One life, one life, one life . . .

In each bruising tragedy:  missing and murdered indigenous women, the thirst for drinkable water, the displacement of the Rohingya, in those attacks in Edmonton and now, in Las Vegas, I pause to give names to people. I sink into my heart to make spaces in the crowd so it is no longer a crowd but countless individuals that must be counted, that do have a name.
 Of course this is an impossible task but one, I believe,  must be taken up, over and over again, stitches unraveled and knit up again.  We must learn one another’s names.

Sometimes in the almost unbearable counting, I think of this poem Pedagogy of Conflict  by Padraig Ó Tuama of the Corrymeela Community in Ireland.  Here is it’s beginning.

“When I was a child,
I learnt to count to five:
But these days, I’ve been counting lives, so I count
one life
one life
one life
one life
Because each time is the first time that that life has been taken. [ . . . ]”




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