and now a lengthy recuperation. I have more time on my hands than I am used to. Walking with the aid of a crutch, I have had to slow down. My habits of displacing emotion with movement have been curtailed.

This, I tell myself, is why the dreams have come back. But it also has something to do with the time of year. This is late spring, the season when the genocide began in Rwanda 24 years ago. It is always a hard time of year.

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