I’ve written ad nauseam in the past about the mass killings that occur with alarming (and alarmingly increasing) frequency in the world. I’ve been struggling to say anything about #Manchester for a few reasons, mostly that others have already said it and I’m tired of words without actions.
But I finally have this to say: don’t use it as an excuse to smear more hatred on an entire people, or an entire religion. This vicious act has no more to do with Islam than Westboro Baptist or Timothy McVeigh have to do with Christianity.
The overwhelming majority of practitioners of Islam are devoted, loving, thoughtful, caring, delightful — and most of all, they’re human beings.
The people who carried this out are Muslim in name only; they do not live the tenets of their own faith. They act on a spectacularly narrow and cruel version of it, just as extremists/fundamentalists of all “faiths” do. They have allowed fear, anger, lust for power, a desire to subjugate creation in their own image to overtake their humanity.
Do not hate Islam. Do not even hate religion. Act to stop those who would terrorize creation in its name.
Love one another.
In my dream, I flew up to a high place,
and a voice came from within me with the strength of the heavens:
“Be good to one another,” it cried.
And you all called to me: “Be good to one another.”
“Do good works,” I cried.
“Do good works!” You called in return.
“And above all, love one another,” I cried.
“Love one another!” you called.
“Love one another,” I whispered as my heart glowed.
O would you were mine!
I would tell you I love you a thousand small ways,
A soft, gentle smile, a lingering glance,
A sudden caught breath on sensing your gaze,
The pulse at my throat now betraying heart’s dance.
A touch on your cheek, a breath in your ear,
Carrying promises fiery and sweet,
Or gaze downcast when passing you near,
A frisson of excitement when eyes at last meet.
Kindling the night-hearth and sharing its fire,
Passion for passion, desire for desire,
Or tender meets tender, a long-burning flame,
Caress for caress as love whispers your name.
A kiss, a caress, a glance, a long look,
A love open wide, no resistance it brook,
A sigh, a shiver, a sweet evening song,
Safekeeping your heart throughout all the years long.
O were you mine!
Is this what I feel?
Love as madness?
When dreams all peace steal,
and torment is gladness?
I move through day,
phantom breath on my skin,
dark eyes meeting mine,
guarded heart in hand,
in outflung realm where ends one heart and another begin,
or in undiscovered country on God’s sacred land
where soul must meet soul, mingle, become one,
the winds of heaven for song and bless’d river run.
Then open the gates,
let loose the stream,
let madness take hold,
let dreamer dream,
for never have hands held so great a treasure
as the heart of beloved and Beloved in one time,
learning true joy,
distressing false pleasure,
knowing at last the truth in full measure:
Love is madness, madness is love
My heart is yours, and love at last is mine.
My heart beats in my breast and bursting, cries,
Each breath I take trails fire along my skin.
Your face before me when I close my eyes,
Your touch imagin’d, conjur’d from within,
My senses all awaken’d, now aflame,
And straining forward, ‘cross the distance call,
Alive with passion, whispering your name,
All reason gone, into your spell I fall.
Now thus invok’d, such magic do I feel
That music to my lips unbidden fly
And sing until you stand before me, real,
Inhabited by love’s eternal cry.
Affection, passion and desire now blend
With love and strength, a restless soul to mend.