copies of last week’s usa today & ny times. i got them on the plane & i just can’t seem to throw them away.
it’s late saturday night. and all is quiet outside, for the most part. i can hear the water in the fountain across the street through our open windows, and every now and then a far-off voice or 2. but, there are no cars driving by, no laughing & shouting people walking on the streets below, no “party” music playing from our neighbors’ apartments. not a typical saturday night, it feels like. i realize that i am interrupting my series of USA posts, but i just had to.
it didn’t feel right to not write & reflect a little on all the happenings of the past 24-36 hours. and a lot has happened all around the world. tonight, and all day, my mind has shifted back & forth from one thought to the next, and then back again.
closest to home, there is the news of the terrorist attacks in neighboring norway. it has been on the news non-stop here in sweden. and if it’s not playing on our tv, my love & i are checking the internet, twitter, & facebook for updates. it’s tragic. it’s scary. and it has been an emotional day for all scandinavians. the senseless violence, which seems to have stemmed from a norwegian man (not sure if others are involved yet, or not) on a government building and a youth camp, has shocked these liberal, open, and peaceful societies. the reality is that there are people within these countries (denmark, sweden, & norway) who have strong nationalistic beliefs, and are in complete disagreement with a society that provides an opportunity for all people, regardless of race, religion, or nationality to live in their countries. there are people, and political groups, who want to keep sweden, swedish. get my drift? they complain that the muslims, africans, and other nationalities/religion other than western christians, should not be allowed in. these people/groups seem to have no room for acceptance, tolerance, and diversity in their lives. something that goes completely against what i believe christianity to be about. whether this shooter is one of these nationialistic norwegians remains to be seen, but it sure appears that way so far.
it is gut-wrentching to read or hear the stories of the young survivors from the camp on the island where at least 84/85 have been killed. teenagers. i can barely believe it. and the bombs in oslo… so scary. yesterday i felt some familiar emotions creeping back into my consciousness – fear, anger, disbelief, confusion, a desire to call everyone i loved. but, today, as things have sunk in, i have tried to hold on to the inspiring words of others… words like those of norway’s prime minister who said that norway will retaliate with “more democracy” and “humility”. wow. yes. wherever there is terror & violence we will fight back with by reaching out for more love, more respect, more acceptance, more diversity, more peace.
then, in the US, my not-so-near home, it seems that people cannot seem to come together at all. what in the world do people think will happen if no one can seem to figure out how to compromise? are there adults who are really going to act like a bunch of children who don’t get what they want and then just walk away? well apparently so. (i’m speaking of the inability for washington leaders to come to a consensus, an agreement, a compromise on the budget issues, in case you weren’t sure). i don’t understand. we don’t always get what we want in life. rarely do we get everything we want in life. but, we must work together. we must learn the art of patience & compromise. we simply must.
and finally, amy winehouse – a fantastically unique and special musician – was found dead in her apartment today. it is no secret that she has struggled with a drug and alcohol addition for years. but it’s so sad. to lose someone so talented.
all of this leaves me thinking only one thing: live every moment to its fullest! embrace life and love yourself & others with wild abandon. make every second count and always reach back to help someone else along. never give up hope and never be anyone except exactly who you are. breathe deeply every day. look up at the blue sky. listen to the rain. feel the warmth of the sun. be aware of what’s going on around you. smile at others. listen to music. dance. help someone. meditate. pray. just be. keep dreaming. better yet, keep working to make your dreams come true. listen when someone else talks. open your heart. tell those you love that you love them.
and always work for peace.