NYC June 12th warm temperature, bright sun and lots of wind. I don’t recall having windy days (in the absence of a storm) in June. I like millions of other Americans wake up to the horrific news of the Orlando murder rampage . For the next few hours we are glued to the TV watching and listening to the reports. Paris, Brussels, San Bernadino, now Orlando. What is next?
I listen to one of the first news conferences and hear Muhammad Musri, the president and imam of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, deploring the horrendous act of violence and asking people not to rush to judgement. I see the subtle changes in facial expressions of police brass standing behind him and say to myself this is futile. They know something.
A multi-layered attack upon America and in particular our LGBT community during Gay Pride month, and the first week of Ramadan. Am I dreaming?
My heart goes out to the families of the murdered, the victims in hospital and those that were there who were able to flee but will have to deal with the post trauma memories; to the first responders and medical center doctors and staff who trained for such a situation but never thought their training would have to kick in.
I write this today because I worry about my own reaction. I scare myself with my own lack of response. Numbness. I’m in my head. I watch the reports as if I’m watching a TV police drama. This is not good, I think. Not healthy. Am I becoming complacent? Have terror attacks and savagery become routine? I am appalled at my own reaction…curiosity, wanting the facts, feeling numb, devoid of emotion usually felt in my body. Yet yesterday, in a monthly conversation with two healer colleagues of mine I learn that the body regulates how much we can take in at any given point of time. This is a healthy response.
It helped to watch the Tony Awards Sunday night. James Corden’s opening statement dedicated the night to the victims, survivors and country. Hearing Lin Miranda’s sonnet ending in “is love, is love, is love, is love, is love, is love, cannot be killed or swept aside”, and Frank Langella’s eloquence regarding our choices of how to respond to such an event to “live in fear, let it define us or strengthen us”. I choose strengthen us. Stephen Colbert, reminds us love is a verb and requires action.
I have spent much of the last few years a student of “evolutionary consciousness”. I use the mantra, taught by don Oscar Miro Quesada “I am, We are, One, as a continual prayer. We have choice. What we focus on appreciates…increases. Years ago people used to speak of the 100th Monkey phenomenon. Not sure if it has any scientific grounding but it presented the idea that when enough monkeys engaged in a particular behavior, monkeys in other parts of the world suddenly started doing the same thing. Scientist Rupert Sheldrake’s concept of morphic fields, aka nature’s memory, in my mind, somewhat similar to Jung’s collective unconscious, provides me with hope we can shift our consciousness from hatred and violence to love, compassion and the fact “we are one”.
It’s taken me a few days to compose this blog. During this time, I become aware of the senseless killing of Christina Grimmie, a young singer while she signs autographs after a concert Friday night in Orlando. Her family needs our love and support. This morning the story of toddler grabbed by an alligator at a Disney resort there. Pulled underwater despite the futile attempts of his father to free him. What is going on? My heart breaks as I imagine the family watching their child being snatched in front of their eyes. I trust the outpouring of love and support from all over the world will bring comfort in particular to families who have lost loved ones, members of the LGBT communities, the Muslim community. We must eradicate fear and hatred. We must watch the language we use which incites negative behavior. We must send positive thoughts to the family who watched in horror as their child was pulled under.
How can we handle this onslaught of tragedy? We must take care of ourselves as well. I invite you to visit the website of Carla Reed http://www.carlareedpiano.com/ and listen to Keys For Healing. Her music will open your heart and heal the pain and despair you may be experiencing from this week’s tragic events in Orlando. I invite you all to revisit the words to Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind”. The winds blew strong in NYC last Sunday all day long, and continued less strong on Monday. Do you think Mother Nature is trying to tell us something?