Right before my birthday this year, I received a surprise gift in the mail. It originated in South Africa, but was posted in Ottawa by Mike Scott who was there for an Animation Conference. Originally his mother had bought it in the UK and out of the blue, decided I was to be its owner. At the time of its arrival, I was feeling a bit lonely, so it became more than a random, lovely gift. It became hope itself.
I promptly got in touch with Susan to thank her profusely and let her know I was going on a trip and would photograph there, likely leaving her wondering where that would be.
It accompanied me on the plane, to the hotel, where I placed it on the table, lying curled upon the pamphlets of things to see and do in Las Vegas. It was too warm to use, so I left it there.
Before I left, I mentioned to my husband that I felt a bit anxious, but seeing his shocked expression, I immediately explained it was likely nothing – I would be fine once I got on the plane. (He knows that if I was any more mellow and I would be comatose). And I was for a bit, until the morning of the massacre. I was jolted out of bed by a tremendous siren sound pulsating. It felt as though my eardrums would be damaged. The announcement, which was just as invasive, said they were checking the emergency alert system as to what the emergency may be and to stand by. The siren continued while I ran in circles thinking that this was the reason for my anxiety. A nuclear hit was imminent. the Rocket Man had overshot California and hit Las Vegas. There was no hope.
Well, as it turned out, I may have overreacted somewhat. It was a false alarm.
Later on that night was the real disaster. A crowd of concert goers were shot like sitting ducks. There was mass panic and fear for their lives. The news trickled in, but of course the facts were sketchy and the hotel didn’t make any announcement, nor were the televisions on or radios. We didn’t know if this was part of a larger scaled attack so the hotel was put on lock down. Anyone who left had no where to go. No taxis were running. The lack of information had me scaling out a plan should the worst scenario take place.
The next morning I turned on the news, clutching my scarf. Why was that scarf so important and why did it have such an impact, especially at that time? Because it originated from a wonderful woman with a kind and gentle soul, who generously shares her spirit and spirituality with others. A woman who lives as she preaches – a purveyor of social justice and a promoter of all that is good in the world, an author and a friend to many.
The scarf remains my reminder of all that goodness the world has to offer if you take a moment to look around and feel that sweetness. Thank you Susan Scott (blog site here), for all you do and for all you represent – you are to be admired and I am ever so happy to have you as a friend. Together we are one.
The link below plays a 36 second bit from the Mandalay which when I heard it for the first time, my tears spilled and that’s when I realised how fortunate I was and how the memories of the killings crept home with me. I have a couple of upbeat stories from that time to share one day. For now, I have revisited enough.
Lesley Fletcher is a writer (freelance, books, content, lyrics,stage plays) as well as a visual artist specializing in monoprints. To learn more about her please visit the tabs here on WordPress, her website at http://www.LesleyFletcher.com or Amazon Author Page.