even still, lovely things…may 31

It has been a heartbreaking week in Minneapolis.

Heartbreaking for George Floyd and his dear ones; heartbreaking for our communities of color; heartbreaking for all Minnesotans as peaceful, unified, urgent protests were blighted by those from outside the community, burning and ravaging the very neighborhoods which are always the most hurting in our city,
seeking to sow seeds of hatred, mistrust, chaos.

Lovely things don’t erase that pain, but they shine ever brighter in the midst of it. Here are a few facets of life this week that I found lovely, and a poem that speaks into this pain.

Clean up crews

Thousands of people turned out every day to clean up the debris of the night’s rioting.

So many, in fact, that people who arrived too late in the afternoons found little left to do in some cases.

Food sharing

With grocery stores and Target stores damaged and closed, sources for food and supplies were gone in many neighborhoods and metro transit had stopped running.

Yet literally so much food was donated to various churches, organizations, and other drop-off points, that some organizers were having to turn donors away.

At one distribution center where my daughter was helping, she was helping manage such a steady stream of cars  arriving to drop off food for five hours running, she said it was like grid lock.

Art of grief

This gorgeous mural of George Floyd was painted within two days of his death by women from Good Space Murals…

and this piece was created by artist Andres Guzman…

…while flowers and messages filled the area where he died.

Poetry of peace

Taken from This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected & New, 1979-2013, by Wendell Berry
Berry dedicates this poem “To my granddaughters who visited the Holocaust Museum on the day of the burial of Yitzhak Rubin.

Now you know the worst
we humans have to know
about ourselves, and I am sorry,

for I know that you will be afraid.
To those of our bodies given
without pity to be burned, I know

there is no answer
but loving one another,
even our enemies, and this is hard.

But remember:
when a man of war becomes a man of peace,
he gives a light, divine

though it is also human.
When a man of peace is killed
by a man of war, he gives a light.

You do not have to walk in darkness.
If you will have the courage for love,
you may walk in light. It will be

the light of those who have suffered
for peace. It will be
your light.

Peace to you, my friends.