A shooting at a mosque in Quebec City – men at their prayers, gunned down in cold blood. One of the shooters, apparently, was named Mohamed, which makes this hate crime even more incomprehensible. There is no question in my mind that this is linked to the vile xenophobic intolerance unleashed south of the border. We are hurtling backwards as a planet, back to a new Dark Ages. Soon we’ll be burning witches. It makes me heartsick.
Which I was anyway because of sad news, yesterday – a dear friend called from the west to tell me that his nephew, whom I’d met once but whose slightly older brother was my boarder for two years, had died at the age of 37. Both boys were born with cystic fibrosis, a hideous, relentless disease; it was something of a modern miracle that the two of them were thriving well into their thirties, both married. The younger caught an infection and died suddenly. His brother must be desolate. I am deeply saddened.
The strange thing is that I had just been talking about my boarder friend. Yesterday afternoon, I was at a concert at Peter Mose’s, my piano teacher’s house, a lovely event with a husband and wife, both pianists and music teachers who have just moved here from Montreal and who specialize in accompanying others and in playing four hand piano. Which they did, because Peter, happily, has two pianos in his living room. Sometimes they played together, sometimes with their backs to each other on different pianos; it was delightful. Afterward I told them about my friend from the west, who’s an accompanist on piano, and his nephew, who grew up to do exactly the same work, wondering if there’s a “piano accompanist gene”. As I walked in the door afterwards, the phone rang, and I learned of my young friend’s brother’s death. And then of terrorist slaughter in what we like to think of as our peaceful, tolerant nation.
The world dishes out so much sorrow, so much pain and grief without being asked. Why do we human beings go out of our way to create more?