Friday, March 17, 2017


As I have shared several times, I identify (like many men) with the Wolverine character.  In my own case, perhaps among a smaller group, I identify with the recurrence of severe pain which does not kill him, from which he recovers.  But he feels the pangs of conscience.  He feels the pains of physical wounds.  He feels the pain of absence and loss, and his torture is surviving everything which kills everyone he makes the mistake of loving.  Small wonder a lifetime of continual disappointment makes him so hard, even if he can never bring himself fully to stop caring.

For me, this movie was somewhat redemptive.  As stark as the loss at the end was, it brought me emotional comfort, which puzzled me.

My children grew up watching the X-men movies with me.  This was a part of their childhood, and my parenthood.  A long story line has come, seemingly, to an end.  And my children, for their part, have grown.

But in some ways his pain was my pain.  I have long felt myself a "warrior", which for my own purposes I would define as "someone who keeps fighting when he can't go on and does so for a very long time."

I felt some peace last night, as I realized that it need not remain my self appointed task to try and solve the problems of the world.  There is a difference between someone who fights, and someone who provides an alternative to fighting.

This world is broken.  None of us have the power to heal it fully.  Certainly, I don't.

Douglas McArthur, among others, reminded us that "old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

What does this mean?  When someone has given their all and then some, when they have consecrated their souls to battle, to the taking of lives, and enduring watching the lives of their own kind, their friends, their own spiritual flesh and blood, being taken in turn, there is an energy in the air created, a torment, a turmoil, a restlessness and recklessness which continues long after their bodies are dust.  They are memorable, and remain felt for a long time.

But I feel my path is to provide an alternative to war.  And for those who have known war, a path out of it.  Soldiers bring war home.  They may not show it, but it is there.  Once it is in the blood, nothing else feels right, for most.  They may fear and loathe it, as McArthur did.  But they cannot get it out of them.  It is a tinge, a coloring, an odor that remains.

I have never been in an actual battle, but within my heart I have endured countless hours of desperation, of reckless, seemingly impossible courage.  I am alive because of these battles, which I think would have claimed many in suicide or a suitable equivalent.

But I felt, last night, for the first time, the possibility of peace.  It goes not through arguing, not through that disputatiousness I use to protect myself from unmanageable emotions, but by letting it all go.

I feel that the inner cutting which attends deep perception is painful to me.  I am unwilling to renounce it fully, but I am willing to admit my clumsiness, my lack of skill, my painful stupidity, and with it, an alternative.

That alternative is silence, and the allowing of healing.

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