Thursday, June 23, 2016
After the 50,000 strong Lake Eola Pulse Terrorist Attack Vigil altars of remembrance where everywhere. This statue is the "Muse of Discovery" sculpted by Meg White, of Stephenport Kentucky. Dead flowers and melted candles lines all the shores of Lake Eola. The wilted flowers didn't last long in the Florida heat. It seems such a waste of precious life. We in America seem to be trained from birth to be mass consumers. When there is a tragedy, our response is to consume more and leave trash as a reminder. Why don't people bring live flowering plants to a vigil and then take the plants home where they can be appreciated as they continue to grow? A live plant seems more a symbol of love than a dead bloom.
A school bus can be seen in the distance in the sketch. It was being used by military cadets who began a run in New York City on June 3rd and they will finish their run in Miami on June 24th. The run is called, "Reviresco" which means "Renewal" in Latin. They run about 15 miles a day and are using the run to help improve communication between servicemen and civilians. Hopefully Orlando can experience it's own renewal. We haven't healed and we will never forget but there has to be some hope for the future.
Signs left behind on the muse, included...
Love is strong.
One World, One Pulse.
For Love, for Hope, for Pulse.
Orlando won't loose its Pulse.
We had the choice to keep you, or keep our assault rifles, I'm sorry you lost.
Powerful voices for joy in times of powerful darkness.
The summer solstice occurred yesterday and it brought with it the once in a generation, strawberry moon. These two astronomical occurrences haven't occurred at the same time since 1967. The strawberry moon was used by Native Americans as a sign that is was time to pick the fruit. Like the rainbow that appeared over Lake Eola on the evening of the vigil, it hopefully signifies a future filled with hope and light.
While discussing the Pulse tragedy with a friend, she mentioned the Buddhist concept of Meta, or loving kindness. This concept engages the the highest qualities of the mind. It begins with applying loving kindness to yourself. You wish for your own happiness, peacefulness, and ease of mind. Then you extent the concept to a loved one. Then you extent the concept to a benefactor. Then you extent the concept to everyone. A truly enlightened person can then extend the concept of loving kindness to include a difficult person or a person who has done harm to others. This is something I haven't heard among all the vigils I have attended. Had the shooter been in a happier more peaceful place, he wouldn't have imagined causing anyone else harm. His was an act of suicide and his hate made him want to take others with him. What in Orlando, the United States, or the World, would drive someone to be filled with that much hate? What can we do about it? I've noticed people compliment my sketches more than ever this week. The level of gratitude is overwhelming sometimes. I'm unprepared, and end up having to clear my eyes. At this make shift shrine people seemed kinder and gentler with each other. Why does it take a tragedy of this magnitude to bring out the loving kindness in us all? Can loving kindness be sustained? I go to bed exhausted every evening, because all I have are questions.