Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Saturday, June 15, 2013

4-15-13 RMB All of “US”  

Dear Rita Mae Brown,
I returned from lunch today to find the boys’ mom looking sullen at her desk. We work together. I neglected to mention that earlier. It’s long story, how I got her to come work with me. Well not too long I guess, I asked, she accepted. That explanation suffices for now.
We had heard about the explosions in Boston before I headed out to lunch, but few details were available. Upon my return, I saw the look on her face and asked what was wrong. “It’s bad, really bad, in Boston.” I looked over her shoulder at the coverage on her computer.
We did our best to stay focused on our work the rest of the day, but at day’s end we shared a hug that said how much we care are for each other and somehow it was for those in Boston too, for all those affected by this day.
After work, I walked for over an hour at the park. I sought counsel among the trees, the grass, the wind and one small blue bird that landed nearby. I wanted to know what led a person down the path where one reaches the point of planting a destructive device. What distresses people to that end; who feeds their fears, arms them with weapons, destroys their compassion?
I found peace there in the park, a peace lacking in those that seek to harm.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about the civil war; seeing battlefields in my mind, especially in their aftermath; the smoke, the bodies. Coincidences spring up. I mentioned I like a song by the new band Fun to a friend. She asked if I meant the one about the Civil War. She saw a video of the song that shows it relative to the Civil War. I had not pieced together what the song was about, didn’t make the connection. In the song Some Nights, the singer laments “What do I stand for?”
There are other connections, while looking up something about you Rita Mae Brown, I see reference to the Civil War. History echoes. What do I stand for? What do we stand for?
There is a path, a chain of individual links. Thoughts wander back to the hateful messages about Kelly Clarkson’s support of gay rights. Every hateful word, every hurtful act, they are links of the same chain. Blindly we divide ourselves between “us” and “them”, the gays, the terrorists, the republicans, the blacks, the immigrants, the …
Many want to know what’s next; who is responsible for Boston; how will justice be served? I trust our systems in place to handle all of that. I want to go back in time to discover how this happened, to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again. I wonder what if everyone was a part of “us”? How can one of us do this? What would we do if the person planting a destructive device were our child? What can we do to prevent our children from going down that path? What can we do to heal the cause so this sort of devastation stops happening?
With prayers for those suffering today and prayers that we find a better way to be, for all of “us”,
“You do not free yourself from polishing your chains…” ~Rita Mae Brown

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