• Deborah Siegel
  • Editors' Picks: She Writers on Arizona Shooting, and Haiti One Year Later
Editors' Picks: She Writers on Arizona Shooting, and Haiti One Year Later
Contributor
Written by
Deborah Siegel
January 2011
Writing
Contributor
Written by
Deborah Siegel
January 2011
Writing
In this week's highlights from the Community Blog, She Writers focus on the tragic events of our shared world. Please add words, quotes, poems--also posts, links, videos, photos--of hope and healing in comments or at your SW blog.

by Marie Myung-Ok Lee 
"At first, the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 bystanders on a sunny Saturday afternoon at a grocery store called Safeway seems downright dystopian, a scene out of Doomsday in America. Among the dead are not only a well-regarded federal judge who stopped by to say hello after Mass, a man who was shot in the head as he shielded his wife from the gunman, and a 79-year old woman, but also, heartbreakingly, a 9-year-old girl born on 9/11, who was one of 50 babies featured in the book Faces of Hope...."
"Last Saturday began as an ordinary enough day. I went to synagogue and sat on the left side of the sanctuary next to my friends Bunny and Sam....The rabbi talked about grappling with G-d. And the Kiddush that followed was, well, the same Kiddush that goes down every week....More than 2,000 miles away Gabrielle Giffords – 40-years-old and the congressional representative of Arizona’s 8th District – was shot at point-blank range with a 9mm Glock handgun as my fellow congregants and I filed out of the sanctuary..." 
"The recent shooting of an Arizona Congresswoman has stoked a long-festering debate about the damage of invective and polarizing politics. To some respect, this debate has been a long time coming and has already taken a variety of forms prior to now. But I think if we are to seriously contemplate the role of words and phrases that inflame passions and potentially empower those inclined to violent outbursts, we’d best first discuss what words are and what words are not. We simply cannot pinpoint what fiery rhetoric, in particular, that is beamed out through the television or the internet is at fault. A word that might not be too agitating to me might make someone else absolutely furious. When one considers the thought process of someone who is clearly out of touch with reality, the waters are muddied even more so. As much as each of us are into our own heads, it’s sometimes amazing that the same shared, symbolic representations known as a language serve as an adequate and effective means by which we communicate with each other..." 
HAITI: One Year Later by Nicole Weaver 
"Today is the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that changed my native Haiti forever. Even though life in Haiti will never be the same, I would like to take a moment to talk about some good news I received from Karen Ashmore, executive director of the Lambi Fund of Haiti, an organization whose goal is to assist 'community-based organizations that promote the social and economic empowerment of the Haitian people..."
Resilience-Hope by Kim Koning:

 

Hope is a green blade of grass in a hot desert

Resilience is a daisy blooming in the tread of Fate's footpath

Faith is absorbing every bit of moisture

Life is to keep growing

But Love is the unseen root...

Let's be friends

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Comments
  • Marcia Fine

    I live in AZ and am so saddened by these events. I have met Gabrielle and knew when I did that she represents the best in womanhood--smart, independent, giving, compassionate. The fact that someone wanted to harm her and destroyed so many other lives and families is devastating.

  • Today, lives were cut short, futures that should have been will never be. We mourn for you, with you, and will never forget the stories of your lives.

     

  • She Writes Fridays
    It's Deborah here.  As an addendum to this post, I wanted to reprint a message via EMILY's List:

    I invite you to visit WeSupportGabby.com, where you can directly send a personal message to Gabby and her family. You'll also find links to Gabby's favorite charities, as shared by her husband Mark Kelly, and ways to show your support through Facebook and Twitter. As debate and recrimination rage around us, we can make sure that we honor what is most precious to us: Gabby's desire to serve and her total commitment to her community and her constituents.

    In the face of such immense tragedy, it's only natural to feel overwhelmed, saddened, and even helpless. But believe me: we've talked with Gabby's incredible staff, and every bit of support means the world. Right now, we must take time to feel grief, to ensure that everyone affected by this heinous event knows we're standing with them, and to never, ever back down from the ideals most precious to us: democracy, equal representation, and the importance of public service.

    I am honored to be a part of this community. Thank you for everything.

    Sincerely,

    Stephanie Schriock

     
     

    Stephanie Schriock
    President, EMILY's List

  • Kim Koning

    Thanks for picking my poem for your Editor's Picks. Hope, faith and love seem to be rare commodities nowadays especially in light of these tragic happenings. But I believe that Hope, Faith and Love are what separates us from the harsher views in this world...as the saying goes...There go I but for the Grace of God...We need to hold onto Hope, Faith and Love in these times of hardship and turbulence. I truly believe they give one a strength and resilience that will outlast and overcome all the bad in this world.

