We are in mourning.  Shock, grief and anger wash over us in waves.  For many, the media (old and new) has become the place we turn in order to deal with such an event.  In traditional societies, we would have physically gathered together as a community to process our pain.  This week, Occupy Cafe will attempt this virtually on behalf of its members, including founding steward Ben Roberts, who is a Newtown resident.

A friend wrote Ben an email saying that she hoped that "we can use this as a catalyst for new ways of making sense together."  We would especially like to hear from one or more people who have gone through something like this and come out the other side with their spirit intact.  Perhaps they even discovered some sense of mission and purpose that is their own form of "making sense" of something that seems to defy the very notion with its randomness.  

Join the online conversation by posting below.  Our Cafe Calls are complete for 2012 and will resume on Jan. 7, 2013..  Perhaps we might all contemplate this question:

How do we respond to this tragedy in ways that serve life?

Podcast for Monday's call available here

Image: memorial display on Church Hill road in Sandy Hook, CT

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encompassing..that is my experience of today's call...Thank you everyone. Thank you, Ben. following up on Anita's suggestion of a video of a day honoring the child, the child's beauty and innocence and the child's future, and  that takes us in time around the world, I am moved by an event that Bill McKibben organized. You can watch the video and slide show at


What appears senseless to you makes total sense to others. There is a good example here

We have been hiding our heads in the sand if we haven't realised that our culture is based on violence and is destroying the basis of life on this planet. So this is a wake-up call that those 6 young girls who were killed recently in Afghanistan by a land mine while collecting firewood in a forest are part of our family. They are no different from the school children 'senselessly' murdered in Newtown. This tragedy is being enacted every day, it is totally hipocritical to pretend that this tragedy is 'special' because it happened closer to home.


Anna, glad to see you back.  Although your link didn't work for me I think I'm getting your thrust and anger.  I also see the everyday insanity of our world... yet apparently so full of "helplessness."  It looks more complex than simply making a choice to look around and see what's happening... and then to respond intelligently or compassionately.

What is it in humans that allows us to look at the same thing, yet each see it so differently? 

HI Dyck,

Here is the full address: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Fear-and-Loathing-Unto-Dea-by-Denn...

Yes many of us feel impotent, unfortunately encouraged by the activism that makes demands on government and corporations, rather than putting energy into building the alternative. Really if there had been a movement that was designed to undermine our efforts by sapping the energy, pouring it into protest which casts us as victims, and disempowers us, this would be it. Reforming gun laws is one piece of the puzzle, but without fundamental change would have very little effect.

Different viewpoints are to be encouraged not regretted. They are the stuff of democracy. it is the attempt to erase them by criminalising whistle blowers that is pernicious.

I see the state of our humanity is where the impotency lies... not simply me or even we.  Gun control, mental health control, or any other 'control or condemnation of others' is surely denial.

But alas, it's only the 21st century.  Another ten thousand lifetimes or so should help ease the grip.

I think we should be careful referring to the state of humanity. That is, it is not all of humanity that is the problem. The US is a problem, and within the US corruption and corporatism (in this case marketing guns) is a problem. Violence everywhere in media is a problem. Violence as a tool to solve issues is a problem. We have the highest military budget in the world.

Other countries have had success with gun regulations reducing homicides. Like Australia and Japan. There are many recent articles on this.

Alas, to be careful. 

Let go the life raft and allow yourself to sink below the surface... where life and death are teaming with reality.

Yes Anna, good article... and something from "The Intelligent Optimist/ODE"

Mother Theresa famously said: "I'm not against war, I'm for peace." Profound wisdom.

Please take a moment with me to direct your love to not just the young victims of the overwhelmingly painful massacre at the school in Connecticut and their families, but to all people who live in challenging, sad and painful circumstances in our world. Anyone can turn into a gunman if s/he is feeling left out, disconnected and lost. A gunman shames us all. Let's make sure that we take care of all our sisters and brothers.

Let's focus on a world that we do want to create and live in. Let's ignore the media that will spread ever more fear with their reporting....

full article:  Gunman Shames Us All

Here's another more recent photo of those wonderful angels, via the Madison CT Patch (read the piece, which I pasted in two posts below--it will melt your heart):

And this photo and message was posted to my FB timeline by a family member of mine in New Jersey...

