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Zentangle Diva Challenge #317 – Stand with England Edition

by Suzanne Fluhr on May 27, 2017 · 21 comments

I realize it’s kind of very late in the week to be posting my response to this week’s Zentangle Diva’s challenge which was to use a photo as a string and tangle around it. This week’s challenge was posted the morning after the horrific suicide bombing of a Manchester, England arena just as a concert filled with teens (and at least one 8 year old) and their parents was letting out. We know about the eight year old because she was killed in the blast along with 21 others.

I was feeling very sad for Manchester, so as my string for this challenge, I looked back through my photos and found one taken during a visit to London in 2012 during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year—-hence, all the Union Jacks. I decided to dedicate this week’s challenge response to Manchester and England.

Tangles used: Paradox, Tipple, Hollibaugh and the one that looks like a chain that I embarrassingly already forget the name of.

I’m an Anglophile. We lived in England for the 1969-70 school year when my father was an exchange teacher in Devizes, a Wiltshire market town. I made my first return visit in 1999 and had the good fortune to be able to visit twice last year, thanks to Mr. Dr. Excitement‘s medical research conferences.

One of his conferences was in Birmingham, a city not unlike Manchester, reinventing itself after a gritty, industrial past. (Think “Rust Belt” cities in the United States). Some of the new city centre Birmingham architecture seems to have been designed by tangle enthusiasts.

Birmingham England library

Main library, Birmingham City Centre

Then, there was this building:

On that trip, we spent our last night in England, in Manchester. (American Airlines flies non-stop from Manchester to our home city, Philadelphia.) It has a stylish pedestrian center, and a multi-cultural vibe. I enjoyed a sake (Japanese) mojito (Cuban) at a Vietnamese restaurant behind Manchester Cathedral.

Manchester England Cathedral

Manchester England Cathedral

As with so many beautiful places of worship around the world, the lovely Manchester Cathedral has a history marred by violence and destruction. The first church on the site was built in the 7th century and destroyed by the Danes in 923–back in their raping and pillaging phase. The rebuilding of a church on the site started in 1215. That church was ransacked during the English Civil War in 1649. The cathedral underwent extensive renovations during the 19th century, but was partly destroyed and severely damaged by a German bombing in 1940. It was restored over 20 years, only to be damaged by an IRA (Irish Republican Army) bombing in 1996. But, it was standing to shelter those praying for the wounded and the souls who lost their lives this week.

One of my favorite Shakespeare passages is about England herself. The prose is poetry, but the message is flawed—ask William the Conqueror.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,–
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

King Richard II, Act 2 scene 1

Moats, walls and even oceans (and the English Channel) cannot save us from those infected by murderous rage, tribalism and avarice. I know I sound naive and I constantly battle my own cynicism and despair for the human race, but tonight I am wishing with all my might that all the citizens of the world choose to live by the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule simply asks you (me) to be empathetic, to “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” In simple English, “Treat other people, the way you wish to be treated.”

Peace. Out.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Annemarie May 28, 2017 at 1:31 am

This is a moving tribute, Suzanne, thanks for that.
Talking about Shakespeare, have you even been in Stratford-upon-Avon where he was born and later buried in the old church there? My husband lived there (in old town) when we first met and the whole (old) town is dedicated to Shakespeare.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 28, 2017 at 9:58 am

I visited Stratford on Avon on a school trip when we lived in England. I had my first beans on toast there and we saw one of his plays performed.

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avatar Jean Chaney May 28, 2017 at 9:41 am

Very meaningful and educational post, Suzanne. Such sad times. Your work is absolutely amazing. The tangles look like they are really part of the photos!

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avatar Trudi May 28, 2017 at 11:46 am

Lovely tribute! My grandmother was born in Manchester and that’s where we flew into in 1986 when my husband had a 6 months sabbatical in Loughborough. In Canada when something is a hundred years old we are impressed it’s still standing. It blew my mind seeing buildings from the 1400 and 1500’s!

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avatar Deanne B May 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Beautiful tribute Suzanne! And very much appreciated. Thank you!

