On July 19th, I went to the movies with my brother, my son, and a friend of his. We went to see the Batman triology… 9 hours of Batman! We went to the theater just up the road from where I live. I took a picture of our special card and posted it to Facebook and, like any good social media member, tagged us at the theater. At 12:01 on the 20th we began watching the third installment: Dark Knight Rises. We dutifully turned our phones off as the movie began and settled into our seats, drinks to one side and candy to the other. After the movie, we walked out with all the other happy movie goers and made our way through the crowded parking lot to the car, not giving much thought to the policemen standing about outside the doors. Then I took Jordan’s friend home. On the way I got a text from someone in Florida asking me if we were okay. I answered in the affirmative, and then found out there had been a shooting. Did I mention I live in Aurora, Colorado?
I was slightly confused, but was very tired and went home and to bed, never checking Facebook or Google. I hadn’t seen or heard anything at the theater, but I figured I’d fill myself in after a good night’s rest.
And I did. My Facebook page was full of posts asking if we were all okay. My phone was full of text messages wondering the same thing. While I was asleep, families were grieving loss and trying to understand what had just rocked their world.
I was 10.6 miles away at another movie theater, watching the very same movie, when a killer entered the building and wreaked havoc and forever changed the lives of many.
Tonight I gathered in a yoga studio in Aurora, 6.4 miles from where lives were cut short and grief descended upon a community. But tonight we gathered for a night of yoga to honor the families that were touched by tragedy and to open our hearts to them and to each other. While a live band softly played in the studio, men and women moved in unison through asanas, breathing together and sharing in a special evening. Afterward, lying still, one teacher placed a cool lavender-scented cloth over my eyes while another began a meditation for the night. She talked about tragedy and loss and trauma. But she talked about the beautiful picture of all of us there to help support those who had suffered with our time and our donations and our open hearts, filled with compassion.
As I lay there focusing my attention on the moment, the cool towel, still smelling of calming lavender, began to mix with hot, salty tears that ran down my face. …Tonight, I leave you with this:
Lavender Mixed with Tears =Joy