The human animal is, quite reasonably, afraid of the dark. When living in it, we seek light. In accepting the reality of Nelson Mandela's death, my sad heart is drawn to the light of hope he offers us all: history will be what we make of it.
The Queen's visit crosses another symbolic chasm between two islands who have been at odds for most of 800 years. If it is a success it marks another chapter in a new departure between the two countries.
The blood-spilling of the past week - and the rock-solid resistance to it - should lead us to a new political cry. Prime Minister Brown, Taoiseach Cowen, First Minister Robinson - tear down this wall between Northern Ireland's children.