Feel My Pulse – In Requiem

Orlando candlelight vigil (courtesy Getty Images)
Orlando candlelight vigil (courtesy Getty Images)

In the Zenkondo tradition, as with Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Ubuntu, and the New Thought philosophies, there is a belief in our essential unity.  This foundational principle states that “I am because you are”… some call this the Great Namasté Principle — the Divine Spark within me bowing to the Divine Spark within you, which makes us ONE.

Late Saturday night/Sunday morning, 49 men and women, largely Latino and Latina, nearly all of them members of the LGBTQ community, were gunned down in Orlando, Florida. They were out at the end of wonderful week-long celebration of Pride events. They were there to mingle… to get their flirt on… to dance… to LOVE.

#WeStandWithOrlando, #OneLoveOnePulse
#WeStandWithOrlando, #OneLoveOnePulse

Pulse Nightclub was a safe space for them to come together. Or it was, until Sunday.

I think about what would have happened, had I acted on my impulse to possibly move back down to Central Florida back in April of this year. Three of my friends, two of whom I was in regular contact with, and fairly close to, were murdered that night. It’s inconceivable to me that I would not have been at Pulse that night, since one of those three was visiting Orlando from Sarasota, with his boyfriend. Of course I would have been there, with my fiancé, so that he could meet Eddie and Luis, Jimmy, and maybe even Stanley that night.

While I am not Latino myself, the majority of my friends in the LGBTQ community have always been people of colour. All but two of my long-term boyfriends were of ethnicities other than white. It was my Puertorriqueño, Cubano and Black brothers, who first took me in, as a young sixteen year-old gay boy, just beginning to come out to myself and others. So these were not just my people because they were LGBT, but because they were culturally my people as well.

I cannot pretend to be able to make sense of this purely senseless massacre. I don’t believe the “official story” being reported in the news for one minute. I’ve spoken to people who were there, and to their loved ones. I know we are not being told the whole truth.

So all I can do is to stand in solidarity with my sisters and brothers, both in the LGBTQ community as well as within the Latin and Muslim communities.

I can offer my ear and shoulder to cry on…

I can share our stories…

I can be there in any way possible.

And I can continue to openly and honestly grieve.

Today, the second round of funerals and memorial services are underway, as I write this. I wish I were able to be there for all 49 services. I wish I could be at the hospitals to hold the hands of those struggling to pull through.

And I woke up with a heavy-laden heart for this reason… struggling to treat today as a “business as usual” day. I cannot.

And then, my brother, Episcopal priest, and UCF university professor, Harry Coverston, shared this beautiful song from Eli Lieb and Brandon Skeie, called Feel My Pulse.

So you say this is human
Your heartbeat versus mine
I’m in chains cause I’m choosing
showing love or living life
I shouldn’t have to leave where I stand
I shouldn’t have to change who I am
To count as a human
Feel my pulse
With your hand on my heart
You know it beats just as hard as yours
Feel my pulse
Feel my pulse
Can’t you see that im scarred
I’m just the same as you are so just
Feel my pulse
I wish I could reach them
And strip away what separates
It’s the same air we’re breathing
The same tears run down our face
So I don’t have to leave where I stand
And I don’t have to change who I am
To count as a human
Feel my pulse
With your hand on my heart
You know it beats just as hard as yours
Feel my pulse
Feel my pulse
Can’t you see that im scarred
I’m just the same as you are so just
Feel my pulse

Nothing I can write or do or say will ever suffice to bring sense to the senseless. It won’t heal those fighting for their lives. It won’t make the loss of the thousands of family members, loved ones, and friends who mourn the 49 any less palpable. It won’t bring any of them back. And it’s unlikely to reveal the truth of what happened that day any more than we will ever know the truth about the similar False Flag operations used to justify violence, wars or serve as distractions on 9/11, at Sandy Hook, or Boston’s Marathon, in Paris or Belgium.

But we can stop, and allow our awareness to dwell in the present moment. We can enjoin our hearts with all of those who know… who mourn… who will not be silenced.

We can resolve to live FULLY and PASSIONATELY. We will never forget. But we can go on.

We can go on fighting for our civil rights. We can go on working to make sure this never happens again… to us or to any other marginalised group. We can go on living. We can go on LOVING.

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