End of a Week Muse

This week has been tragic on many fronts. From the middle east to middle America (give or take a few miles, geographically speaking), death has touched the lives of many people this week. Some have lived with the specter of death for many months and years, some had that specter appear unexpectedly and walk amongst them. It is the very randomness death’s touch in such a time that is the hardest to comprehend, and the hardest to forgive yourself for living through while those around you died.

To me, what was brought home this week was the utter futility of this war that George Bush has declared. The “War on Terror”, what a disaster of a name. Virginia Tech brings home the futility of our “War on Terror”, when a local college student can bring this much “Terror”, awe and destruction on a nation with a couple of hours of unplanned, non-conspirecy violence and touch the lives of a nation with the hand of fear, how do you “War” against terror? You don’t…And you can’t. By the very act of going to war with terrorist you legitimize their very existence.

Of every thing that has been said this week, the following words ring truest and most powerfully for me. I heard a recording of Ms. Giovanni’s address on Tuesday, I followed a link from a Sojourners email to the transcript. I am confident that the family of Virginia Tech will get through this with spiritual guides like Nikki to point the path.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

Source: Transcript of Nikki Giovanni’s Convocation address | Virginia Tech

For me, one of the telling points of this whole tragedy is that the daily death toll in Iraq continues to climb and we seem to ignore the loss they must feel as we commensurate with each other over our own loss. What does it say about us as a nation?

My prayer to all is that no matter what God(s) you pray to, may your prayers of piece and understanding be granted foreach and everyone of our sakes…

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