Where do I want to go with this month’s promise (I will build, nurture and celebrate connections)?

Last Friday, my PCA Matt called to tell me he would not be able to work his shift. His nephew had been shot and killed. The following day, another of Matt’s young relatives was shot and killed in Chicago.

I ache for them and for us. On Sunday, I did tonglen meditation with the helplessness and sadness I feel in response to gun violence in this country. (In tonglen meditation, we breathe in suffering, use ourselves as alchemical vessels and breathe out blessing.)

I am conscious that losing these young black lives (both directly to the violence and, more subtly, to young ones’ expectations of the world) diminish us. Talents and energy have been lost.

I wish I could do more, but I don’t know what else to do. I keep expecting (and, in my lazy email and financial pittance way, advocating for) public policy changes. None occur.

Part of nurturing connections is mourning their loss.