Yesterday, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, after killing his mother, forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and opened fire killing 20 students, six staff members, and then himself. In the wake of this monstrous moment is a trail of emotional devastation, tragedy, anxiety, and anger. A wave of fear and sadness that now resonates through this country, on the eve of our collective Winter festivals, where family and community are prized.
It is moments like this that test our faith, that test our bonds of community, that test our ability to trust and function normally. It is a moment that shrivels metaphor, withers expansive hopes, that brings bluntness to poetry, as Pablo Neruda once evinced in his “I’m Explaining A Few Things.”
And you’ll ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land?
Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
The blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
In the streets!
Yet, in these darkest hours, when we are disarmed by horror, struck dumb by the overwhelming meaninglessness of children’s deaths, we turn to pray. We cast out to the numinous hoping against hope that there is a divinity, some kind spirit, who hears our prayers. Some encompassing Mother who absorbs our pain and uncertainty and reassures us that it may be humanity’s lot is to endure horror, but that we do not endure it alone. That we exist, co-exist, with a family of life, a family that in every breath defies the surety of our finite time embodied.
So we pray.
“HEALING to the Souls of those killed in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday & to all their families & friends. HEALING to the school, the community, this country & all impacted by this tragedy. Candles of Healing meditation before dawn in long night darkness.” – Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary
So we pray.
“Know that I, the Mother of All.
will comfort you who remain
Let your tears wash away the pain
Let your aching hearts mourn”
- Ginger Wages, COG First Officer
So we pray.
“It is okay to weep, to be sad, to feel a deep and haunting loss for people you didn’t even know. These actions strengthen our human bonds with one another. Tears are a sacred vow to remember the past and embrace the future with a new resolve.” – The Witches’ Voice
We offer these prayers in the face of unspeakable tragedy, and we find a way to endure. We find a way to find ourselves, our families, our community, once more. We connect ourselves to Mystery and Love and we hope for the better world we will build from the ashes of this eternally empty moment.
May our prayers be with all who suffer this day, may Newtown find its way from this darkness, may love and family and returning light prevail for all of us. May our prayers be heard.