November 16, 2015 11:29pm Christmas love

 I love. I am. You are.

Reading this poem in the Sound Garden.
Reading this poem in the Sound Garden.

On the first day, she said, “All that I am you are and all that you are I am.”

To whom was she speaking? Did I hear her, believe her, love her like it seemed she already loved me?

We breath in and we breathe out as one hundred and fifty-three French music lovers dying in a concert hall groan goodbye to their loved ones. All they wanted in that moment was to hear the cello wail in agony but it was silenced too.

On the second day, she said again, “All that I am you are and all that you are I am.” But I still didn’t want to believe. Aren’t I more, doesn’t she seem small and insignificant? We breathe again, in and out, honoring the killers with the black suicide vests, the dark powdering of bullets striking lives and scattering hopes.

On the third day, she said once more, “All that I am you are and all that you are I am.” Starting to believe, I felt a slight shift in my strictures, the binding in my chest that holds a beating heart. Breathe in and let the hummingbird fly into this blossom, healing ourselves as we heal the world. We have become the all of you and the all of I. There is no escaping this.

As we meld into a space of wonder the in breath follows and the outer breathes a sigh. I mark it, making an even bigger cavity in my chest where I know my heart weeps but also dances with joy like that hummingbird does every morning.

On the fourth day, she read a story about forgiveness, told of a circle of neighbors, community gathered around the accused to tell of their loving kindness, deeds of goodness and faithfulness. Can you remember that the greatest of these is still love? I hope so because all that I am you are and all that you are I am. Don’t you know these men with the weapons have chosen goodness once in their lives? So I write this story as they have no community to honor them. Give way to rightousnessness, recite about their love of family and the joy they feel when bathing or sharing a meal in friendship.IMG_2465

Remember, all that I am you are and all that you are I am. And in doing so, I bow to my own seeds of aggression, hatred and bigotry. Take a breath out and breathe in light, love, beauty, wisdom and the knowledge that you and I are one in Christ. So be it.


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Julia W. Burns, MD

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