Thursday, May 31, 2012

Not what is engraved in stone monuments

This week, I'd like to express my gratitude toward the many wonderful folks in my life. My life is full of good full sometimes that I feel I must have somehow gamed the system to get them (you) all. I don't always feel deserving of this immense amount of love. My life is a constant work in progress to be worthy of it. Thank you, all of know who you are.

When you live in a society as individualistic as ours, it's easy to forget - even momentarily - just how valuable community is. But there are times that remind us that, at our very human core, we're all quite vulnerable without one another.

Two of the people killed in yesterday's shooting in Seattle were friends of friends - proof that this city really has become my home, that the world is small, and that anything can happen anytime to anyone. There aren't words to articulate the horror of it, and I won't try to do anyone's grief justice here - but the sense of love and compassion I've seen unfold in our local community in the aftermath of yesterday's tragedy has been nothing short of profound.

"As terrible as this event is, tucked inside this experience is a rare chance for this community to shine. We are stuck with the darkness in our lives, but we can shine (our) lights stronger and stronger until that darkness is more of a shadow." - Vivian McPeak, musician, activist and friend of the victims

Allow me to share one more quote, this one from the book I started reading yesterday: in Pericles' speech to the families of the Athenian war dead, he said, "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

As has already been seen in the past day and a half, it's obvious Drew and Joe wove themselves deep into the tapestry of Seattle's community - with their music, with their zest for life, with their love for those around them.

So, life is short.

Start weaving.

I am grateful to be a part of this community, too, even as we grapple with the aftermath of such violence. I try to remind myself that even on a day of utter tragedy like yesterday, the residual effects of which we'll be feeling for years to come...612,099 (roughly) people in the city of Seattle chose to live with each other in peace yesterday. Every one of us chose peace today.

This wasn't what I set out to write today. I wanted to write about other aspects of community, too: of Folklife, of Girls on the Run, of enduring friendships, of sharing trails with others, of the many wonderful hugs lately of which I've been the grateful recipient and which have kept me afloat through a challenging few months. I wanted to write about my friends who ran 200 miles on foot last weekend, and the sense of community, support and solidarity that allowed them to accomplish such an improbable feat. But now it doesn't all feel like the right addendum to this entry. So. Next time.

Rest in peace, Drew, Joe, Donald, Kimberly, and Gloria. Seattle loves you.

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