The Nothing that was Something

We do not need reminding.

Twenty four years ago.

Something was happening in Tiananmen Square.  The world’s media was keeping a watchful eye.  There was hope bubbling in the air; hope for social changes, for freedom, for something wonderful.  Cautious optimism was spreading onto the screens in our sitting rooms.

June 4.

Something happened.  It was live for all to see, sitting in front of the television.  Tanks rumbled through the streets.   Screams and gunshots.   Darkness.   Silence.

Hope was being brutally repressed.

NOTHING HAPPENED. NOTHING HAPPENED. NOTHING HAPPENED. The Authorities keep insisting.  Defiances have since been knocked out, or locked up.

Yet it was there for all the world to see.

Something happened.   Something wonderful was about to take shape, and then vanished in the ether.  Someone was there, blocking the advance of troops of tanks, and then was not any more.  We witnessed it all.  The Nothing that was Something.

Something we cannot plead ignorance.  We can’t.  We are witnesses.  History will tell the tale, someday.  One day.

Until then, we do not need reminding.  We mark it every year, with a tiny flame in our palms, with respect for the innocent dead in our hearts.  Not willing to remember, not daring to forget.


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