The young woman appeared to be daydreaming, rubbing her arm absentmindedly. Abruptly giving voice to her thoughts, she recited “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way“.
She sang the next words. “Show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride to make it easier“. Looking around the room in embarrassment, the woman fell silent.
“That would be a good one”, her friend nods encouragingly. “Or Jesus Loves Me, she did that so beautifully“.
Looking at the friend, the young woman whispers “Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong“.
Both sing softly “Yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so“. They smile at each other, the younger woman’s eyes tinged with pain and loss.
The older woman gazes back with compassion. Time had sanded the edges from her loss, sanded the edges so that her struggle could continue, the loss fitting back within the tapestry of life. Pain was no longer a steady companion; its unannounced visits came sporadically these days. Both women blink back tears. She shares with the younger woman. “I finally went with a bit of Langston Hughes“.
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
Life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
The younger woman responded with the second stanza.
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams go,
Life is a barren field, frozen with snow.
She marveled aloud, looking at her friend with a glimmer of hope. “You wanted him to know you would try your best to go on, in spite of what happened. Even then, you were thinking only of him“.
Eyes carrying a wisdom whose road led back to the Euphrates, the older woman smiles and nods. “You understand“.
“I’d thought of using one of his songs. Let my baby know his music will live“. She looks around the room, animatedly sharing a story of his artistry being mistaken for the work of a well known entertainer. The expression on her face gives the assembled group a glimpse of the woman she had once been, of the life she had once lived.
Witnessing the dialog, the assembled group shared a collective vision, centered on how unnatural for a mother to be thinking of an inscription on her child’s grave marker. How much worse when the child was murdered, and the murderers demonize the child, the cruel lies repeated by a compliant media.
“Good morning, Revolution: You’re the very best friend I ever had. We gonna pal around together from now on”
― Langston Hughes