Finding the Words

Which words should I use?
There are so many to choose from, it seems a shame to try to find new ones. Maybe it is a waste of time, even.
Can I just use ones from Columbine, when I wondered if we would ever wipe the blood of these children off our hands?
Or the ones from Sandy Hook, where I condemned our leaders for looking away?
Maybe the ones from Parkland, when I was angry and demanded action?
I found words for the school shootings and the terrorist attacks.
Somehow found something to say about worshippers gunned down in the act of sacred gathering; something about people murdered in Walmart.
I have drawn from the texts I inherited: do not do this, do not stand by that; always remember, never forget.
I taught how Abraham argued with God to save just one life.
How Rachel sat by the road and wept.
I echoed the prophets who specialized in finding the words for despair.
I gathered the gleanings from my colleagues and friends who were able to be more articulate than I.
Or, maybe, there will be no words. No vigils.
No Letters to the Editor or Facebook posts.
No altars for candles and teddy bears.
No petitions, angry protests, or briefings.
No rehashing of homilies and prayers.
Just abandoned attempts at messages and sermons of consolation.
Just sitting and staring into the face of despair,
refusing to blink.
Foolish me, writing words to say that I have no words.
Knowing that I will share these words so that others will know that I have none that are adequate.
Foolish me. All I really have are words.

Ritualwell content is available for free thanks to the generous support of readers like you! Please help us continue to offer meaningful content with a donation today. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Rituals

Shop Ritualwell - Discover unique Judaica products

The Reconstructionist Network

Learning to Say "We": Writing Identity

In this immersion, we will reflect and expand on our personal experiences of identity, using writing exercises and in-depth discussions to think about, challenge, discover, explore, and experiment with different ways to identify ourselves, to consider how those ways connect us to and separate us from others, and how they represent and misrepresent aspects of who we are.

Four sessions, starting June 15th

Get the latest from Ritualwell

Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store.