Each of these bodies held a life. Each represented a sacred creativity that was completely unique and yet whose very cells came from the same source-- water, air, fire, earth. Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen.
As I read about these people, these bodies, I am very much aware of my own body. On Saturday, I will participate in my first half-ironwoman triathlon. It takes place in Sonoma, CA whose terrain and temperatures, I'm not very familiar with. As I anticipate what it will look and feel like, I'm trying to breathe deeply and eat the right foods and get enough sleep. I'm trying to stay calm and centered. In short, I'm trying to stay focused on this body that holds my life.
But this intense self-focus makes me recognize even more deeply how connected these bodies we inhabit are. The reasons for the conflicts are deeply complex, rooted in centuries of mistrust. But somehow, the simplicity of shared carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, the concrete reality of shared breath and ocean and sky make me want to use this life, this body, this story to find small and large ways to witness to older and deep truths. Like love's power over death. Like justice's creativity. Like armed power's weakness in the face of non-violent resistance.