Four years ago we were in Paris--a dream trip. Even though we were only there for two weeks and even though I don't speak any French, since then I have felt a bit Parisian. I feel that way about other places I have been fortunate to visit. I am a bit Tanzanian and a little bit Thai with some English Cotswold's thrown in. I am Boston and Door County and Des Moines and Key West. I am Cleveland and Chicago and Montauk Point at the end of Long Island. I am Florence and Santa Fe, San Francisco and Singapore. I am St Paul. I am even some of the places I have never been--Provence and Edinburgh, Alaska and Istanbul.
And so when something terrible happens, no matter where it is in the world, I am changed. I may not always be aware of the wound to my being, but little by little, damage is done. Therefore, it is important for me to sit still, to breathe in calm and hope and love, and to pray for my brethren wherever they are. We are all one.
May our eyes remain open even in the face of tragedy.
May we not become disheartened.
May we find in the dissolution
of our apathy and denial,
the cup of the broken heart.
May we discover the gift of the fire burning
in the inner chamber of our being---
burning great and bright enough
to transform any poison.
May we offer the power of our sorrow to the service
of something greater than ourselves.
May our guilt not rise up to form
yet another defensive wall.
May the suffering purify and not paralyze us.
May we endure; may sorrow bond us and not separate us.
May we realize the greatness of our sorrow
and not from its touch or its flame.
May clarity be our ally and wisdom our support.
May our wrath be cleansing, cutting through
the confusion of denial and greed.
May we not be afraid to see or speak our truth.
May the bleakness of the wasteland be dispelled.
May the soul's journey be revealed
and the true hunger fed.
May we be forgiven for what we have forgotten
and blessed with the remembrance
of who we really are.
---The Terma Collective
What can you offer the people of Paris, the world? I would love to know.