I woke up this morning at 3:00 am and decided it was far too early to get out of bed. I might as well have gotten up because I never found sleep again … such is life.
I kept thinking about yesterday … personal things like my computer finally giving signs of giving up the ghost, she wouldn’t turn on again yesterday, although the power source had been changed – this is beginning to look very serious, it probably means the motherboard is going bad … then my router modem that did give up the ghost – I spent hours trying to get it to configure, but the computers – (I tried on two) kept saying it wasn’t connected. I finally gave up, I’m now connecting to Internet with a normal old DSL modem. I was kept isolated for hours …
Then my mind kept going back to tragedy … the tragedy of life, the senselessness of killing, war, indifference to human and other life, the horrors of cruelty perpetrated on innocents, fanaticism – religious, ideological or home spun personal beliefs and I could go on and on making this post a list poem of horrors that would never have an end.
One of my favorite poets wrote … after he’d written a poem entitled: Flight MH 17 this short poem:
Can you submit yourself to sing
when sorrows’ song is all there is,
and open wide the bellows heart,
receiving grief as you did bliss?
I’m a relativist … or perhaps a Buddhist. In 62 years I think there has not been a second when senseless tragedy has not been visited our poor planet. My earliest knowledge of tragedy was of the horrors of Biafra, which is now forgotten. Throughout my youth, I lived through the deaths of the Kennedy’s, Martin Luther King, Vietnam, and the odd church tower shootings, abundant slayings and much more, not to speak of personal family tragedy. And I wondered then, as I wonder now, how can I make a difference.
I understand the hermits who chose to live on the side of a mountain or the nuns who went into cloister to pray for the world. But I also remember the Buddha. Siddhartha left the luxuries of his life to find out how to defeat death … and through the agony of asceticism, he found the middle road and then enlightenment and walked in the world spreading joy and comfort.
A question oft-times heard,
How to sing in the face of tragedy
In truth, I’ve no reply …
Except to say, we need one candle
For with just one candle,
We can light a mighty fire …
We all live in shrouded darkness
And sing often of death and pain …
When will we find something different
To change this tawdry game.
As you say the game goes both ways
There’s sorrow not only bliss …
When will the masters learn compassion …
For all the harm they’ve spawned.
And when will their passive slaves see
Behind the masks they hide?
Learning to see the senseless horror
Of mindlessly following blind.
A list of tragedy – crimson with innocent blood
Leaves me not indifferent,
But weak and without resistance
To the viral call of vengeance.
Who will be the candle
Who will sing songs of hope and joy…
If our only melody is a mourning dirge
And we’ve vengeance in our hearts.
[…] “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” […]
Gautama Siddhartha – The Buddha