What kind of place is this my friends?
The sun rises only to set. We are born only to depart one day. Fortunes, generations, entire cultures, even life itself comes and goes. Is there anything that stays behind?
33 give their lives to unmask the anger of one boy. The boy becomes a man. His life, arising only to pass. Only to take away. Anger remains.
Tears flow through the country. Making us feel. Something within us comes alive. It gives rise to a new reality, a new compassion takes form. Our hearts race, reach out, and sometimes, tears actually leak from our eyes. In our despair we actually begin to feel what it is to be human.
What kind of a place is this?
Tragedies come and go, lives lost forever, yet the rest of us still find ground beneath our feet. One way or another, life moves on. The sun rises again.
Two teenagers pull guns out of duffel bags and destroy entire livelihoods. That was 1999. Twin Towers explode. A tidal wave consumes entire cities. A hurricane touches down to teach us that we are not invincible. And yet, here we are, invincible. A war destroys an entire country, mothers cry out. Leaders, steadfast in their charge, say that lives are not lost in vain, yet we do it again… and again, and again. That was Vietnam.
What kind of a place is this?
The sun sets. Sends us into darkness, only to beckon us again with the chirping of birds. It gives us rise only to set us down again. A pattern emerges. Light and Dark, joy and pain, exhilaration and disappointment, Love and sacrifice all tied together.
We chastise those who grasp at more than is needed, secretly wishing that our own reach was vaster than theirs. Lovers betray one another. The secrets that we harbor in our minds would betray everyone we know.
We send our children, our own flesh and blood, to teachers whose salaries we would never accept for ourselves.
What kind of people are we?
What kind of a person am I?
Trapped between trying to build a new life and submitting to my past’s patterns. Childhood memories still shape the decisions of my life. Unable to control all of my thoughts I see the direction of my life shaping itself. Was my destiny shaped with my birth?
Seeing suffering everywhere and still I am consumed by my own discomforts. I still find it necessary to smile, to laugh, and to enjoy despite all the chaos that intrudes this planet. I celebrate birthdays, promotions, and even unexpected (and unwarranted) moments of joy, despite not knowing what this entire experience is all about.
A soldier asks why 3000 lives weren’t honored like the 33. An Iraqi woman asks the same about 100,000. And me, I’m just trapped thinking about why someone lied to me.
But it does all arise to pass. And in doing so, hopefully there is hope, that it teaches us something. That it refines us somehow, makes us better at who we are, and at what we are supposed to be doing in this diminishing existence. Time passes by, we get older, nearer to the days when we can no longer remember. The moment is now. To rise up, embrace the sun, the warmth, the birds, and the calling for a new day. The sun sets, only to call for us again the next morning.