The Cellist of Sarajevo

On May 27, 1992 a mortar killed 22 people waiting in front of a bakery in Sarajevo. Vedran Smailovic, the cellist of Sarajevo responded to the trauma by playing cello in public spaces for two years. When a reporter asked him, “Aren’t you crazy to be playing cello during the shelling?” Smailovic replied, “You ask me am I crazy for playing cello, why don’t you ask them if they are crazy to be shelling?”

What questions need to be turned around?

Wild things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” Wendell Berry

When are you free?

Into the storm

“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike” Maya Angelou

What are you facing into?

Soul work

“Grief work is soul work. It requires courage to face the world as it is and not turn away, to not burrow into a hole of comfort and anesthetization. Grief deepens our connection with soul, taking us into territories of vulnerability, exposing the truth of our need for others in times of loss and suffering.” Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow

Through the storm, through the night…

“ Those who have died have never, never left
The dead are not under the earth
They are in the rustling trees
They are in the groaning woods
They are in the crying grass
They are in the moaning rocks
The dead are not under the earth” Sweet Honey in the Rock

How do we learn to carry our grief? How does grief as a vital ongoing conversation accompany us throughout life? What spaces does grief open up?

We remember

Today is the third anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that led to the deaths of Heather Heyer, and state police Jay Cullen and Berke Bates. It exposed racism as something that had always been here. How has our community changed as we revisit the trauma of that weekend?

How do you remember and mark this day? What have you learned about white supremacy in this country? Are you praying with your feet?