I’m thankful I woke up this morning late enough to miss NBC’s airing of the video of Cho Seung-Hui that he mailed before he started shooting people in Blacksburg. I don’t want to see it. I know I don’t need to. What I did read were the anonymous comments from one angry person to Tracy’s wonderful post at Spilt Milk. If you could scream when you write, this guy was yelling at the top of his lungs about how crazy and angry all the Muslims were. I don’t think he saw his own irony. I read a sad story on Raising Yousuf about a Palestinian woman’s difficulty leaving the Amsterdam airport just because she was a Muslim woman.

    The level of violence we reach in the name of “securing the homeland,” or whatever name we use to say we want to be safe, makes me angry. To avoid adding to the violence and turmoil, the best things I know to do are add a new recipe and turn to poetry.


    Fear is hand delivered:
    trench-coated high
    schoolers, hijackers,
    car bombers,
    suicidal shooters.

    Fighting to feel safe
    is like eating gravy with a fork.

    Get on a plane.
    Go to class.
    Drop off the kids.
    Cross the street.
    See what happens.

    Life doesn’t follow
    an ascending trajectory.

    Fearing and fighting
    are not our only options.
    We can choose faith —
    drop our guards
    and our guns.

    We won’t feel safe, secure
    or even in control.
    Waging peace
    has never been
    for the faint of heart.



    1. Milton,
      I heard an interview with a forensic psychiatrist who said the tape should have never been shown since it fulfilled the dreams of the mentally ill Cho. I agree. But the media has chosen to honor him with the showings, creating more tension in our culture. I don’t get it.

    2. Milton –

      Would you give permission to perhaps use this poem in our service on Sunday? We will credit you…

      It is stunning.

      please let me know..


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