Mariacristina Blog Archive for Virginia Tech


Mariacristina Blog Archive for Virginia Tech


<b>Arms Control Begins at Home</b>

April 29, 2007 at 3:28 pm &#183; Filed under Virginia Tech, compassion, meditation, violence

I need to be hit with a ton of bricks for a message to sink in. For a long time I&#39;ve spoken about gun control, nuclear disarmament, and crisis prevention, but it took the VT massacre to finally get the message. I know this must appear selfish to the millions of people across the globe who wake up to gunshots on a regular basis, but since my own personal life is relatively peaceful, I didn&#39;t do anything overt to help stop violence. Until now.

I used to think that all I could do was to practice a non-reactionary life by not exploding in anger toward those who cross me. Even though anger management and meditation on a worldwide scale to me is the answer to violence, I now think political activism must also be added to my list of solutions. No more cheering from the sidelines. My voice will be heard beyond the walls of my comfortable home.


<b>Making sense of slaughter</b>

April 20, 2007 at 7:17 pm &#183; Filed under Virginia Tech, violence

At the Virginia Tech memorial service, Nikki Giovanni gave a moving and memorable speech. Her words were poetry in motion, urging the students to "embrace their mourning". She reminded us that no victim ever asked to be rubbed out, citing examples of atrocities from Africa to the Appalachians.

As an individual, I can shape what I want my life to be by acting on my dreams. That&#39;s what the students and teachers at VT were doing. But somehow their dream got tangled up with a madman&#39;s nightmare. Caught defensless and unaware, they were slaughtered as if they were still targets on a shooting range. Easy to mark.

No, this guy wasn&#39;t insane. He chose to commit evil. But a long time ago a shift had taken place in his mind that separated him from the rest of the human race. He wasn&#39;t born evil. He had to become the monster. Something or someone shaped him into what he was.

Where does evil begin? How do I reconcile the opposing images of slaughter with the fact of my own continued existence? I don&#39;t think there&#39;s enough time left in my life to figure out the answers to these questions.

In the meantime, I act. I embrace the mourning, and also wait in awareness to feel a moment of joy.


<b>Where were you when it happened?</b>

April 19, 2007 at 3:06 pm &#183; Filed under Virginia Tech, violence

On Monday, the day of the shootings, I went to a yoga class, unaware of the violence unfolding in Blacksburg. The class was serene. Before raising our arms in salutation to the sun, the teacher had us fold our palms over the sternum, then place our hands over the third eye, fingertips touching. We repeated these motions throughout the class, while flowing in and out of the various postures.

I went home, worked for a few hours, and then made lunch. I sat down at the table and reached for the remote. I watch CNN during lunch because I eat alone, and I&#39;m also a glutton for punishment. When I looked at the remote, something surged inside of me. It was a thought, or a sense, that as soon as I turned on the TV I would learn of something catastrophic, something worse than the typical bad news. It was a thought that made me pause.

This strange intuition wasn&#39;t like my usual fears. I worry about imagined events about 50% of the day. It wasn&#39;t fear, it was simple certainty.

When I turned on the TV a nano second after that flash of thought, it was like stepping into a nightmare. Twenty-two shot dead, then thirty-two!

Later, in the evening, I went for a walk. The air was softer and sweeter, the leaves on the trees more vibrant, the sky more blue than I&#39;ve ever seen it. And I thought, this is so beautiful, how happy I am to be walking along this road, enjoying the evening sun reflected off the tops of the live oaks. And all the while I thought about the students and professors, who in this place and time will never again witness a walk down a country road. Their loved ones will never again enjoy the pleasure of their company. Their parents will grieve the loss of their special child until the end of their days.


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Christine Swint




Brent Jesiek




Christine Swint, “Mariacristina Blog Archive for Virginia Tech,” The April 16 Archive, accessed August 23, 2017,