Editor’s Note: The following is a poem by Charles Curry written on the occasion of Advent but nevertheless relevant in this later season.
There was a shooting yesterday. A man killed his wife. The police killed him. There was another the day before yesterday. Friends killed each other over some small matter. A few weeks ago an Army psychiatrist shot forty-three soldiers and civilians. Some young, some older. Some officers, some enlisted. Men, women. The shooter isn’t dead. Not yet. Each day the drones fly into Pakistan. Killer bees. Sometimes they hit their targets. Sometimes not. There is always collateral damage – meaning innocents killed. On it goes. Be grateful you don’t know the shooters or the shot or the blown up. Not this time.
Before there is joy, there is grief. Sadness sits heavy like stones. Let it turn us to stone for awhile. Until one day we realize again that when we breathe, the stone shifts, rolls away. Then it is possible to see beyond the violence. Then there is joy. The world is more than destruction. There is hope. Something beyond this. Find it where you will. But find it. Beside you, before you, behind you. Something. For the sake of company or comfort. For the sake of others who, like you, search for it. There is love. Behind and beyond destruction is creation itself. Ever-flowing, said Origen, so long ago. And around is love. All around. Seeping up from unexpected places. Emerging from darkness. Reaching toward us. Even as we reach toward others. First those we know…family, friends…then those we don’t. It is the way out of darkness. There is peace. There is peace. Peace in unfearfulness. Peace in curiosity. In struggle. In not knowing.
Engage this messy time and place. Where creator and creature find each other. And embrace.
charles patterson curry