Yesterday, suicide bombers attacked the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. The death toll stands near 50; the injured, near 250.
In response to this latest act of terrorism, I…
with tearful gaze, sat in front of the television screen, surfing with swiftly wearied fingers among the news stations, watching, listening to the reports, the numbers of the dead and injured increasing by the moment…
with mind benumbed, tried to imagine the dread of those present during those frantic moments of the assault; pressing myself, as one who believes he dwells in union with all peoples of the earth, to identify with my sisters and brothers, unknown and unnamed, in harm’s way, and, in this, having to confess my self-absorbed guilt for daily dwelling in relative security…
with aching heart, sorrowing, though sensing, fearing the self-pitying impotence of my prayers for the peace of the dead, for the care and comfort of the wounded, for the courage of first responders, for the discerning diligence of law enforcement officials in their investigations, and for the solace and strength for the families and friends of the dead and injured and for all of us who long to luxuriate in the liberty, however illusory, of the peaceful pursuit of our lives.
Laura Guyer is a dear friend. By vocation, she is an international organizational development consultant. It’s what she does and she’s good, no, great at it. Yet this hardly embraces and ne’er can embody who she is. Laura is a citizen of the world; one who seeks and finds common peace with all peoples in a way wholly genuine and gracious. The breadth of her brilliance and depth of her compassion are nonpareil.
Today, on her Facebook page, Laura posted (and I asked and received her permission to share):
I have been in and out of the Istanbul Airport more times than I can count. It could have been me. And, in a way, it was. I am bone weary of sending thoughts, prayers, condolences, tears and heartbreak to brothers and sisters around the world who have been slaughtered by irrational hatred and imperial politics. Enough. Enough. Instead, I am choosing to send love and the tiniest sliver of hope that, in the midst of this god awful drought of human kindness and compassion, we can regain our sense of humanity and learn to love again. To love us all. Irrespective of nationality. Sexual orientation. Political affiliation. And even blatant idiocy. Because that’s pretty much all that we have left to hang hope on. Peace.
As Laura cannot say or write anything that does not swab my moist eyes so to see with renewed clear resolution, stir my benumbed mind with active thought, and salve my aching heart, I wrote in response:
Amen, Laura, amen. I oft – as I trust others do – ask: What can I do in my tiny corner of the world and tinier daily space in which I live and move and have my being to affect for good anything in the face of and response to cruel, indiscriminately death-dealing acts? I have come to believe that my answer rests in the wording of my question. I am called and I MUST (though usually I refrain from employing so heavily morally-freighted a word as “must”, “should”, or “ought”) practice with a moment by moment conscious attention unconditional love; that kindly benevolence that wills and works to do good for all irrespective of whatever the heaven or hell divides us. Doing this does not make me better than or superior to anyone else. What is does do is hold me fast to my commitment as a child of the earth joined in relationship with all – even those who might kill me – until I come to my inexorable end in death, however it manifests itself. Love you, Laura