‘Let Your Light Shine’

I have not much to say.

Our hearts ache from the massacre in Orlando, from hearing the names and seeing the faces of the lost, from hearing the tales of those who were in the Pulse club at the time and who managed to survive while dear friends did not, from realizing once again that no number of lives lost to bullets this week, this month, this year, this lifetime, will budge the heartless and the paid-for from their resistance to true gun control in this nation.

My heart aches, too, at the bullying, anger and pure meanness put forward with mouth-frothing ferocity and glee by the supporters of the man who will evidently be the nominee for President of the United States of one of our major political parties. He inspires and glories in that anger and glee, and with each preening pronouncement, he makes it clear that he is unqualified for that office, indeed unqualified for any elective office.

So we here are emotionally weary. I know we are not the only ones. I know our brothers and sisters all around this blue planet share our concerns and sorrows. And that helps.

In search of solace, I wandered through my music, and I found the fourth part of the “California Suite” that Jesse Colin Young offered on his 1974 album Light Shine. It’s the album’s title track, and it starts:

People, let your light shine. Come on now, let it shine.
Come on, let it shine on, all night and day.
People, let your light shine. Let it shine.
Come on, let it shine on, all night and day.

We all got a light inside. People how can we survive
If we don’t let it shine on, all night and day?
You know the world is dark with fear, people scared to let you near.
They need you to shine on, shine on all day.

Young’s words and gentle music bring me some comfort, as they have since, in a lovely coincidence, I brought the record home to my apartment in Minot, North Dakota, twenty-eight years ago today. May they do the same for you.


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