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08 November 2018

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A Montreál poet of Portuguese ancestry penned this poem almost three years ago, in the days following the Paris attacks. A colleague heard the poet recite it that weekend at a conference in Montréal, while I first read it online; both of us were (separately) inspired to translate it, and it became the first of our many collaborations.


"I Died at the Bataclan in Paris," by Laureano Soares
In commemoration of November 13, 2015

For a brief moment I felt the pain,
my twitching eyes closed,
My hands and my fingers clenched
life poured out of me, I fell to the floor.

I could no longer hear screams or moans;
my body was covered with a sheet
and never again shall I see sunlight,
I didn't have the fragile good luck of the wounded.

I'll never set foot on the road
that I saw in the distance with tenderness,
it was all over. A sordid and sad end.

I was one of those chosen from among the masses
a victim of wars, of ideals,
I was another Abel in Cain's clutches.

Portuguese original at: https://www.facebook.com/cafelusofono/videos/809084299214603

Kathie thank you for sharing this poem. It is very moving.

Ghandi said: "It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

Corey, I know well that your prayers and energy are full of heart and kindness. I think the backlash is against those repeatedly saying the words "thoughts and prayers," without the heart for meaningful change behind them.

The Thousand Oaks massacre must be so painful for all Southern Californians. Pittsburgh just went through similar grief less than two weeks ago. So I'm ending you virtual hugs.

I live in SoCAL and yes, again our hearts are ripping. I heard on the news that there are some people who were at the venue of last night's shooting that were also in attendance at the Las Vegas shooting - my head and heart explode at what they must be going through.

Thoughts and prayers.

I also hear this morning that as the body of the police officer was being driven from the site to the morgue that people stood on bridges to witness it going by, traffic pulled over to allow it to pass, traffic on the opposite side of the freeway pulled over to the median and people stood outside their cars at attention, some saluting.

Thoughts and prayers.

Another news outlet reported one of their reporters took his phone to the hospital where the injured were and showed them twitter feeds, IG accounts, and FB accounts where regular folks said just as you have, thoughts and prayers... he showed all those people stranger showing their spiritual support and heartfelt sorrow on their pages...and reported how many were SO grateful for those posts, those prayers, the support that comes from a stranger.

Thoughts and prayers -when genuinely felt and rendered- will bring about good will and hope and love of God. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers! We know they help!

We do ourselves a disservice by discounting those words "thoughts and prayers". They hold deep meaning for me and, I think they hold great meaning for others as well. I agree with Diogenes that there is a frustration level that comes into play when real change is not seen.

I had not heard about the fires. Know that your family, friends and local residents are in my prayers--prayers for protection, prayers for the safety of those fighting the fires, prayers that each one would feel His presence and know the strength and peace it can impart.

Thank you Kathie, I remember when you shared this with me. I am glad you shared it here xx

I know what I said sounds judgemental, every prayer is better than none, and yet like you said "meaningful change" is the direction we need to head.

beautifully said. thank you. xxx

Thank you Star. Every ounce of love however it comes is needed.

Thoughts and prayers are what we have if we truly care. It is all that we have in our arsenal when these things happen and we feel powerless to do anything else as we are so far from the centre of the tragedy. They are a direct line to the Father who gives us Grace and strength to carry on and to be s conduit for His love. So , yes Corey, thoughts and prayers truly felt and truly meant are powerful. If the world lit a candle for all the true thoughts and prayers it would illuminate the universe in hope and love and would be seen by all who need that sign. So I join my thoughts and prayers with yours for all suffering near and far and continue the chain reaction Ana.

Yes, Amen. Adding my prayers. Lord, in Your Mercy ...

In moments like this I always think of the wise words: You can never fall deeper than into the hands of God.....

I apologize for repeating myself, but I blame those who make it necessary.

Great words.

Oh Corey, if you were in the US you'd understand Diogenes' dismay at the rampant overuse of the "thoughts and prayers" trope by public figures, some of whom (not naming any names) do not necessarily convey a sense of sincerity, to put it mildly. They're the ones who have devalued the meaning of the phrase in public discourse.

Such sweet, wise words from your “folks”! It’s really hard to feel hopeful with so much sadness and anger around us. To have people not appreciate or understand the heartfelt outpouring of “loving thoughts and prayers” is so discouraging. Those words give us all hope...

let's be honest, "thoughts & prayers" is the pat phrase of the GOP which has zero inclination for change even though the majority of Americans want gun control. it is they who repeat the phrase with blank faces that irks much of the population. when said in your sincerity, it is taken as such

I pray your family is safe and for those effected by the gun violence, again

beautiful post
Debra

Dear Corey, I pray these fires are extinguished soon and that your family and loved ones remain safe. May God continue to watch over you and yours. Love to you, carol

Yes, it's among a number of once-sincere phrases that have become devalued through overuse by people who don't really seem to mean it. Like (with Armistice Day/Veterans' Day approaching), saying to a veteran, "Thank you for your service."

What lovely, thoughtful sentiments your loving prayer elicited from your readers. They are a testament to the power of your prayers. Because I do not ascribe to any particular religion, I like to pick and choose from what I think is the best of them. When I "pray", I also use my hands, to throw the pleas up to the Universe, which has a way of taking care of everything. I haven't any words that could adequately comfort anyone who is in the throes of despair or grief. I usually just hold my hand to my heart, which is breaking for the person, or persons in pain. That is what I am doing now.

Thank you, dear Corey, for once again touching my heart deeply with your sincere, heart-centered words shared. You bless my days ever so often and I am so grateful for you in my life.

Kristin

Corey, I hope your friends and family are safe and sound. Thoughts and prayers when they are sincere are never a pat reaponse. The criticism comes when we forget to act on our beliefs. You always have opened your heart and your home to many. That is what we all must do now—open our hearts and act on our beliefs.

Beautifully said. Yes.

Agreed, Diogenes.

Simply beautiful, Corey.

how can we not offer our sincere "thoughts, prayers, love, hugs, support,our tears and God's blessings" to someone in pain, despair,suffering loss and experiencing the unthinkable? Where would we be if we stopped? Thank you Corey for your beautiful post and inspiring us. Keeping you and all those in despair close at heart in my loving thoughts and prayers.

Who is the author of the sentiment. I love the visual of cupped hands dropping our worries, fears and supplications in God's hands. I will not forget it.

Thank you thank you!!!

I am glad you re-shared this poem.

I think we are on the same page and saying the same thing. I agree with Diogenes, and even though I live in France I am well aware of the devalued meaning of the phrase, hence that is why I wrote this blog post.

Hi Sandy,

Thank you. I am.


C

Thank you for this post, Corey. Those of us that believe in the meaning 'thoughts and prayers' must not stop saying it and praying. Glad your family is safe - prayers for those who are not.

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