The bombings on the East Coast over the weekend have people shook up today. Understandably. Then, of course the ripple effects after such violence. The vulnerability. The suspicions. The judgements. All about survival. But the weekend also brought violence in Minnesota on a grand scale with the knifing of 8 people in a mall. It was a mall, THE mall, THE ONLY mall we went to when I was a kid in the 70s in Central Minnesota. I remember the echoing courtyard and the two oblong fountains (long gone) everyone threw coins into. I remember when the mall expanded to include a “wing,” that brought Levi Strauss to town. It’s grown quite a bit since then. A lot has changed.
Looking back 40 or so years, I see memories of unrest and global issues were of course present in the 70s too. Cold War. Gas rationing. Watergate. Concern that the world population was nearing 4 billion and questions as to whether the earth could sustain what was predicted to be 6 billion people by the year 2000. We thought some about resources then too. We thought some about The Greenhouse Effect. Of course scientists and politicians and corporations thought more about it all. That was their job. We thought living our lives, doing our best to turn off lights when we left the room or conserving gas or changing from aerosol cans would be doing our part.
Nobody that I know of foretold of the violence that would increase until a kindergarten class would be devastated by a teen with an automatic rifle. No one warned that someday I’d sit in a movie theater watchful of every person who got up in the middle of the movie while knowing my first move would be to fall to the floor to play dead, if I wasn’t really dead. The Boston Marathon was unquestionably safe. So was our Mall.
We find ourselves asking questions on heard of 40 years ago. We argue about judgements and blame and possible solutions. There is a growing movement too that I’ve witnessed in the world. This movement is a remembering. A re-member-ing. It is a movement to remember Love. That still small voice in each and every of 6 billion hearts and minds that yearns to love and be loved is the ONE thing everyone still has in common. From the 1970s, from the 1870s, from the 1270s, it is the seed planted the moment we take our first breath and cry out for warmth and security. This gives me hope. Because something that has lasted so long can be a powerful force. But we have to remember perhaps not so much the past as what has come from the past. Through all the wars, through all the anger, the violence, the turmoil and sickness. Love survives. Love survives.