and the Memorial to Heroes of Self Sacrifice
A gem. Possibly "the" gem of your work published here.
Also: please be sure to record the pending sledgehammer incident by both sound and video and feature as the background to your next Article Voiceover.
I read this at my desk in the early pre-dawn quiet, where there are very much zero bird-scaring shotgun blast sounds. I feel we are similar in our noise sensitivity. Noise-cancelling headphones, especially for public transport, are a wonder.
I went grape-picking for a friend at his vineyard once (well, he owned a portion of the vines) and they had one of those brid-scarers. I hated it, and I was only there for an afternoon. Live out the sledgehammer dream!
I know I use the word beautiful a lot whenever I respond, but such is your writing and what it elicits, Chloe. (And to note Mya's comment, please do keep up the audio. I haven't listened to this one yet as I'm at home and I like to listen when I'm on the move, but I will listen for the peace-inducing effect of your voice.)
I had no idea about this park. Next time I'm in London (this xmas, actually), I'll try and get across to sit for a moment and read all of these. The wording of the plaques is so immediately arresting.
"There is a toddler, idly practising screaming in a carriage further down the train." <-- my favourite line. So offhand, but so vivid.
Oh, wow, this is very much like a sermon this morning. Those tiles...the deaths by fire and water. And the willing sacrifice. That 10 year old boy who died trying to save a younger companion...and we grieve for long ago strangers.
What stories these plaques tell, and you have done a great service in showing us the essence of heroism and tragedy not forgotten❤️
Another lovely piece, Chloe. And I can't imagine a better home for that photo than with you — thank you for sharing, and for treating it with such reverence.
Chloe I am so taken with the photo of the girl in the woods. Could you by any chance give me permission to write a 50-word story about it for 🍁Leaves? With full credit, of course. ( If not, no worries!) It is so evocative it practically tells itself.
"... a fantasy of going to the vineyard with a sledgehammer and beating the Bird-scarer into a small and unrecognisable pulp..." Yes. Do it. Blame ME if you like. If this were happening in my neighborhood, I would soon be in prison for homicide, a self-sacrifice on my own part to help my neighbors. Your post is so touching. I can see how moved you were by the memorial. Thanks, Chloe.
I love having the option of listening to you, you sound as I would have expected, beautiful.
I too suffer from the onslaught of noise and other unnecessary stimuli and I feel for you having to withstand the bird scarer every half hour...💚
While I feel for your nerves and the birds with that beastly bird scarer, Chloe, I can't help but notice the irony of escaping the noise of the countryside by taking a train into one of the largest cities in the world to sit in a former graveyard. Also, noticing the young age of many of the heroes you photographed. Very poignant.
Chloe, this was so good! I don’t know where to begin.
The bird scarer sounds awful. So much so that I think your fantasy — “This means that, while at home, alongside a skeleton-jarring jolt of adrenaline flooding my body, I have to allow the dark and unstoppable fantasy of going to the vineyard with a sledgehammer and beating the Bird-scarer into a small and unrecognisable pulp play out in my minds eye—every thirty minutes.” —-is totally justified.
I absolutely love that you keep a random photo that FogChaser sent you in your purse — that is fantastic!
This was what I learnt about death this week thanks to you — “The park is small and raised a little above ground level, a fail safe way of knowing that it was once a burial ground.”
And your reflections on Sarah’s death and what each of those tiles represent was nothing short of amazing.
A wonderful, wonderful read, Chloe.
So wonderful as always. Just when I thought I couldn’t adore you anymore than I do! 💕
So great- I'm out of hyperbole to describe this...for now.
I love hearing/imagining/feeling how you experience the world. Thank you.
I also find something very moving about the artistry of these as well. Thinking about the people who carefully worded, crafted painted these memorials. And how the the stories have lasted in place for all these generations.
Always heartfelt, always moving. Thanks so much dear Chloe. (I do so wish I could scare away the bird scarer!!! Sigh...)
Such meticulousness to the memorial plaques' wording, their art. Makes me curious about Watts. May the "bird-scarer" cease!