My friend's son drew this ♥ "Connor drew this in his spare time at school today and asked if I would post it to see if it could get enough shares and likes to reach CT. I told him I would try. He said it was 26 Angels - one for each victim, with one of them comforting one of children who witnessed the tragedy, and the Holy Spirit shining down on the school to protect the survivors and bring peace to them. — with Kerry Clune Diebold and Jennifer Clune Cooper."

Thank you Conner. This is beautiful. It brings tears to my eyes that you would want to do this. You are an angel too. I will share this with my friends here in Newtown, CT, and with everyone else I know.

I want to affirm that this young boy's drawing is quite complete... with out words and without mental interpretations. It cuts right to my core.  I understand.

I'm not anyone special or with  PHD, MD, MS, JD, BA, or HS or any other government educational propagandized value, nor media-infused druel & hype & feigned compassionate coverage that changes facts.  I simply understand it in my heart and spirit.  Is this enough for you too?

Wow.  I just read the piece in the Madison, CT Patch that accompanied the photo, above, of the Sandy Hook angel shrine at night.  It's written by that  town's school superintendent Thomas Scarice. This unspeakable tragedy is truly calling forth the very best in all of us.  

Darkness.  Darkness during the season of lights.  Candles and trees muted.  The din of holiday cheer brought to a despondent whisper.  Hopelessness and despair settle in like the dark grey clouds of a looming storm.  A voice calls and they gather on a raw Sabbath night.  A dim light appears in the form of a candle, followed by hundreds more.  They come together because that is all they could do.  They light a candle because that is all they could do.  One light ignites another.  Suddenly, the candlelight burns like a torch.  They awake and the light burns.  The light burns in the form of a teacher’s fragile open arms extended to her little ones, awaiting their arrival for a new day, while her insides tremble with sadness and anxiety.  The light burns in the form of a uniformed officer gently smiling at a child, backpack in tow, watching over him as he gleefully skips through the familiar doors that will never be the same.  The light burns in the form of a lifelong resident, whose empty nest has now since quieted, and he nods a show of support as a tear slides down his cheek.  The light burns in the primal voice of a dad crying out to keep his baby safe.  The light burns in the form of a group of young adults who scamper to adorn the walls of a new school, miles away, with letters and pictures to welcome the little ones who have been broken.  And the light burns, and the light burns…

Yet, their imaginations have been violated, pierced by unspeakable images.  But now, the light burns a new image in their minds.  An image of restored innocence and flesh made whole again.  Of precious young minds without recollection.  Memories only of bliss.  And the light burns an image of the twenty newest angels as they mischievously play on the soft floor, as soft as mommy’s hand caressing their face before wishing “good night."  They roll and giggle, they chase and tickle.  And the great Sandy Hook Book Fairy smiles.  No recollection, only bliss.  The chatter of busy little angels grows.  “How did my teddy get here?” asks an angel. “There’s no such thing as unicorns," declares another.  “Oh yeah, how about that one?” the impish one protests.  “We fly every night, don’t we girl?” as the unicorn bows her head and drags her front hoof on the soft floor.  And yet another, “This fireman’s hat fits perfect!  Now where’s that hose?”  And quietly, off to the side, a tiny hand presses into a familiar baseball glove as the scent of the leather and memories of a toss with daddy seep into his mind.  And the Book Fairy smiles.  How do you corral twenty mischievous little angels?  She has learned from her helpers, the ones who have followed her here with the angels.  “One, two, three, eyes on me.”  And giggles soften.   She feigns a stern look as their eyes smirk to each other.  And the Book Fairy smiles.  They set their gaze on her, waiting for the Book Fairy to read a story.  She holds the book and gazes back, smiling as if they all know a secret but won’t share it.  And they wait, with the same anticipation and wonder of child at the holiday season.  And they wait, more assured than those left behind that mommy will be OK, daddy will be ok.  Sister and brother will be OK.  Friends and family will be OK.  The thousands that shed tears will be OK.  And they wait with the patience of an angel in a better place knowing they will be joined…and blissfully, they wait.


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

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8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

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