The line is crossed

The line is crossed. When the words cut through the veneer of superficial decency. The very structure of everyday life rests on assumptions that are paper thin and can be peeled away in simple acts that become tantamount to violence on the soul. It is not just an unkind word spoken in jest, but it is the sheer violence of intolerance and the soul breaking scourge of jealousy and suspicion. I am hurt and thus I write. The last few days has handed me certain experiences, not personal to me, but for people I care about that it opens up the need to question a kind of violence that is endemic. Happens all the time – in more ways than we may notice. I see it in my bondhus. Those who suffer, those who have to retreat to a new place, sometimes even create a “new me.” The reasons are many, and often recede to the background of hurt, but the reality changes and those who care would notice. Not noticing is as much a violence as the act of creating the hurt. Then, one tends to then look for the re-building, because there is always the myth of re-building. Out of the ashes the Phoenix rose, they say. We ignore the ashes, and the fire that caused it. We did not start the fire, someone else did and that is why there are ashes, when none was needed. We do not need a Phoenix we need what was burnt down. No one wants to become a Phoenix, no one wants the fire. But there is a pleasure in burning what we cannot safely include in our lives – things that seem to call into question the structures we are accustomed to. Remember the killing fields around the World. This makes the talk about inclusion and diversity mere comical side shows. There will always be the ones who will remind us that they disagree with us. Our choices. Of what we do. Of whom we call a friend. Of what we call love. Of what we choose to do. And then there will be the metaphorical fire. At times this “fire” makes us powerless as relentless surveillance and suspicion cause us to retreat into imagined safe places. But no place is really safe. The fire is far reaching. Sometimes everyone becomes a threat, not place seems safe. Until we make it so. The questions continue to haunt all of us. Am I doing the wrong thing because someone said it is wrong, or am I sure that I am not doing anything wrong? Why even invoke “wrong?” Because we are caged into the constructs handed to us. I see this too much around me, as you do as well. Where do we then go? To the silence of the self, looking inwards and saying I am OK as is, in my “new me” or asserting that, no, this does not have to be the “new me.” I was me. I am me. I will be me. No matter what you believe, whatever you suspect, whatever be your personal fears, however you want to burn, I am sanguine. And at that moment you become the me you always were and will always be, the eternal me. For those who know you, there is never a new me or an old me. But just you. You who you have been, you who is, and you who will be. We do not need a fire, we do not need a Phoenix, we need you. Remember Joel, “We didn't start the fire/No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it.”

 


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