Thursday, December 9, 2021

#PoetryFriday - Those Other Memories

  

Thanks to Cathy Mere for hosting today at her blog, Merely Day by Day HERE!  
         I'm sorry I missed Michelle K.'s hosting last week. I was upset by the Michigan shooting and I wrote, yet couldn't bring myself to post.

         



          I was on a school overnight trip to California when we heard the news about the Columbine massacre. It was so hard to tell the students, some of which we then discovered had friends who had been killed. We held our own memorial for them all one evening. It was not enough to erase the sadness but it was so needed. I remember when a colleague came to me and whispered about Sandy Hook. I remember when my daughter called me about the Aurora theater shooting. More recently, the news told me about the Stem shooting in Highlands Ranch, Stoneman Douglas, King Soopers in Boulder. Of course, we all know now that one more happened a bit more than a week ago in Michigan. I haven't listed them all, have I? You will have your own remembering from your own home, sad to write.

          It is with continued sadness I write this Friday, yet I also remember good things, too. There is much goodness in my life and I am grateful. However, I also do remember all these tragedies and others and will do all I am able to make changes. 

          Instead of being outraged in the "after", I believe we should be outraged in the "before"!

Those Other Memories

 

I don’t want to remember;

I mustn’t forget.

The world wonders about our

feeble fascination with guns.

If only there came an answer 

when words spew,

and outrage shouts,

“Do something! Make this go away!”

that did not mean

people running

to buy more!

 

              Linda Baie ©

35 comments:

  1. Thank you. Thank you for being outraged before. It seems harder and harder to maintain the balance needed to cope with what's happening big and small in our world. I feel like I know what you are writing about. And, I'll be at school today, not thinking about it...just continuing on. I appreciate the time to stop, remember and be called to action.

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  2. Dear Linda, sending love to you for the way you care about the world. The Dalai Lama is very wise, isn't he? I don't have any answers, but I do know love and kindness is key. xo

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  3. Yes, Linda if "Do something" was interpreted as other than buying more guns. Your Dalai Lama quote seems just right. Thank you, Linda.

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  4. Linda, I am thinking of you. I completely empathize with the challenge of managing the grief caused by these tragedies. You mention so many that particularly stay in our minds. Sometimes I worry more about the ones that have not. It seems more and more we gloss over the events as another thing that happens.

    For me, it is Sandy Hook that is burned into my mind. Though these tragedies are always shocking, I naively thought this one would surely create change. These children were so young and such innocent victims that I thought for sure I'd see gun sense laws follow. I remember it was this event that pushed our safety drills to intensify. I remember being huddled (that was when we huddled) in the corner with my first graders just days after that for a drill, looking around the room at the traps, looking into the eyes of these six year olds and knowing they were the same age as the victims at Sandy Hook. I remember working so hard to keep it together through that drill. These students are now sophomores in high school. Unfortunately, nothing has changed, as a matter of fact it has gotten worse. They have lived with this their entire school career.

    "I don't want to remember,
    I mustn't forget."

    Exactly.

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    1. Yes, Sandy Hook hit me. Elementary children, littles. Every year, I leave a book at my local Starbucks to remember and honor those who were killed.

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  5. Oh Linda I can only imagine what it must have been like to be with teens who lost friends on that terrible day. And it is heartbreaking that there have yet been so many more. Your poem evokes all the complicated emotions that I associate with this - frustration, incredible sadness and grief, and anger. Thank you for sharing with us today.

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  6. Thanks for sharing about those painful times when you heard about Columbine and all the other tragic shootings. You're right -- we don't want to remember, but we must never forget. The sense of hopelessness can be so overwhelming, and the mind reels with the inability to comprehend the widespread gun worship in our country.

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  7. Powerful poem Linda, your urgent voice to action rings out in your poem,
    "when words spew,
    and outrage shouts,”
    I just read part of The NY Times morning addition article on our economy and their commentary on our current emotions related to all- there’s a lot of anxiety, overreaction, and spewing of words, and this is much easier and less sensitively done online. I think we could use some big think tank action on all the above to re-usher in some sense of calm and kindness… Thanks for all here! P.S. That Cat book and a few others on your earlier post caught my interest, I'll have to stop in there too…

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  8. I have been thinking about that teacher in Michigan who did everything right, only to have a shooting happen anyway! So terrible! Thank you for your poem. Something has to change.

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  9. Thank you for sharing Linda. The shootings have been very heavy on my mind as well. With young children, I've worried that the next school on this list could be theirs. On the topic of hope, I've seen so much kindness and community focus in my kids' schools. My daughter's focus on community is contagious and gives me hope that maybe we can all work together to make real change that matters.

