“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.”
-Excerpt from “Prayer of St. Francis,” credited to St. Francis Assisi.
These words have always been particularly dear to me, a sort of guide on how to live life. I remember learning this prayer in its entirety as a child. Hanging on the kitchen wall of her 2nd floor apartment, my Nana had the prayer as a plaque. I learned to make meatballs there in that kitchen, and enjoy tea with italian cookies instead of coffee and donuts. In that hallway I practiced chaine turns (said shuh-nay) and pique (pee-kay) arabesques, the most basic movements a dance major must know. And in her bedroom, I curled my hair for the first time, a skill I have had to use regularly as a performer and which I’m still not very good at. The apartment where all of this happened is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The last time I heard St. Francis’ prayer was at the Interfaith Memorial Service for the victim of the Boston Marathon Bombing.
When the names of the suspects were released and their personal details came to the surface, I remember realizing how close it all was: they went to the same high school as my father and his siblings. They walked the same streets I did as a little girl going to the park with Nana. They probably passed my grandmother’s apartment regularly. One of the brothers died in the same hospital my grandfather died in, in the same unit. How near, I wonder, would their beds have been if their final visit to that place had corresponded? The younger brother now lies in a hospital one of my friends was in just weeks ago after a car accident. And of course, there is that cousin who is part of the Boston PD.
What does any of this have to do with Dean? Well, in the words of President Obama, “It’s personal.” Looking towards college is all about finding a new community: how frightening of a prospect that can be in a world like this, when events can so shake a community, a city, a nation. I am proud of each of the communities I am part of, and not the least of which is being a Bulldog. This is a place where my professors delayed or canceled classes so we could gather and watch the memorial, being broadcast in multiple locations; where math class became an open forum for discussion; where dresscode is broken if you’re wearing Boston gear; where a moment of silence is being observed in every corner of the campus; and where we proudly sang our National Anthem at the Accepted Student Day we carried on and held, business as usual. Because as one of our pennants says, Bulldogs don’t rollover.
Before I sign off, I wanted to get back to the title of this piece: sowing light. In memorial and tribute to those who lost life and limb, I want to share every hopeful, inspiring, joyous thing I have slowly amassed and shared over the past week pertaining to these tragedies. I hope they bring you comfort, wherever you may be.
From Kabul to Boston with Love:
And an article all about it:
Two Rivals, Two Sports, Two Acts of Solidarity:
And speaking of sports, did you see the former NE Patriots player carry a woman to safety? http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/04/15/joe-andruzzi-patriots-marathon/2086599/
Running for those who can’t, across the pond:
Read all about it: http://us.cnn.com/2013/04/21/sport/london-marathon/index.html?sr=sharebar_facebook
We thank you, London, for Running. Over here, we run on Dunkin’. Even in a crisis.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/dunkin-donuts-in-boston-are-still-open-during-lockdown <— to quote a friend of mine “Literally the most Boston thing I’ve ever seen or heard.”
Remember those football players? Turns out they’re pretty awesome guys.
And that rival team?
But if hockey is more your style, I’ve got more on that too. And on the First Responders who are the truest of heros:
And NY isn’t the only American City shining by our side:
This is one of several amazing projections shining in NYC on Marathon Monday thanks to groups Lucky Tan and the Illuminator Collective:
And a story as an athlete and a dancer that brings tears to my eyes, hope to my heart, and drives my will to be courageous forward. I am certain this woman will dance again.
Our national anthem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzMsagY7oRs
And our unofficial state anthem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzMsagY7oRs
And of course there are the stories of marathoners dashing across the finish line and continuing straight on to Mass Gen to donate blood, and the lesser known story of a surgeon who ran straight to his OR. There are the countless nameless Bostonians who threw open their doors to total strangers – without knowing who among them might be the bomber/s – and giving them shelter and car rides. Of pedestrians taking to the streets with blankets, water, orange juice, and determination. Too many stories to document here, and so the last thing I’d like to share with you is a collage I took less than 24 hrs after the bombs detonated of my favorite city:
In the words of Martin Richard: No more hurting people. Peace.