THIS is a Leader with a difference. Here three different narratives coalesce to form a single story: the story of Nora Anne Quoirin. Her story is as much a French- Irish tale as it is a Malaysian one. You can say Nora brought us together again.
Again, because sometimes, we Malaysians, whose individual stories began in other lands in a very distant past, forget that we are one.
Not that we are Malaysians. But more: that we are human.
It is an irony that we found ourselves in Nora’s missing. Tragedy sometimes does this to us. On the morning of Aug 4, Nora was reported missing. On that very day, Malaysians became one human nation again.
Skin colour was just a pigment, like it was to Vincent van Gogh. People can paint us blue or grey, but we will always be of one single human race. No one should make us forget this.
Even if some people try to do as they are wont to do, we mustn’t forget to remember this.
Nora loved waterfalls, we were told. She probably left the resort looking for one. Nora’s body was found not too far from it.
We Malaysians have our “waterfall” moments too. Like Nora, we go looking for them every now and then. Sometimes, we find it. Sometimes, we don’t.
But the search is a necessary journey. Seeing the waterfall, we will exclaim as John Keats did in Ode To A Grecian Urn, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”.
In waterfalls, there is magic when sound meets sight. We are “waterfalls”, too, in a manner of speaking. Man, the created being, is an unmatched beauty. People in love know this.
Lovers will tell you how beautiful the one is to the other. But this magic waxes and wanes. Because we train our eyes to look for differences, not similarities.
Nora was a differently-abled lady. She had a way of seeing we must learn.
The way she saw waterfalls was one. There must have been many more we do not know.
All packed in the very short 15-year life. Nora walked miles in the dark to see the beauty in God’s creation. We must too. Not only in the woods and trees. But also the beauty of the humans that we are.
Yes, there is much noise out there. And other discordance. But there is music too. The discerning will hear this. To hear is to love all the things that God has created in the Universe.
Nora did something unexplainable to us Malaysians. For 10 troubled days, we followed every piece of news of the young visitor, hoping someone would find her alive.
The world, too, watched from afar. For that very 10 days, we did the same thing together: looked out for her. We saw neither colour nor creed. Gone were our usual distractions of divisive things.
Nora is not with us any more, but she has left a lesson for us all: “see” with your heart’s “eyes”. Because the other pair isn’t colour blind.
Thus we discover ourselves. The beauty in our differences. Through Nora. This is Nora’s story.
A story of Malaysia.