  • Nicole Weaver

    This is a very difficult time for me.  I am mourning and remembering the 13 cousins that died in last year's earthquake and I am mourning the loss of lives in Arizona.     Life is short and many times the curve balls come unexpectedly .  A ray of sunshine came my way after seeing the interview with Karen Ashmore about the good the Lambi Fund is doing for earthquake victims.  You can view the interview and video here: http://marieandherfriendtheseaturtle.blogspot.com

    Kind regards,

    Nicole Weaver 

  • Bobbie Handy

    Greetings from Tucson, where we've spent the last five and a half days glued to the TV & phone and we've comforted friends, held vigils, and attended memorial services.  We are reeling from the reality that this could happen in our relatively quiet, peaceful "town" -- but we marvel at the heroes who emerged and the healing words spoken by so many to honor the dead and console the living.  Thanks for sending prayers our way -- and my blog posting  from Jan. 11 mentions a few concrete ways to help, if you are so inclined, the many youngsters from all around the country who have been so impacted by this tragic event -- they will need our continuing sensitivity to process this tragedy and our response to it.

  • Terry Del Percio

    This is a very thoughtful gesture. Thank you. My heart is broken for the victims and their families. I pray for all of them and send healing thoughts to Congresswoman Giffords as she begins the spiritual journey of a lifetime in her healing.

  • Margaret

    Thank you for putting these great posts all together in one spot.

    Margaret Turley

  • Ellen Ferranti

    All these words posted by bloggers are wonderful,encouraging and uplifting; and I pray that the Congresswoman will be able to utter just one...and then many more..

  • Joyce Evans-Campbell

    May Haiti and its citizens have a miracle soon. It's difficult to know how a people can live in such horrendous conditions. May the ruined lives be restored to humane conditions. We're praying for you all. Joyce Evans-Campbell

  • Joyce Evans-Campbell

    Gabby, we're all praying for your complete recovery. The nation needs you because you represent all that is good in the world. Your family needs you, and we all feel blessed to have you here. We thank you for your diligence and responsible caring for our causes. We love you and believe your resiliency and love from family and friends will see your through. It is my hope that you stay strong as soon as you can and lean on the love, faith, and miracles. Peace, Love, Faith. Miracles happen everyday. Here's to the miracle you deserve. Joyce Evans-Campbell 

  • Dale S. Laszig

    Each day that I wake I'm surprised that I'm not in Tucson, where my heart and prayers have been centered, drawing strength from our community of voices, from stories of courage and faith.

  • Gwyn McVay

    If any good can come out of this at all -- besides a wounded woman and a gay Latino man being recognized as heroes -- it is in the increasing blog and media focus on the ways in which society's frayed "safety net" often fails people with mental illnesses. The anomie of society in 2011 is massively more frightening and painful to experience when your brain is already creating fear.

     

    The ethical use of words is a constant issue, and I am certainly inspired to reexamine the ways in which I use language. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate (sorry, chemistry reference), and I do indeed want to be part of the United States the slain child dreamed of.

  • Linda East Brady

    My niece worked for the AZ Democratic party -- and on Gabrille's campaign, specifically. She happened to be at another event that day -- random thing that our luck was with us, whereas other families were not so lucky. So this hits close to home.

    I lived in Tucson in the 70s and 80s, got my degree at the University of Arizona. I was forced to leave to find work during the Reagan Recession in the mid-80s -- that is when things first started change there. The economy has never really recovered - that is why I have never returned, desptie it being la casa de corazon. 

    I won't pretend it was perfect when I lived there, but, having been raised in the South, I discovered a tolerance there that I found refreshing. The stoners, the colorful characters of the desert, the Mexican expatriates, the Goldwater Republicans -- we all found a way to tolerate each other. Now? It has turned into a place I barely recognize.

    In my opinion, if there is one thing to be grateful about in all this horror, it is that this monstrous act was not carried out by a person with a Hispanic surname. Think how different thw reaction and rhetoric would be if so. 

  • Janet M Cromer

    http://janetcromer.com/after-brain-injury-holding-tight-to-hope-and-love

    Today I launched my new website and blog with this post about my experience keeping vigil in the ICU after my husband's severe brain injury. My empathy and prayers go to Congresswoman Giffords and Mark Kelly. And let's also send healing wishes to the other 13 people who were wounded.

  • Susan Katz Miller

    Gabrielle Giffords, a fellow interfaith child...read my post at onbeingboth.com.







  • June Phyllis Baker

     My  prayers are with Gabrille Griffords  and all the families who lost thier love ones in Arizona.   A friend  once told me hurt is like a cut. It takes time to heal.

     

    June

  • Lydia Ondrusek

    take my hand, do not

    let go - close your eyes, our hearts

    beat with one rhythm

  • Robin Lelani

    live on

    live strong

    leap in your spirit

    soar in the vast heavens of grace and hope

    give thanks in sincere gratitude

    just keep fighting

    and live on...

    Robminx the Rhythm Rhymer

    www.robminx.wordpress.com