On September 21, 2012, International Peace Day, I awoke to stories of violent protests in Pakistan and deaths in Sinai. A story on NPR told of a bombing at a skate park in Kabul the previous weekend that killed several young children, including the 17-year old suicide bomber.
I know that when I have so much to live for, it’s hard for me to understand that there are causes worth killing for and dying for. I try to put myself in their shoes but struggle none-the-less to fight off the tears and the weight of sadness that overcame me on that day: the one day we’ve declared should be devoted to peace. Thousands had worked for a day of truce. Yet, thousands ignored the pleas of peace workers by rioting, fighting, and killing.
Just as autumn is setting in, those actions sent a chill through me. Some days I just feel despair.
A Breeze Blows
In through the window a breeze blows,
Coldness permeates the house.
light a fire,
don a sweater,
close the sash.
Too, today’s radio broadcast carries a chill;
News of violence permeates the house.
mourn the deaths,
shed the hatred,
quiet the suffering.
What matches are there to strike,
tinder the warmth of compassion,
kindle some understanding, or spark tolerance?
Each log laid on the hearth in peace
Every ember, glowing with hope;
Ashes, all that remain of the clash.
Which ball of yarn to knit into
cables of forgiveness,
purls for the shoulders of the world?
Each stitch cast for the innocents.
Every knot twisting hatred into love.
Buttons uniting the divided, forever.
Who has those matches;
Who has that skein?
Shall I shut the window?