Poetry Friday: Unfinished Tasks

Where to begin?
I can’t believe we’re here again? That’s not true, because nothing has changed since December 14, 2012 when 20 children and six adults were murdered 10 miles from my house.
That I’m enraged? Of course I am. We all are.
That I feel helpless? Yes. Chris Murphy, the staunchest, loudest, most tireless Senator calling for gun reform is my Senator. I know he’s doing all he can.
But do I feel hopeless? Not quite. How could I carry on if I thought it was inevitable that I, or someone I love will be shot at school? I couldn’t.

So, what to do? We carry on. We do small acts that, cumulatively, add up to big acts. We go to work each day and let the children we work with know that we love them, care about them, and want the best for them. We honor the memory of Irma Garcia, Eva Mireles, Dawn Hochsprung, Victoria Leigh Soto, Mary Sherlach, Lauren Rousseau, Anne Marie Murphy, Rachel D’Avino, and countless other educators who have been killed when we go into school each day to take up “those dear unfinished tasks” of theirs.

Turn Again to Life

by Mary Lee Hall

If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.
For my sake – turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.

Coincidentally, this week Krista Tippet is sharing memories from of her most profound interviews. Rachel Naomi Remen is a Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine who has much to teach us all. I leave you with this quote:

We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people; to lift it up and make it visible once again and, thereby, to restore the innate wholeness of the world. This is a very important story for our times — that we heal the world one heart at a time.

Please be sure to visit Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise for the Poetry Friday Roundup. Then go out and look for the light.

7 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Unfinished Tasks

  1. I love the hope you bring you the hope and light to your post. Mary Lee’s poem is how I felt after my mother’s death…that she was telling me to turn toward life and light. Thank you for being there for your students giving them the love I know you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reminding me that it is right and good to focus on the small acts, knowing they add together to become the big changes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Nerve thy heart and trembling hand to” “find the hidden light in all events and all people; to lift it up and make it visible.” Two complementary halves of our wholeness, which persists even as our hearts break. Thank you, Catherine.

    Liked by 1 person

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