When I began writing these short pieces for publication on my website, I decided that the things I’d write about would centre on music, as this is something my life has revolved around. Although I don’t pretend to be an expert on the matter, at least I can write from personal experience. And yet, the story of Ashling Murphy has haunted me for weeks now. While I know nothing about criminal law nor have any other prerequisites of a similar nature, I feel compelled to write something.
During lockdown in Switzerland when people complained about being bored, I have to admit, their complaint chaffed at my patience. Being politely asked to work from home, yet still having the ability to go for walks, eat and cook food, read books, or shop online for anything you desire — music, films, craft projects in a box, you name it — does not equate boredom to me. When people bemoaned the closure of restaurants, concert halls, clubs, and other places where we humans like to gather, I did not feel that those of us who were bored were, equally, compassionate for the financial survival of the people who are servers or bartenders in those restaurants, those who maintain or play in the concert halls, or those who spin the decks.
When I embarked on envisioning an image that would capture my child and I, an image that could summarize the greatest challenge that I now face being a mother, with one word to encapsulate it, I didn’t realise what kind of conversation it would create along the way. I understood from an early age that I might face discrimination, coming from a multi-ethnic background of refugees and Shoah survivors who encompass cultures and traditions from Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. However, the greater number of my experiences were privileged. Everywhere in the world that I went, I was met with courtesy and respect. I was welcomed as an artist and treated as a human being. That is, until I got pregnant, until I became a parent.