My heart has been broken by the violence, polarization and xenophobia that have been escalating so much in recent weeks. If things had been like this in 1933 when my father’s family came to the US to escape the Nazis, I simply would have never been born.
I’ve felt deepening anger, despair, sadness and frustration as these messages of hate and division increase in their frequency and intensity.
I must respond.
So here is my response, inspired in no small part by the kind and gentle percussionist Mike Wofchuck, who stayed with us in our home recently. Mike shared with me that, since he became the father of an infant, he’s been able to see people he encounters as infants, and he can instantly connect to a place of loving them. This song invites each of us into that place and, I hope, into living the lessons of the great Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba:
Always remember God.
The opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of those in need is a gift beyond measure; I was given such a gift over 20 years ago when I was called to help dozens of Bosnian (and yes, Muslim) refugees here in Portland. It remains one of the true peak experiences of my life.
Our time to love is NOW. Our time to help is NOW.
Shantala, The Music of Heather and Benjy Wertheimer
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