Don\’t blow your nose in it! (Click here to see the article)
This is a very interesting post from the BBC about silk handkerchiefs used by pilots in World War Two. I jump on anything to do with this conflict when I read it, as I am deeply engrossed in Woodbine and Ivy, which is set in that time. These squares of silk had 3 different maps of Europe printed on them and formed part of an escape kit. In the article, journalist Georgina Kenyon describes how important these maps were psychologically to those who carried them, along with more predictable things like spare socks and penknives. She quotes her 94 year old father-in-law, himself a Australian pilot who saw service in Europe. \”Keep your sense of humour and your escape kit with you at all times.\”
Ms Kenyon also draws out deeper truths in this fascinating article, ones that really resonated with me as I too study this dreadful time. She concludes by reflecting on how temporary the stupidity of war can seem and yet how permanent are the scars it leaves behind.
Let us hope that we never, ever experience anything like it again. Human nature is flawed, and I\’m discovering how dark some of the aspects of our nature can be in desperate circumstances but also how inspiring are those who are able to rise above it to become genuine heroes.
As I delve deeper and deeper into my story, I keep reflecting on the Chinese symbol of yin and yang. It is a circle with opposite tadpole shapes spooning against each other, one white, one black. Inside each is the seed of the opposing colour. I perceive this in over-simplistic terms as the seed of evil contained deep within the larger good and the seed of good contained within evil. Rather biblical terms! I guess what each of us has to to is keep a healthy balance between them, both as individuals and as communities and ultimately as a planet.
After all, there is no Planet B.
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