Saturday, May 7, 2011

More and More

Why is it that I don't exactly feel gleeful about a death this week?

I am aware that no one, including me, wants an outline of my half-baked opinions on the subject of the most notable death of recent days. For one thing, the evidence speaks for itself--and when we read between the lines, we find there a strong comment on the disingenuousness of the official statement. Of course; it's an official statement. That's its nature, eliding and eluding the exact truth. (A "firefight"? Not the word I'd use.)

For another, I don't know half enough to expound knowledgeably on this subject. I understand that a million other bloggers have already endlessly discussed the proper way to react to this news--with joy? With regret? With some manufactured, thoughtful admixture thereof?

I only know that right now I feel something a little sick and uncertain. About what has really happened, and about where it will lead us. It is a vague echo of the way I felt, exponentially more powerfully, on September 11, 2001: extremely sick, and lost in an ocean of uncertainty.

The night after the most recent event, I was talking to Mom. I found myself saying, without really knowing whereof I spoke, with some degree of belligerence: "This all began a long time ago, several wars before, so that Americans can unquestioningly continue to drive their bloody Ford Explorers." That sure ended the conversation. The very next morning, I happened to be driving behind a car on whose back windshield was written in large white letters: Thank you Navy SEALs! He is dead!!!

It happened to be a Ford Explorer.

Loving can be seen as functionally analogous to killing. Give away your love, and it comes back and back. Kill, and it too returns, more and more.

Last night, I chanced to go to yoga at a new place. The instructor ended the class with a prayer. In light of the event last week, the words sent a chill, as if from beating wings, through the air. Then we went out, my son and I, to walk a labyrinth in the churchyard. Around and around we walked, toward the center somehow.

Buddhist Prayer

If anyone has hurt me knowingly or unknowingly in thought, word, or deed,
I freely forgive them.
And I ask forgiveness if I have hurt anyone knowingly or unknowingly
in thought, word, or deed.

May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be free

May my friends be happy
May my friends be happy
May my friends be free

May my enemies be happy
May my enemies be peaceful
May my friends be free

May all beings be happy
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be free


Shybiker said...

I feel the same way. Violence is not the answer to violence. And state-sanctioned murder is still murder. But, of course, with the excitement people are feeling, nobody wants to hear my opinion.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson said...

Nor mine!

It is very appealing to hear words like "We will not stop until we have destroyed the _______ [fill in the blank]!." But if annihilation is the wrong paradigm--as Hercules discovered with the Hydra--we're going to be in such deep s**t with the terrorists. Of course, we would never think to ask ourselves WHY they are so murderously angry with us.

For all of us, action (and anger) are deeply addictive. Reflection (and change) are not.

Ask me how I know.