Global Pain and Tragedy

Here it is Monday night in the Western Hemisphere. In the last 24 hours people have died from the tornadoes ravaging the Southeastern United States. It is a sad and tragic time for the American’s whose loved one’s have died and we should do everything we can to comfort them, because they are our national family. Now take that awareness and comfort to China and to the reports that so far, at least 10-thousand have died in the latest quake to strike China.

As I sit here in my comfortable home in the USA, I try to fathom what ten-thousand deaths mean to China, what it means to the world and even what it means to me for all of us are spiritually interconnected. How many Beethoven’s, Edison’s, Einstein’s and Gandhi’s have passed without the manifestation of their talents being amplified in reality for the collective good of human kind.

I keep trying to understand what one death means, not only to the world, but to the individual families who cope with the singular grief that no one can share. Only they know the potential lost.

Like most of you, I have had death invade the family codex and it is a lasting sadness. When massive death from nature’s earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards invade the earth’s regional civilizations and death results, individual sadness remains, but a collective shock enters as a pall.

Shock is always the surprise of massive tragedy. How did it happen! Why did it happen. Can we blame something or someone? We ask the questions, but we know there are no answers. Surprisingly shock passes more quickly than sadness. I don’t know why, accept perhaps the mind cannot embrace such loss without feeling a subtle responsibility for not unconditionally acknowledging the interconnection between all living beings and even things.

There is an arcane suggestion that says we create our own environment by our thoughts and subsequently our actions. If that is true, we as a human race need to “think” differently, not only to end the ethnic hatreds that have lasted for centuries, but to end the current wars that exist in actuality and the ones that are being formed in the minds of global prejudice. Perhaps then “Nature” will emulate the peace we are.

The only answer I can come up with, and it’s an old worn out one, that seems passe, too passive, and impossible. “Love one another”! I wonder, have we, as a human race, truly ever tried it on a global scale?

May 10th 1869


It was on this date in 1869 that the two coasts of the United States became connected by rail.

At that time, the state of Utah was still a territory and a spot called “Promontory” was about to received the attention of the world and mark its place in American history. It was there where the final rail was to be laid, linking the Union Pacific tracks out of Omaha, with the Central Pacific tracks out of San Francisco.

Five years of labor had gone before to bring the two to Promontory, Utah. The year was 1869, Leland Stanford, President of the Central Pacific, took a silver plated sledge hammer in his burly hands and took aim at the gold spike in the final rail. America was listening for that clank. The Railroad’s future was bright. Two engines were puffing in anticipation. The Union pacifics number 199 and the Central’s Jupiter waited to touch iron noses. All was set Sanford swung the silver hammer at the bright golden spike…..and he missed.

Somehow, now that seems appropriate. The railroads future was never perfect. Progress took a different route and a new track eventually bypassed Promontory. Then as irony would have it, the old rails were needed for steel during the 2nd world war and they were removed. Promontory today has no tracks, only a memory in May.

Mother’s Day

Some thoughts today on Mother’s Day

We know them and call them by different names, Mother, Mom, Mum and Mommy, but they all means the same thing. Love!

The word, the name, the affection we feel, just in the saying of it, never changes throughout our adult life. Our mother’s are our first nurturer, our first care giver, our first friend.

I honor all Mother’s this Sunday by remembering some of the wonderful gifts my mother gave to me and even though she long ago passed away, she lives in vibrant memory in my heart.

I remember…..

A kiss hello and a kiss good-bye.
A hug when I was hurting, even when I was an adult.
Understanding, when she didn’t.
Worry when she needn’t.
Bragging when she shouldn’t
Giving when she couldn’t.
And I will always remember her smile.

I remember too, her happy tears and laughter and her unconditional love for me that came with every hope, every success and every failure. And in the positive memory and love for my own mother, comes an acknowledgment and an appreciation for all Mom’s this Sunday.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Cyclone

The few images of need coming out of Myanmar are powerful. We are all affected by them.

Along with the cyclonic destruction of homes, crumbled buildings, and bodies, come the tears of the living. Sometimes they come in sobs, sometimes in wails of disbelief. The old cry for the loss of memories, hoping for the strength to start again. The very young cry not fully understanding the new memory of loss.

There is worry from all, especially for and from the children for their security of a familiar bed or toy vanished with an ill wind that may have claimed 100-thousand lives. Parents do what they can to comfort the little ones, to reassure, but the eyes always mirror the fearful heart.

The stolen authority of dictatorship did little to warn its people that the cyclone was coming and it has done little to help the thousands in need. The world heaps shame upon the alleged authority as the world community tries to figure out way to help the innocent.

Right now, Myanmar or Burma as it used to be called is a country that screams, you can feel it, as victims search for their lives in the puzzle of rubble and find yesterday’s peace is tomorrow’s uncertainty.

As we hear the stories of those in need, as we become numbed by the statistics of loss, we cannot feel secure because we have normalcy, because we have shelter or we have food, or because it didn’t happen here.

Instantaneous response to need defines true service. Despite the difficulties the victims of both political and nature’s wrath must know they have not been forgotten by the collective healing spirit of what we call community…of what we call the humanity of humankind.