From http://wallpaperstock.net/butterfly-light_wallpapers_5363_1280x1024_1.html, courtesy of The Internet.Because our city, our nation, and all our souls could certainly do with some hope.
Here is a video of me reading my poem "To Sing to a Butterfly" alongside composer Erik Gustafson's prelude of the same name (directly inspired by the poem) as part of a piano rededication service at Old South Church in Boston, my home church and the proudly-proclaimed Church of the Finish Line, just down the street from the site of Monday's explosions. The church is now closed off as part of the crime scene; we are denied access to the beautiful pianos and stained-glass windows lying just beyond the barricade. Every one of us is—just as everyone in and outside of the city is—shaken. Sometimes, it feels as if the world is coming to an end.
But there is a quote, a beautiful quote from an anonymous sage who knows that just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly. "Shaken but not forsaken," Old South continues to worship as a community, graciously hosted by the Church of the Covenant a few blocks away. Today we walked together to the boundaries of the crime scene to reclaim our finish line by singing hymns. My life flows on in endless song, above Earth's lamentation. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Guide my feet, hold my hand, wheel with me while I run this race. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine...
Just when we think the world is over, defeated by grief and hate and violence, we can be transformed—not returned to the way things were before, but transformed, like butterflies, into something beautiful and profound, something that brings hope to the flowers.
"For this is the truth all nature-singers know:
When you sing to a butterfly,
you sing to yourself as well,
and you know that all things are possible."
*listen to more of Erik's gorgeous music at http://erikmusik.net/