I feel very humbled by the bombing that happened in Boston, my hometown, this Monday on a day and event that is usually equated with fun, camaraderie and celebration.
In my last post I said that I am thankful that I am safe. But the deeper truth is that whether I am safe or in danger, whatever gifts I am given or wish for, I remain aware of incredible luck.
I recognize a loving connection to the universe.
I was born with mental health.
I was born into a life where I’ve been cared for and cherished.
I want to offer the perspective, as unpopular as it may be, that the people who perpetrate these awful crimes, anywhere, do not see a loving god. Their god is a mirror for the chaos and torture their minds experience.
I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.
Yet, some people, these tormented people, live with it…and become our worst enemies.
These nutters and madmen, these crazies and bastards, these shits, fuckers and lowest of the low certainly don’t hear a loving god’s voice. They don’t understand a compassionate god’s language nor a forgiving god’s embrace. They comprehend neither the sweetness that comes from a sense of belonging to a unified web of existence nor a sense of belonging to anyone.
How grim is that?
How awful to not belong.
I don’t know what I would do if my world wasn’t a place where I expect to be treated fairly, where I am secure that I own my body, where I can turn to someone in dark moments. I don’t know what state I’d be in if I my world lacked family and friends who held and gentled and told me my misfortunes would be alright.
These people whose lives are not worth the air they breathe nor the space they inhabit can’t understand such being. They are barred from knowing the joy of living that is bestowed upon most of us. They are barred, by their own derangement, from comfort and joy.
These bombers and suiciders possess minds twisted into gruesome violence, either by a gruesome violent childhood or by the tragedy of being born without mental health. Their cries were not answered. Their battered, broken, invaded, bloodied and dented bodies or minds were not saved from misery.
In the aftermath of such torment, it’s a grave battle for such a person to trust or even comprehend kindness.
I feel a wild grief and fury for the innocent people harmed by such ghastly acts as experienced Patriots Day in Boston. Yet, I also hold compassion for the perpetrators’ miserable and wasted lives.
I often think of that challenge Jesus said: Who will cast the first stone?
Because who knows where the line lies that causes a person to perpetrate violence? Am I better than these madmen? Are you exempt from madness and violence? If we’d lived their lives, would we follow the same twisted course? I believe that’s too possible for me to judge myself better than anyone.
I can only say that I’m very grateful for the balance of my mind that doesn’t fight demons, and for a childhood free from destroyed innocence. I don’t know what it would be to suffer neglect and cruelty. But I do know that fury easily begets fury, anger begets more anger and violence begets more violence that heals no one.
We can run in circles believing there are answers. But there is no bandaid and no undoing pain. The shit happened and it was wretched. There is nothing worse than seeing innocent people wounded. But we are all born innocent and there is a lot of wounding that goes on unseen, fashioning tender children into heartbroken souls. They grow up to look ugly and useless, gross and sick and virulent, and full of disgusting poison. But how’d that happen?
At some point their innocence was lost and we should also grieve for that.
Let’s grieve and hold our loved ones close and reach out to those who we know are hurting. Every connection counts, every helping hand, every caring gesture and extra minute of time make a difference to someone who strains to hear a god who loves and to know themselves in world that gives a damn.
I will try to give a damn. I want to give a damn.
Because one person saved from alienation and derangement can truly equal 5 or 50 or 500 other lives saved the violence detonated by such a desolate being.