April 8th, 2005

Solo dark candle, somber

Dziekuje, Karol Wojtyla

In just two hours, Pope John Paul II's body will go through one last significant phase, his funeral, before it will be laid to rest forever.

The images I've seen of his body laid out for viewing, the unimaginable numbers of people passing through the Basilica, surrounding and blanketing St. Peter's Square, descending upon Vatican City, these images are burned forever upon my mind. I wish that, for the people who are unable to travel to Rome to witness this magnificent event, I wish those people could have the advantage that I have sitting here at the station, watching continuous digital satellite feeds of various shots of the Pope's body, the crowds, St. Peter's Basilica, the Polish flags flying outside. It is a wondrous event.

John Paul II, for my part, it was nice having you while we did. This world is truly a better place because of you. Thank you for showing us how to achieve peace without bloodshed. Thank you for ... everything.

Right now, it's just about 9am in Rome. You can see the sun beginning to shine it's light on the crowd and the great Basilica. One of the last images of the Pope alive was when he was trying to set some white doves free from his window one Sunday morning. I believe it was the last time he was seen alive in public. The doves kept flying back into his apartment window. He was flanked by a boy and a girl, y'know, I think it might have been Easter Sunday. I don't remember the details. Anyway, he was quite amused by the doves not cooperating with the planned ritual. That's the photo I saw in the newspaper -- a wry smile on his face, clearly amused by the whole thing. Not at all frustrated.

Kind of makes you wonder if a dove will flutter through the funeral service, a dove who might have been quite familiar with that locale at one time not so very long ago...

  • Current Music
    Let There Be Peace On Earth
Long road home

Still processing, still upset

I don't want to get too long-winded here (I know, don't faint).

But I was so touched by the media's respectful, tasteful coverage of the Pope's funeral service today that I feel something must be said. They must be acknowledged for this, because I for one was quite touched by it, and I noticed. Even the sometimes-sleazy Inside Edition closed their coverage with some very insightful and thought-provoking final thoughts from the show's anchor, Deborah Norville that was just totally unexpected. She said something to the effect of, "While I watched this event play out and looked at all the people gathered below [the press area], saw all the flags waving from all over the world, saw mortal enemies sit next to each other peacefully and shake hands [in the exchange of Peace], I couldn't help but notice that, even though this great man's life ended, what a world he left behind..." She said quite eloquently what I myself had noticed and am feeling.

I didn't watch the whole half-hour, and I certainly can't comment on *all* the networks' treatment of this occasion, but what I did see ... well, God said that even a simple kindness, whenever one of the flock strays away and comes back, that simple act can atone for a *lot* of sins!

Never underestimate the power of kindness. Thank you NBC, thank you Inside Edition. I am 100% sure that the Pope looked down on us all with joy overflowing today. :)