Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Remembering Them

So don't be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't know what work they are accomplishing within you?"

---Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

I have not been able to find the words to express my sadness..however here are some writings that have touched me:
"This is the most incomprehensible tragedy of insanity. There is no way to even begin to understand what has happened. We can only sit with the overwhelming sadness and loss of the innocent. The guardian of humanity could not have to face anything more grave than losing the young unopened buds that were on their way to bloom. We pray that some relief may come in this time of loss and to the broken hearts of the parents, family members, and our countrymen and women. This kind of tragedy is happening way too often in our country, where only a few miles away in Canada, it is a rare occurrence. I join my palms in prayer for America to find a positive resolution to this problem."  - the words of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche shared by Pema Chodron.
"One simple act you can do in response to this heartbreaking thievery of human life is to let yourself feel the deep grief of it.  Notice when you want to push it away, or numb yourself, or find a distraction.  This capacity to sit with the pain and let it work its way through you is the first and fundamental response. The second response is an embrace of love as the deepest and truest thing, what makes life bearable under the most grievous of circumstances.  Hold someone you love close, make amends with a loved one with whom you had a falling out.  Extend yourself in this circle of love.  These things matter deeply.  Then comes the hard work of conversation and change of policy and ways to protect lives more vigorously.  But this work must emerge from a place that has allowed the river of grief to flow through and the deep well of love to nourish and sustain.  We must remember the extravagant source of life as we consider the reality of death." - excerpt from the December 17th Abbey of the Arts newsletter by Christine Valters Paintner  (Thanks to Christine for the reminder about the opening quote by Rilke!)

This flag will be posted on the Prayer Flag Project site on December 20th.


  1. Beautiful words to share, Linda. Thank you.


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