Thursday, September 17, 2009

It was a joyful noise

Last night I prayed.

I stood in a baseball stadium with 55 000 other people while Bono sang, The Edge and Adam Clayton played guitar, and Larry Mullin Jr. kept time on the drums. They showed us images of Iranian women and children; protesters bathed in green stage lights while the band played "Sunday, Bloody Sunday". We were gifted with a message from the International Space Station by Frank de Winne during one song, and a message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the lead in to "One". During "Walk On", we were introduced to the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi while the volunteers who helped mount the concert filed across the front of the stage and were thanked for their work.

The roof of the Rogers Centre was open so in addition to the phenomenal light show inside, we were treated to the sight of the CN Tower's nightly light show, which at times seemed to have been programmed to enhance U2's performance. Better than that was the energy, the wind on my face as I raised my hands, and sang, and clapped, and laughed until I cried from the sheer joy of it all.

There is nothing quite like the sound of so many voices being raised together in joy.

"'s religion
And its Christened me with wonder
-If Venice is Sinking - Spirit of the West

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Yesterday I stood and watched while my friend went home with her abusive partner and their son.

She had called a cab to go to a shelter. The cab arrived at the same time he did, and although I locked the door, she said to let him in. He took the baby out of her arms, and neither of us could get the baby back without hurting him (the baby, not the father). Once he had the baby, she said she had to leave with him. I hugged her and told her I was sorry. I can't even imagine how she was feeling.

This all transpired at a friend's house - not even at my own. I was there to care for the homeowners 7-yr-old daughter while she ran an errand. My responsibility wasn't just to my abused friend, but also to my other friends' daughter, to keep her safe.

When the homeowner got back, she called the police and explained the situation: that our friend had spoken to a shelter intake worker that day, who had said that she shouldn't be going home again. That he has a prior history of violence against objects near her (doors, walls, windows). They took us seriously. They said they'd send a car. They got a lot of information from us, and said that they'd let us know the outcome.

We were having tea, a group of women who have known each other for years, friends, and some not-exactly-friends-but-we-can-all-spend-time-together, but all people who know and love the woman I let go home yesterday. We waited until 10:30 for news, but no one called, so we don't know what happened.

I don't know what I should have done differently, what I would do differently if I had to do it over again. I only know that I feel like I failed when it was most important that I succeed.