Trigger Warning: This post contains discussion of the recent terrorist attack in London, Ontario and documents my experience of hearing the news.
I was sitting in a warehouse in Halifax, waiting to be called to set, when I found out about the terrorist attack in London, Ontario. I heard the news from my dad, in a text message, “Are you hearing about what happened here on Hyde Park Road last night? It is horrific.”
I went to Twitter and searched “Hyde Park.” I came across posts about a stabbing in London, England and wondered, briefly, if my dad had the story wrong. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon the news, but in the end, I got my information from Craig Needles as he listened to the press conference with London Police Chief Stephen Williams.
I scrolled through Twitter and looked at the profiles of Muslim friends, colleagues, and community organizations. Each time that I came back to my feed I read another comment from an acquaintance or politician expressing solidarity, naming feelings, or explaining something.
The background noise in the warehouse turned into a fuzzy vacuum of not-quite-sound and I started to get hot.
I started to like posts: Craig Needles, Sherine Fahmy, Selma Tobah, London West NDP, Mariam Hamou, Dr. Muna Saleh, and Ali Chahbar, and retweeted one: Dr. Ingrid Mattson. I started to compose a tweet a few times, but didn’t finish writing any.
I made a donation.
I wrote in my notebook.
- “My house” because the attack happened 5 minutes from where I grew up.
- “Road hockey” because my friend hosted our games nearby.
- “Sad, heartsick, love, acceptance” because they crossed my heart.
- “One small thing” because it’s what I knew to offer.
I wrote down quotations that made me feel hope:
- “We will respond to those trying to inflict terror on our community with love.”
- “He is a son of our community and we are all his family.”
I wrote down quotations that made me feel critical:
- “Our community is safe.”
- “Like all Londoners.”