When I started writing this blog yesterday, I did not know that 8 or 9 more souls would be lost to murder this morning.
The Actual Dance is the name of the play and is a metaphor for the ritual of end-of-life journeys for ourselves and our LovePartner™, the person we love most in the world.
I wrote the play about the events of 2000, a time when it seemed likely that the love of my life would disappear from breast cancer. It wasn’t murder, though the result is the same.
Preparing for or experiencing a loss, whether it unfolds over time or it is at flash-bang of a gun in an instant, will change us – the survivor, the lover, the sister or the brother, the mother or the father, or just a friend, forever. It is a spiritual and existential instant that lasts an eternity. It starts and never ends.
The play I have written, The Actual Dance, and soon to be a book, is about that moment. It presumes an ecstatic moment of ultimate love where melded souls separate as one escapes into that bright light.
Our hearts break. We cry. We hopefully let the person know how deeply loved they are and can assure them that something of them “will never die.” They will live on in the generations of their family that follow them.
Today, we experience something else. We hear those voices of parents, siblings, children, and partners, screaming in pain and demanding justice.
There is a uniqueness to the sound of that voice. The voice of souls crying.
There is nothing sweet nor ecstatic about the unexpected and unnatural loss of a loved one. Each situation will be different, except always the soul cries. It sobs.
Every faith holds the protection of life is its highest value. In Judaism, the Torah, “old Testament” expresses it this way:
‘Deut. 30:19): “I call heaven and earth to witness you today: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse — therefore choose life!”
My heart breaks at the violence that has taken so many lives recently, indeed, just overnight.
What would society look like if the first value of every policy and every action were to be: “therefore choose life?”
Perhaps in that society, deadly weapons would be scarce and hard to get and available for limited purposes by trained professionals.
Perhaps in that society, law enforcement systems would limit or eliminate deadly weapons.
Perhaps, in that society, we would treat each other as vessels of a divine spirit.
We all do some form of Dance in the face of the anticipated or actual loss of a loved one. We wrestle with angels of God for insight and power to restore our strength. We ache to continue to be a blessing to the world, even after such pain. The ritual of The Actual Dance is the process of finding a form of peace in the gift of the time we have had with our love partner.
In the context of sudden and violent death, of murder, the journey is infinitely more complex. There is a resilience that forms. It sustains us over time. We seek the strength and solace to survive our losses and to be once again whole. We never forget our loved ones.
Today I pray, for peace and life. I pray for a time when the world, and especially the United States when the universal value and sanctity of every human life is lifted and imbedded as the highest value of our society.