Tag Archives: Vance Gilbert

Take Down Your Flag

It’s been nearly a week since the shooting in Charleston.

This tragedy has occupied a lot of space in my brain, and I’ve commented, liked, and shared a number of posts on Facebook. But as far as writing anything original? Well, I still don’t have any of that.

But I’m going to write something anyway.

Because I can’t remain silent. Some killings are classified by many people as senseless: People who die in car accidents. Those who lose their life to cancer.


For those who die in those ways, I disagree. There is some sense to them. There is a natural order about dying in an accident or to cancer.

But to a shooting in a church?

I’m not even religious. I’m certainly not Christian! Yet churches (and schools) are sacred ground where no one should live in fear.

Yet one ignorant kid decides he’s the judge of what’s right and wrong in our country, and he kills nine completely innocent people. For no good reason except that he’s ignorant and angry about what he thinks he knows about the world.

Senseless. And terrible. Yet a Confederate flag still flies over South Carolina.

Through the terror and despite the government sanctioned symbol of hate flying over South Carolina, there has been incredible inspiration. People have been protesting bodily, commercially, and artfully.

Ravenel Bridge

Tens of thousands in Charleston honored the shooting victims by crossing the Ravenel Bridge.

Bodily, tens of thousands got together in Charleson to walk in memory of the fallen.

Commercially, Amazon.com, Sears, and Walmart have all decided not to sell products with the Confederate flag on it any more. These are HUGE retailers, and they have made the bold statement that this symbol of racial hatred will not be tolerated.

No H8

Artfully, Peter Mulvey started a musical project: Take Down Your Flag. He’s invited, oh, so many musicians to write their version of a song with the below lyrics as their structure.

Every flag over Charleston is at half-mast today except one. Except one.
Every flag over Charleston is at half-mast today except one. You know which one.
Take down your flag to half-mast.
Take down your flag to half-mast.
Take down your flag to half mast.

Different artists have written different versions of the song for the nine people killed in this tragedy. There are many now. Oh, so many. Below are a few of my favorites, starting with Peter Mulvey’s.

Peter wrote his version in honor of Clementa Pinckney.

Ani wrote her version in honor of Tywanza Sanders.

Vance wrote his version for the shooter. I get shivers when I listen to this one. I’m still not ready to offer forgiveness to the shooter for this, and yet Vance begins this necessary healing process.

We must always remember that forgiveness does not mean that we condone or excuse whatever happened.

But by forgiving, we can release their hold on us and begin to heal. And that’s something this country most desperately needs.

Healing and a healthy dose of empathy across all religions, skin colors, sexual orientations, and whatever other artificial boundaries some would like to establish.

As we all heal, perhaps we will someday collectively remember that we are all human. Homo sapiens. C’est tout. Très simple.

Comments Off on Take Down Your Flag

Filed under Challenge, Love, Music, Peace

Cicadas Buzz Blessings

Cicadas buzz to

The beat of Vance Gilbert who

Reminds of blessings

Comments Off on Cicadas Buzz Blessings

Filed under Creating, Fitness

Keeping Pace

Slow and steady

Finishes the race

Prince, Vance, Allie

Help keep pace


*not a haiku, but still a nice poem.

Comments Off on Keeping Pace

Filed under Creating, Fitness