I had a different post scheduled for Sunday, but I could not bring myself to share it. Perhaps I'll share it later in the week. The joy of blogging for me is the escape from the real world to a virtual world where I connect, share, & learn new things from wonderful people all over the world. It's nice to have an escape, a place to worry not so much about real life but enjoy the company of real people a world away, coming together to share ideas, support, & just to laugh. But sometimes, the real world cannot be ignored. And it needs to be acknowledged, in order for us to move on, to continue living.
By now, many of us are aware of the terrible tragedy that happened in Orlando. It made me feel sad, & I mourn for all those people who were killed & wounded. I cannot imagine the terrible loss of these lives. And I felt numb, because it was just too terrible to accept such hatred & evil still exist.
I didn't know what to do. So I looked for advice, for words of wisdom, I looked for comfort & guidance. And I found it as always, in the beautiful, meaningful words of those who were wiser, more talented, & gifted us with their hard won knowledge--born of experience & epiphany, revelation, inspiration, & realization.
Whenever I come across a difficult problem, I remember the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.
~*~Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian (1892–1971).
Most times, the Serenity Prayer is enough for me to realize what I must do, & I can move on. But other times, I need a little bit more. And in times of tragedy, I've always found strength & wisdom from the following two poems, to help me grieve, to mourn, & to continue on:
No night without
There is no night without a dawning
No winter without a spring
And beyond the dark horizon
Our hearts will once more sing…
For those who leave us for a while
Have only gone away
Out of a restless, care worn world
Into a brighter day.
~*~Helen Steiner Rice, American poet (1900 – 1981)
If I should die before the rest of you,
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell.
But life goes on,
So…….. sing as well.
~*~Joyce Grenfell, actress and writer (1910 – 1979)
So I'll mourn the terrible loss, & I'll grieve for the victims. But now I find strength & anger that there are still evil cowards trying to destroy innocent lives. This bigoted terrorist struck in a safe haven during a time meant to celebrate & remember when the few, marginalized, oppressed minority decided to stand up & fight for their rights.
So I renew my commitment to stand up for justice, for equality, to defend the rights & liberties of the oppressed, to do what I can to end discrimination & do the right thing. So long as we have the strength & the will to stand up for freedom, justice, & equality, we keep fighting on. And as long as we have hope, we have the strength to keep fighting, to move on, to overcome, & to triumph.
Keep the faith. Don't lose hope. Together, we are strong.
Perhaps they are not the stars,
But rather openings in heaven where
The love of our lost ones pours through
And shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.