That Moment When Understanding Occurs but Remains Unconfirmed

Why Understanding of Police, Public Safety, and Emergency Response is Mixed

First responder sits on porch steps, head down, deep in thought.

As all past and current law enforcement and emergency personnel can attest, we have been the last face many a dying person saw before embarking on the journey that follows human life. Death by natural cause, fulfilled by someone else, or an accident, it mattered not, for in the final moments, the police officer had profound awareness that change took place and an unexplained transition occurred. We can believe in a supreme being, who many call God; or with those who maintain this is our relationship to life experience, a stage of process, a moment in infinity. The belief, or not, is a personal matter; for what follows will bring understanding as we individually reach that stage.

I have reflected for years on the elderly woman severely injured in a traffic accident, west of Gorham, Maine, who suffered a traumatic head and facial injury. I knelt on the road with her, having placed a large dressing to the side of her face, holding onto her shaking body, and talking softly to her? Her final breath followed by a stillness; a Trooper and now deceased body, awaiting the arrival of additional emergency services. I felt a presence, was it real or imagination? Was I seeking explanation, a belief, to make sense of what I just experienced? To this moment I believe it was real, an edge of understanding as she was welcomed home from the lessons of this life. It was also personal to me, for there is no certainty or proof; just her eyes that seemed to understand, asking me to do the same, in the silence of it all. Continue reading “That Moment When Understanding Occurs but Remains Unconfirmed”

The Meaning of the Drums

Semi-circular formation of Barundian drummers from above.

On November 23, 2019, our partner and friend, Alphonse Ndayikengurukiye (n-D-ah-ih-kehn-goo-roo-KEE-yea), left for NYC in the company of the Batimbo Foundation Family team of drummers who have been invited to perform for America’s Got Talent (AGT). Alphonse will document the journey and its motivations in the form of a video or the Batimbo Foundation Family.

This is but a small piece of a much larger project that Alphonse and Building Resilience will initiate. Alphonse will call on drummers from many countries and cultures to come together and explore the messages loaded by and through drumming. The act of drumming spreads the spirit within the drum to the sensation of those around. In Burundi, Alphonse’s homeland, a master drummer faces a team of drummers, in semi-circle formation, with the sole objective of following the master. In doing so a powerful spirit of unity and solidarity is shared. Continue reading “The Meaning of the Drums”