Aotearoa New Zealand is a second home to me - this is a gift, and a privilege, and I am so grateful for over two decades of relationship with beautiful Kiwi friends and family.
So my heart is sore for the pain that seems closer because I have loved ones nearby the events in Christchurch; but I'm also comforted because those same loved ones are exactly the kind of people who help heal and prevent further suffering.
My request would be this:
1: If you're not in Christchurch, the best way you can help is to reach out to your local Muslim community - Jeremy Courtney and the amazing people at Pre-emptive Love have a brilliant set of steps here.
2: Don't amplify the spirit of rage and shame that caused the massacre. Don't re-tweet his writing, don't publish his name, don't link to the sources of his distorted thinking. Instead, consider the difference between sunlight and oxygen - here is a thoughtful piece that illuminates.
3: Consider the continuum of violence, that begins in thinking and rhetoric before it becomes physical. As Jeremy says "they start in our head before they ever reach our hands". That's my head too. I want to learn how to talk about violence in a way that includes my complicity in it, and the reduction of violence in a way that includes my responsibility - and power - to accelerate it.
And we're still left with lament. So I want to say this - lament is not an obstacle to real life, it's a part of it; but panic isn't necessary. For most people reading this post, now is the time when some of us who previously felt safe because of what the world had been for us get to live out of that privilege in sharing our lives with others who didn't have it.
My love and tears are with my friends in Aotearoa New Zealand; my feet are here, and I want to walk toward the light.