Pulse: When Dancing is Political
by Rabbi Bradley Artson
There’s really only one way to dance:
Hold your courage close to your heart,
as you step toward the music,
trusting that a kindred spirit,
will smile at the chance to hold you tight.
Then you sway to the music,
and swirl new love into the world.
Loving hearts pulse.
Pounding hearts can thrill with love and hope,
or they can collapse into chilling terror and hate.
Why does difference make some broken people ache?
Are they so fragile,
that sweet love makes their twisted hearts hurt?
The mere cadence of freedom makes their hearts race
so that only the stillness of murder can restore their smothering calm.
Raging hearts also pulse.
The burst of bullets
assault of terror
the gun, automatic, and our hearts once again go numb.
Brothers and sisters,
we too have a pulse,
so we must rejoin the dance:
circling our love to embrace all humanity,
a choreography more persistent and persuasive
than the bursts of automatic fire
that assaults our schools, churches, mosques, clubs, theaters and homes.
We shall be that righteous troupe
whirling together our resistance to
terror and hate
and to indifference.
We must dance, and lobby, and legislate,
until it is safe for us all to dance.
Pulse: that’s the sound of your heart alive.
Rabbi Bradley Artson on Joy
Anderson Cooper Remembering the Victims
Judith Butler on Grief
Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,--
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.