Shanah Tovah to my cousins!
Blessed Michaelmas to my cousins on the other side!
Happy Navaratri to my Hindu friends!
Belated Eid Mubarak to my family.
Peace to neighbors across the border in India!
Peace to my family in Pakistan!
Peace and plenty to my beloveds in Kashmir, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, Myanmar, Chad, CAR, all the spaces and the spaces in between that no one even cares about, or knows how to pronounce.
Freedom from fear to my beloveds in war-zones, abroad and at home, and in supposed peace-zones where the voices of the bullet-ridden, blinded, abused, raped, trapped, mutilated, starved, thirsty, sick, are drowned in the sounds of music and celebration.
Peace, plenty, justice, equality, love, dialogue, productive conversations when we all listen, this year and for all in the future.
For the sake of our children.
For the sake of our own souls and hearts.
For the sake of those we have lost.
For the sake of those we are still losing, everyday, every moment, in the rubble, in the bombs, in the ocean, in the camps, in the streets, in the schools, in the hospitals, in famine.
In Aleppo, Chicago, Srinagar … we cannot give up on each other.
We cannot let our ghosts and ghouls feast upon our babies.
Our hearts ache, break, and spill open all over our prayer-rugs, rosaries, garlands, pews, in our temples, mosques,
churches, monasteries, homes, schools, at our doorsteps, by our windows, by the bundles of belongings that we snatched and fled from fear, right into the rotting arms of terror.
We are alone. We are alone. We are alone. We are full of grief.
In this grief, if it must continue, let us at least hold each other and sob until our hearts break, and break
again, and again, but together.
After all this loss, all this grief, all this horror.
Let us at least love, if we are denied peace.
In these streets, where we reach out to embrace, and ghosts of the past cast a chill over us, holding us apart, and we weep to the desolate walls, alone.
Let us love and weep and reach out and hold each other to comfort broken hearts and sit together to mourn ravaged hearths and tiny graves.
At least love.
At least, let us love.