The faith tradition(s) that I follow allows me a certain acceptance of uncertainty and ‘living the questions”as the famous poem by Rilke puts it. Grappling, wondering, ruminating, and questioning are all part of the journey for me— as is the case for many of us.
Yet when a tragedy occurs, so “close to home” as it did in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday, people want answers. I want answers. I want to explain the situation—“well, it has to do with the isolation of our communities,” or “it all goes back to the value placed on the second amendment in this country,” or “its because of the unavailability of good mental health services,” and so on. Those three statements offer some fleeting feeling of understanding, and hopefully, ground us in some places to put our energy. But there is no one explanation, no one answer. Continue reading
… your skin is light
but I’m black!
… well your hair is too curly
but I grew up around all black people
… yeah but you got mad Spanish cousins and y’alls accent gets too thick
when y’all talk fast
Anyways what chu know about being black? What chu know about slavery
Your people didn’t go through Jim Crow or the middle passage
Martin Luther King wasn’t your king. Rosa Parks did not sit for you. Continue reading
Earlier this fall I read this story about a group of Muslims in Peshawar Pakistan who made a human chain outside a church where Mass was taking place, standing in solidarity with the worshipers when a nearby church was recently destroyed by suicide bombing:
As many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St. Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over 100 deaths. The twin suicide attack on All Saints church occurred after Sunday mass ended and is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians. Standing in the small courtyard of St Anthony’s Church, as Mufti Mohammad Farooq delivered a sermon quoting a few verses of the Holy Quran that preached tolerance and respect for other beliefs, Father Nassir Gulfam stepped right next to him after having conducted a two hour long Sunday service inside the church. Continue reading
Vulnerable is selfishness severed from greed,
pure frailty, pure
need for anyone’s touch or finger-
brush, anyone’s milky-
plants itself in the ground and squalls new breeds of desire:
pouting iris’ hung with orange seed—
Vulnerable is in heat,
prepared to meet the worst of ends
for a pitiful means.