Blogs by Clare Hanrahan
A CARAVAN OF DESPAIR
12/27/2006 6:11:40 AM
It's grey and damp this day after Christmas with snow predicted in surrounding counties. Usually as I go about my pre-breakfast chores--emptying the ashes in the wood stove, tossing a few days supply of wood up on the front porch, sweeping the kitchen floor, making the bed, drinking my first cool, clean glass of water--my mind is busy too, writing all the commentaries on the events of the day that in recent months just haven't made it to this blog.
I have a Rumi quote on my wall: It speaks to me today:
Whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving--
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows a hundred times.
Come, come again. Come.
So, I have come to write. And will again. Because this "Caravan of Despair" that is the conveyance of so many in this world at war, must not pass by without comment. Many voices, my voice, living as I do in privileged comfort while so many wake up to the threat of bombs and bullets and prison, hunger and cold and torture, my voice, too, is needed as another who cries out for an end to war.
Christmas evening, while sipping cider, reading a good book, listening to relaxing music and savoring a loving call from my daughter, while I sat feeling so warm and safe, some mother, somewhere, was feeling her son or daughter die. Some mother, somewhere, knew in her heart that something was terribly wrong. That nothing would ever be the same again.
Five more Marines were killed in Iraq this Christmas day, while back home in the U.S. the consumers rested, if only briefly, from their frantic buying of this thing or that, and the bells of St. Lawrence Cathedral tolled a Christmas song.
But five more Marines have died, bringing to 2,975 the total of wasted lives of ill-used soldiers. And hundreds of thousands of noncombatants, mostly women and children, who lived in the way of U.S. interests have perished.
On the afternoon of the Solstice, in the Botanical Gardens, a public ritual drew me into a circle of worshippers who acknowledged the holly, the ivy, the turning of the Earth, and who called for the return of the Light as we marked the longest night of the year. Later I saw Mary, a primary mover in the gathering, as we walked by one another near the downtown library. She said she hoped that this coming together, in gratitude for the gifts of the Earth, in appreciation of one another, would stregthen us all for the work ahead.
We have no right to climb onto a "Caravan of Despair." We must, we must, shine the Light of our own awareness into these long nights of darkness. We must, we must, stand together, encourage and embolden one another. As Viktor Frankl said, "What is to give light must endure the burning." Whatever the personal cost, whatever the personal risk, we cannot remain silent.
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A CARAVAN OF DESPAIR - Wednesday, December 27, 2006