victims

The nation looks on with sadness and grief at the Miami-area building collapse. As each day passes, some victims are found, many more still missing.  It breaks our hearts to think of what happened to those individuals, and to think of the terrible impact on their families and friends left behind.

And yet, in the midst of this grief, as if there is not enough death and destruction, the Biden administration sees fit to launch airstrikes Sunday targeting “Iranian-backed” groups in the Iraq-Syria border region. 

According to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, seven people on the ground were killed. This comes after February’s destruction of nine buildings by the US in Syria, killing at least 22 people, also targeting Iran-backed militias, with seven 500-pound bombs.

Iraq’s military spokesman decried the US air strikes as a “breach of sovereignty.” As if anyone should have to put that in words. 

As we embrace the terrible unfolding of grief in Miami, it should also give us all pause to consider the grief of victims and their families on the receiving end of military strong-arming around the world. So much incredible loss and grief through the years.

Let’s put a stop to such intentional death and destruction. Let’s look instead to healing, communication, and cooperation for a world in which we can all live safe and free from designed, deliberate disasters.

Stand for love. Stand for peace.

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that didn’t take long

It’s not like anyone could have predicted it, right? The hell with promised stimulus checks when you can go drop bombs on Syria. 

It’s amazing. With the wealth of disturbing problems festering, nay, flourishing, in our country, willful destruction with bombs remains the go-to behavior. Return to normal, eh? Not impressed with the new administration thus far, whoever it actually is, on any counts. I say NO to dropping bombs. 

Stand for peace. Stand for love.

turtle in the pond

turtle in the pond
live free
and happy
while the sun shines down
and the leaves flutter in the breeze
and the fish swim by
and the birds dip low
and the dragonflies skitter past
and the greenness of growing things surrounds you

turtle in the pond
live free 
and happy
until day the researcher bands you
or the birds and the dragonflies mysteriously disappear
or the fish die off from pollutants
or the agricultural run-off chokes your lifeblood 
or the net dips down for you
or the bulldozers come

turtle in the pond
we are not so different, are we?
live free
and happy
we are all turtles in the pond

stand for love

 

veru1_20_19.jpgWe saw a lot of marching this weekend. Many people went to Washington D.C. and cities around the country to press the issues of women and indigenous peoples. Ultimately, the marching was about oppression, injustice, inequality – and shaping a better future. The issues do not belong to individual groups – the issues belong to all of us.

This kind of coming together and expression is especially important in the face of increasingly harsh and repressive reactions to ideas that don’t fit the preferred narrative of some.

And we saw the latter on full display, too.

Out of the many photos emerging from the marches, we will not forget the insolent smile of a young white man standing in the space of an older Native American man as he sings and drums. We cannot ignore the crowd of hooting, mocking young men in the background either.

This is a painful scene to view.

The marching is not done. Tomorrow we commemorate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. There will be more marches around the country.

These marches take place to forward peace, justice, and equality. They are about all of us recognizing each and every one of us for the people that we are, honoring each other with love and respect, and securing those priorities as a premise for our country.  They are the positive wave rising and washing over us, carrying us along in the name of love.

Don’t be left behind in the dark and the cold.

Whether you march or you don’t, you can take a stand. Every single day. You can stand for love. Sing it and drum it. Dance it. Shout it. Paint it. Write it. Act it out. Teach it. Do not stand by to simply watch, but stand actively, wholly, and courageously in the name of love. Over and over again.

It was Martin Luther King Jr. who reminded us, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Go ahead. Stand tall. Stand for love.