The angels of Newton should provoke us to think about how we each can make this a less violent, more loving world. Louisiana born poet Yusef Komunyakaa, moved by the massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, wrote this beautiful poem, "Rock Me Mercy."
He read it on NPR and sounded just as moving:
The river stones are listening because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today.
The singing in the electrical woods has gone down.
It looks like rain, because it is too warm to snow.
Guardian angels, wherever you're hiding, we know you can't be everywhere at once.
Have you corralled all the pretty wild horses?
The memory of ants asleep and day lilies, roses, holly and larkspur?
The magpies gaze at us still waiting.
River stones are listening.
But all we can say now is mercy, please rock me.
Today, I take stock of my life and think how I can make this a more loving and peaceful planet, and I do so by thinking on how I treat others, and the values that I hold sacred. Are you also taking stock?
Today we start to bury the children, then we bury the adults. But, what happens after the bodies are laid to rest? As a civilized and democratic nation, we each have to ask ourselves: how do we prevent another massacre, and where do we go from here?
Is it really a Constitutional right for a civilian to own a semi-automatic rifle like the ones owned by the military?
How do we aid the mentally ill and their care givers?
What are the values are we holding sacred in America 2012 and praising & passing on to our kids, friends, and loved ones?
No community is safe from the violence that permeates this beautiful planet, no matter how well guarded and armed your home, school, office or streets are, the hardcore truth is that we are all affected directly or indirectly. We can contribute to the betterment of our world with each act. Or contribute to the continuation of this violence with inaction.
What are the values do you promote in your life?
-Do you stop to enjoy dew on a flower?
-Or, do you spend extra hours at the shooting range or consuming violent television and media?
-Do you take you or kids in your life for walks in the park, a museum to look at magical art or do you let them play Halo & Minecraft and other video games where death and destruction is the goal?
-Do you lovingly talk to you and to others or is harsh verbal jousting part of your daily?
Violence produces violence. Love produces more love.
Today lets hold a space for mercy and pray that those in anguish and despair be rocked by it. We are one and whatever happens across the river, happens in my home. It's not just Newton that suffers, we all suffer.
There are many other places and homes currently saturated with violence--verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual. We should all take stock and stop being in denial about the height of violence in our world. And this is the thing, the violence now may not be directly affecting you, but it eventually will. Don't for a minute think that what happens somewhere else with people who may not look like you or live like you, up or down the pay scale, affect you.
We are all one. We are all one.
Let the beautiful bright lights of Newton who were savagely murdered serve as a reminder of this truth: we are one. As we hold a space for mercy, for healing and for love, lets also each reflect on how we can make it better for ourselves, children, neighbors, country, & the planet. Lets have meaningful conversations and move forward with even more meaningful action.