Sunday, November 13, 2011

we weep

A professor suggested we pay attention to what surprises us - therein lies clues to the assumptions that guide our reactions to the world.
I don't want to be surprised that a football coach would call the police to report a crime and risk the fallout for his team whose objective is to get a ball over a line.
I don't want to be surprised that disturbed adults in power do not wield their afflictions on children. 
I don't want to be surprised that a community's reaction to the irrevocable damage of sexual abuse leads to solidarity and 
action to change a corrupt system. 
But if after this week any one of three of these things had happened, 
I would have sadly been surprised.

I'm ashamed to be associated with Penn State based on students' reaction to the abuse inflicted by one man, perpetuated by many more men and women, whose silence created more violence. I am hopeful that my association with Penn State adds one voice to others who mourn the wrong done to these human beings and who work to fundamentally change our culture of violence. May the occurrence of sexual abuse always surprise us, but never quiet our voice and send us into hiding.

According to Daniel Landinsky, the poet Rabia was sold into slavery at a very young age nearly 1200 years ago in present day Iraq. She was sexually abused and wasn't released from bondage until age 50. Still today, she perhaps can speak in a profound way to those in our community who suffer under unwanted touch. Show me where it hurts, God said, and every cell in my body burst into tears before his tender eyes. [p.2 Rabia, Love Poems from God]

Our Beauty - Rabia

Live with dignity, women, live with dignity, men.
Few things will more enhance our
beauty as

The Hope of Loving - Rabia

What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.

I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey
to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover's
warm gaze.

We weep when light does not reach our hearts. We wither
like fields if someone close
does not rain their

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