Enough, we cannot be silent anymore. Their pain has become our pain. Their suffering ours. The mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, friends of those who have died because of gun violence are crying out to us. The children, the holy innocents, are crying out to us.
My father spent WWII in Italy, in a tank. During his first leave, he encountered an enchantress, a figure of surpassing beauty, sophistication, and mystery. My father was beguiled. If you have ever travelled in Italy, perhaps you have met her. The Italians call her La Serenissima, the most serene one—Venice. For a soldier who had spent his childhood on a farm in Appomattox and Sundays in a white clapboard Methodist chapel, Venice was fantastical place. His every letter to his bride from Venice ended with the promise that, someday, he would return with her and lead her through this magical city he had grown to love. But life intervened: first mine, then my sister’s, then his career, which took on a life of its own.
The departing Confederacy left two sets of monuments in Richmond. One set you can see — the massive gravestones to a Lost Cause spreading stiffly and silently down the expanse of Monument Avenue. The second set you cannot see. These are the real artifacts of the Confederacy, driven underground and unacknowledged, which continue to control the lives of our citizens.
This guy walked into the men’s sauna at ACAC yesterday carrying a water bottle. He held the bottle up and asked me, “Is this ok with you?” I nodded my approval, and then he poured a bottle full of eucalyptus oil over the heating unit.
When guys ask me I always say “yah, sure,” but I’m secretly worried about this whole mixing water with electricity thing. Not that I’ve ever known anyone who died in the sauna or a bathtub, but I used to hear stories about teenagers getting electrocuted when their radios fell into the bath water. Of course, that could have been parents trying to scare their kids into taking shorter showers and baths. It’s just one of those things that stuck with me, and I still don’t know how many teenagers actually met that fate.
I draw your attention to the fact I will be selling tickets to the Holy Week services during the coffee hour. This year you will be able to pay by credit card: just full out this gray form (yes, it does look like the pledge card, but don’t let that distract you). Sign at the bottom, fill in your credit card information, and we’ll take it from there. (I am joking)
Fortunately, the price has already been paid, for us all.