Monday, March 19, 2012

Protracted Conflict

Today, for the second time in seventy-five days, I slept in the same house as my son.

Things got worse. Far worse. Like violence worse. Like aggression in front of our children's eyes worse.

I am glad that I am a man who chooses not to answer violence with violence. Even as I am attacked, I don't turn the other cheek, but I keep my eyes wide open.

Think of me, and (this sounds so pathetically slogan-y) think of the children exposed to violence, anger, and injustice.

Be willing to suffer any blow while keeping your soul. Love the aggressors, or at least love the part of them that feels, as you do, that injustice is warranted in order to serve their needs--

And do what you must. But do any of us know what we must do? It took me a long time, serving without distinction in a relationship, to distinguish needs from wants. Everything used to be a want. I was like Nietzsche's donkey, gaining dignity through what I could deal with. And then I was like his lion, roaring and aggressing if I wanted.

Today I was like a child. I wept before my mother and son. And I stepped on, played, played parent and told the boy to clean up his toys and brush his teeth, etc. And I made him laugh and he made me laugh and I dreamed of a world being born right now, a world where I and my loved ones are kings and queens of their own....

If you can be conflicted without hate, then you understand more than most of us, for the world is conflict, but you need not debase yourself while struggling with others. I am a wrestler in a grand arena and I can say "I oppose you" without saying "you are wrong." It is a good place. I must remember it often.

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