Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


Archive for January 7th, 2005


Healing Ourselves and the World 0

Posted on January 07, 2005 by jimparedes

We were about 30 people in the middle of the vast Bellarmine field in front of the Ateneo College admin building. We sat in a circle and lighted candles which expressed our oneness with those who died and those in pain and set them in front of us. We had a moment of silence for the dead, the suffering and those who are doing the work of providing comfort to those immediately affected. It was a precious solemn moment of quiet as we searched our hearts for answers. After that, we read poems that spoke of compassion, respecting Mother Earth, and learning from nature.

Then each one was encouraged to express their take on the tsunami phenomenon and the calamities that have been happening in the Philippines. It was enlightening to hear different points of view—-from scientific explanations, emotional responses, mystical and spiritual meanings, to existential conclusions and some who simply expressed pure bafflement. Some asked where God was in all this. Others gave answers that made sense to them.

Soon after, we passed around some bread and water—-symbols of life, while we publicly expressed affirmation and gratitude for being alive, for communal gatherings such as these, for compassion and change that seemed evident as people everywhere continue to open their hearts and wallets to help others.

It was a beautiful night under the stars with candlelight projecting flickering, dramatic shadows on faces as people spoke. It was a night (I thought) no different from how early men sat around their cave fires and ruminated about life and its great mysteries.

Somehow, I know that aside from helping each other cope with the pain of seeing so many suffer, there was some healing also done to the world.


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