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avatar Madaline Resendes May 28, 2017 at 3:34 pm

I appreciate the way you intertwine present tragedy and past encroachments with a persistent hope that humanity can someday get to the point where empathy and decency win the day. It is clear in your piece that folks have picked themselves up and brushed themselves off in spite of horrific human created catastrophes for millennia. I am hopeful that the apparent urge to destroy that is in our collective DNA is counterbalanced and vanquished by our, apparently, also DNA based capacity to remain hopeful and determined to create a better world in spite of anything and everything. I love how you brought Shakespeare in, the greatest playwright of all time, and demonstrate that even his grasp of history is fallible! If we don’t wake up, take a glance back and do a better job of learning from our mistakes, the way forward will be slower and more tortured than it need be. Let us love each other, listen to each other, learn from each other, and lean toward the future ever more resolved to, as you say, live the Golden Rule. Peace. Out.

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avatar Nan @ lbddiaries May 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm

This was an excellent post. Poignant and also hopeful. One of your best – love the Zentangle.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 28, 2017 at 11:05 pm

Poignant hope. I long for the day when just hope is sufficient. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your engagement with my writing.

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avatar Leslie in Oregon May 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm

Thank you for this post, Suzanne. Another one of “those infected by murderous rage, tribalism” struck in Portland on Friday evening. After terrorizing two teenage girls (one a Muslim wearing a hijab and the other black), this person, known for his hate speech and extremist views, turned his rage on three men who intervened, trying to talk him down. The man responded by turning his rage on the three men, slashing each of them in the neck with a long-blade knife. He killed two of the men and left the third critically injured. We share Manchester’s shock and horror while mourning and commemorating their dead and the three Portland rescuers, a 53-year-old army veteran, a recent Reed College graduate and a 21-year-old aspiring poet. Because of their bravery, the two teenage girls were able to escape without (physical) wounds.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 28, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Leslie, thank you for your comment. I was horrified to learn about the hate murders in Portland, perhaps one of the last places in the United States where one would expect such a thing to happen. I would hope I’d have the courage shown by the Good Samaritans.

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avatar Maggibee May 29, 2017 at 6:28 am

I’m afraid your blog made me cry a little bit. Thank you for reminding us about the past and the ability of mankind (peoplekind?) to recover, rebuild and move on. Peace.

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avatar ria matheussen May 29, 2017 at 6:39 am

Thank you Suzanne for this educational post, wonderful pictures and a beautiful drawn Zendala. It’s so nice we can connect with people from all over the world, thanks to this magic drawingstyle. I’m so sorry to leave for a while but I will come back…

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avatar Anita A Westin May 29, 2017 at 8:28 am

Thank´s for sharing this! Your Zendala is beautiful and the photos of buildings are so interesting!

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avatar Irene S. Levine May 29, 2017 at 9:13 am

All our hearts are with the people of Manchester. Thanks for transporting us there!

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avatar Donna Janke May 29, 2017 at 10:51 am

Lovely post. I particularly enjoyed reading Manchester Cathedral history. And your Zentangle is beautiful!

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avatar Elizabeth Rose May 30, 2017 at 9:58 am

This new art form never ceases to amaze me!

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avatar Pamela McKuen May 30, 2017 at 11:23 am

What a lovely tribute to Manchester, England and the world at large. May we all live in peace. Love your artistry, too.

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avatar Cathy Sweeney June 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

This is quite an inspired and moving tribute to the people of Manchester. I love how you’ve used your Zentangle creativity to be the visual and your memories and literature to be the words. Peace.

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avatar Sue Reddel June 3, 2017 at 11:58 am

I love that you used your Zentangle talents to create this wonderful tribute for Manchester.

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avatar Rachel Heller June 4, 2017 at 7:16 am

A very poignant tribute, Suzanne. How does this keep happening? How do people make that jump from “I hate these people.” to “I want to kill these people.”? I just can’t fathom it. And how can they possibly think that killing random strangers will help their cause?

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avatar Irene S. Levine June 4, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Never realized that there would be another tragedy in England between the time you posted this and I read it! So very sad!

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