I is for Island

Island

“I am a rock
I am an Island
And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries”
Simon and Garfunkel

“ No man is an island…’
John Dunne

“My island home is waiting for me”
Christine Anu

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It’s the first word that I thought of when I realised that I had reached the letter “I” for the AtoZ challenge.  There’s so much I could write about for example the wonderful islands of Australia-Lizard, Rottnest, Penguin, Maria and my favourite, Bruny. Or the beautiful îles  de Paris. But instead, with the words of the songwriters and poets  in my ears I want to write about the “I” in the human island.
All humans who lived  on islands traded with each other not purely for economic purposes but also out of an innate curiosity about ‘the other”, that which is different. It’s the reason why we travel, to discover the surprising similarities with those who can live very different lives to us, as well as discover the alien in  the once familiar.  Australians live on an island continent and historically other words beginning with “I” have described our attitude to the outside world
“Insular”
“Insecure”
“Inward looking’”
The tyranny of distance has so often been used to describe our insularity-its just so far from Europe for example, but today, even with modern travel, that insecurity persists. It causes us to fear the stranger, the outsider as someone who wants to do us harm rather than someone who can enrich our lives
We can all be like that as individuals, too. Islands adrift in a sea of strangers, many of whom could be our friends

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