Cyprus, an ancient land. Walking among it’s people, the fresh wound is palpable in the concrete walls of Nicosia city. The streets carry a myst once perceived during the war. In the gaze of it’s people there is a sorrow. An invisible sorrow. One that isn’t felt in the flesh, but in the abyss of the psyche. A forgotten warmth, as if too long ago. Thousands of years of history has vanished in the wake of a modern conflict, dividing it’s future and what it stands for. Nicosia, the last divided capital of the world, reminds each of us of the power of scars. Scars are always left by pain, while peace and happiness leaves no trace of it’s passage in time. 

We have no scar to show for happiness
— Chuck Palahniuk

Revenge is easily justified by wounds, sorrow, loss and grief, most would understand. While a good deed is often forgotten like tracing a line on the surface of water. Loss, grief, pain, all densified layers of emotions, unexpressed and unhealed, becomes crystallized memories, leaving an imprint through time. Civilizations are built amongst the ruins of another, remembering it’s origin and building upon it’s foundation, so as we, new generations, define ourselves in the context of our cultural history, our emotional landscape sculpted by the memories of our ancestors.


Conflicts reminds us of the suffering we’ve known, inviting us to consciously move past deeply rooted reactions and envision a creative outcome. Instead of letting our wounds speak through aggressive actions, how can we harness the power of peace, and use it to fuel future compassionate actions.

Nicosia may be the last officially divided capital, yet we all know it isn’t the only place where history has left it’s people divided from one another. In places like theses, a wave of people is awakening, understanding than only through their own personal healing will there be a chance for collective healing.

In memory of such courage, I honour you, those who face the shadow of their past, rising together for a new future, as unknown as it may be.

Cyprus, thank you for the teachings

Jean-Manuel Nadeau