4/17/2007

33 Living Arrows

I live and work in a university community, full of the life and energy of its young students. Some days I go to Sproul Plaza at lunch, and sit on a bench and look at the thousands of brilliant young men and women who walk about, talking, laughing, and bringing the most valuable asset a university can have: young minds ready to grow and expand and learn, preparing to give back to the world by becoming professionals, scientists, and leaders of tomorrow. It is unfathomable that such beautiful stream of vitality and life which was running through Virginia Tech, came to an abrupt and violent end yesterday. I am speechless in the face of this violence and brutal attack on human life and humanity. The thought of those kids’ parents and families and communities won’t let go of me. I am mother, aunt, and friend to many college students. The tragedy’s dimensions are truly unthinkable for me. My blogger friend, Serendip http://fleetingperusal.blogspot.com/, who is a sensitive and kind man, has been particularly hard-hit with the news. I pray for him, and I pray for all the families, friends, and affiliates of the Virginia Tech community, to find the strength and hope with which to overcome this sadness and tragedy. I also pray for my Korean friends, who as immigrants must feel particularly saddened by the perpetrator’s South Korean identity, something that they now have to hear 100 times an hour on CNN. I quote something from Jebran Khalil Jebran’s book, Prophet, where he talks about children: And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children." And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of to-morrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

4 comments:

SERENDIP said...

Thank you so much, Nazy jan for this wonderful tribute. I used to live in Virginia sometimes I would study in one of the libraries there when it was too cold to go to D.C. and study in GW. I'm still in a state of disbelief. So many professors were among this sensless carnage. I read a couple of this crazy kid's screenplay on AOL and I'm almost positive he was sexually molested as a child... I appreciate your concern and thank you for being you. You're one of a kind.

Assal said...

Nazy Joonam,

If anything I have heard since I first learned anything of this tragedy has touched me, it was your beautiful and "well-fitting" quote. I get on the train every morning and spend my hours with students like myself who are so full of hopes and dreams and plans about changing the future that it really is disgusting that those who were killed were youth with so much left to give to this world.

No killing is justified, but with students, it just is such a waste of such an exciting promise. I wonder what they would have grown to become, the awards they would have won, the goals they would have set and met for themselves.

Thank you so much for your words on this sad event.

Nazy said...

Serendip, You are one of a kind, too! I wrote a letter to my three Korean friends at work today, telling them that my thoughts are with them. They wrote amazing responses, heartfelt and poignant. If they give me permission, I will share them with you. Humanity has no boundaries, the way I see it.

Nazy said...

Assal Joonam! Thank you so much for your sweet note. Jebran Khalil Jebran must have been the wisest man in the world for having said those words. The astonishing thing about this particular book is that it was translated by Najaf Daryabandari, and I believe that Daryabandari is a genius, because the translation is pure poetry and the most amazingly smooth translation work I have ever read. I can loan it to you if you want to take a look. Be good azize delam.