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  10. Thank you so much everyone for being "with" me. I wasn't sure if I should post, but I didn't want to not give notice of this news seemingly in our everyday! Then, a Wash Post article came up today about those who have or did not give an alert about someone. Here is the link if you return to see my comment: https://wapo.st/3saJMcj

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  11. Goodness, Linda, your poem speaks for most of us, but unfortunately not us all. Your words are the light and love the world needs. Sending you hugs. :)

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    1. Thanks, Bridget, wishing many many took up this light!

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  12. Linda, I can't imagine the scene you described in regards to the Columbine shooting. How terribly hard and sad. When will this country take the brave and right stand to stop the madness?

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  13. Linda, "I believe we should be outraged in the "before"!-a cry for all to take a stand.
    I am sorry that you have been saddened by the news. It seems to be a repetitive action these days. I could not find your comment so can you point me to how I can hone in on your response for what article? My family watched the original West Side Story tonight. I was struck with the idea that hate only leads to violence and hurt. The world always seems to be riddled by hate mongers. it is us to the kindness carriers to make changes.

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  14. It is unbelievable to me that our country would rather allow innocents to be gunned down than to enact strong gun laws. When we were in Germany last time, I went with my "sister" to her high school. No security locks on the doors, I didn't have to log my visiting in the office, staff didn't wear ID badges, they had never had a lockdown drill. Because they didn't need to. Germany's gun laws are incredibly strict. So strict that students and teachers feel safe at school. Imagine that.

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  15. Thanks, Jone, Carol, & Mary Lee. Yes, the trip during Columbine was one of the hardest things I've had to do as a teacher. Carol, here is the link to that article: https://wapo.st/3saJMcj And I am astounded by what other countries have done to keep people safe and if one reads the statistics, stronger gun laws work!

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  16. Thanks and no thanks for this poetic reminder to not forget. I am reading this on the morning after learning that one of our teachers was killed in a car accident. I don't know yet what this will mean for our school next week but I do know it won't be easy. Tragedy never is. All we can offer is love. Love, love, love...

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    1. Oh, Margaret, I am sorry to hear your news. It will be sadness throughout at your school and community.Best wishes to you and all those who are affected. Yes, love and kindness will help plus lots of listening to the students. And thank you for sharing your sadness, too.

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    2. I am sorry to hear that news also, Margaret. Next week will be a rough week for all so my thoughts and prayers are for love to flow throughout the school. Life is fragile and uncertain.

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    3. Margaret, the PB, I REMEMBER MISS PERRY by Pat Brisson is no longer in print, but worth finding on ABEBOOKS,com (or elsewhere) used. It’s about a beloved elementary school teacher who dies in an auto accident.

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    4. Margaret, here’s the link https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/title/i-remember-miss-perry/author/brisson/

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  17. Linda, from my position on the outside looking in, the scourge of guns in America is an anathema. It continues to heap pain and loss on communities, and the feeble responses of leaders for me is unfathomable. Your poem addresses this and the fear that drives the gun culture. I feel your pain, your sense of loss. Be safe, Be well.

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  18. This was hard to read because school shootings always hit home for me, especially this time of year. We lost a lovely little boy in the Sandy Hook shooting. I can certainly empathize with you and your students about Columbine, remembering the shock I felt when I heard the news. Now, it seems like such a common occurrence. I just don't understand people's fascination with guns.

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  19. Thanks, Alan and Alex, yes, it is a scourge & I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Alex. I don't understand either.

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  20. Linda, to be so close to those students whose friends…yikes. Sometimes the slide down feels endless. Darker and darker. Thank you for sharing your raw emotions. My arms are around you…around all of us.
    (This is April Halprin Wayland but I think I’m posting from my husband Gary’s account)

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    1. Thanks April for that link. I will send it to Margaret. Your own name came through, FYI. And yes, it is a slide down that never seems to go up. Thanks for the kind words, too!

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  21. I remember exactly where I was when I heard about Columbine, Linda. (It's there with Sep 11 and the Challenger explosion for me.) What's really horrific is that the impact has become less as these tragedies have become more common. What used to be truly unimaginable to grapple with is now too familiar :>( Thank you for your poem, and hugs coming your way...

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    1. Yes, we do remember but so little changes. I was very hopeful after Stoneman Douglas when the young people started their pleas, yet things remain the same. Thanks, Laura

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  22. Outrage in the before--yes, yes, NOW!

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  23. Amen, Linda. I agree with the sentiments in your poem. Flags will be flown half staff here in CT tomorrow in memory of the children and adults killed at Sandy Hook; what a terrible day that was.

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    1. I know that it's tomorrow, another sad day that we need to remember. Yes, it felt unimaginable. Thanks for sharing, Susan.

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  24. "I don't want to remember;
    I mustn't forget."

    You've summed it up so well, Linda. The pain (upon pain upon pain) is too much and I will never understand our country's fascination with guns. Sending you love and hugs.

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    1. Thank you, Karen, and back to you, too. After Sandy Hook's anniversary this week, I want to fight for better more than ever.

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