28 Oct 2010

I hope there can be joy today, and absence of conflict and prejudice and hatred. I would love it if the hungry could be fed, the thirsty have water and those who are in grief could have solace. I would love it if we could cease senseless violence and live in peace.

My mood is sombre and my heart aches today. There was an episode of senseless violence here – born of separation, anger, hatred and maybe hunger – who knows… But in that incident – what should I call it? ‘Incident’ seems too clinical, formal, legal… yet I don’t have another word – three people have lost there lives so far and there may be more… One of them – a good, kind, highly respected, greatly loved member of the Lusaka community – having fought for his life these last few weeks, has now gone home… His family who have struggled so hard that he could survive are bereft, his children fatherless, his wife a widow … There’s a hole in the fabric of life that will never be filled for them, nor for the many who dearly loved him here and no doubt elsewhere in the world also… The other men who also died no doubt have left bereft families also. Did anyone think that one death could somehow cancel out the other? Of course it can never be so…

There’s so much I could write this morning, but what really is there to say? So as I often do in such circumstances, I’ll use the words of someone more eloquent than I. Two people in fact. The first, the nineteenth century American poet, Henry Wordsworth Longfellow who wrote:

‘Goodnight, goodnight, as we oft have said beneath this roof at midnight, in the days that are no more, and shall no more return. Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed. I stay a little longer, as one stays to cover up the embers that still burn.’

To those who stay a little longer, I send my love and heartfelt compassion for their loss. May they be comforted by the love that stays with them and is personified in the hearts of children and others who loved their lost one.

And for the souls who left, I wish you a safe and joyous return home. In the words of John Taylor, another celebrated American…

‘While we are mourning our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.’

Go well and peacefully today.

Much love