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Monday, February 6, 2012

Some Sort of Violence

What do you do when someone says something you do not want to hear? (Serendipity Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition, p.1407).

Typically I deny it and fight (with more or less success) to prove them wrong.  Once I had a Shakespeare professor give me a “C” on a major paper—one that would determine my grade in the course.  I emphatically told him, “I will not make a “C” in this course.”  He suggested that I rewrite the paper to more effectively prove my point.  I rewrote the paper—not satisfactorily proving my point to his liking, but I did earn a “B” in the course.

When I chose a place to live in Saint Petersburg in 1976, through the leading of the spirit I chose a challenged area on the Southside.  I was confronted by realities I found unacceptable.  I worked to correct them in the ways I felt inspired and led to do and found the experience rewarding beyond expectations. 

Coming out of a mental hospital I was determined to get a job (for which I was desperate) and to live a normal life.  I was not to be defeated and not to acquiesce to dependency.  Through effort and divine intervention, I secured an entry level job.

Employed by the City of Saint Petersburg, I held a low paying job that was very limited in advancement potential.  I enriched the job and informally redefined it.  Eventually I was promoted accordingly.

Not being a brilliant student with offers of scholarships, I nevertheless earned three master’s degrees.

All these experiences bring home to me the essential violence, for lack of a better word, that is involved in saying “No!” to certain realities and fighting to change them.  As is often the case I think of the phrase of William Butler Yeats:

You that Mitchel's prayer have heard,
'Send war in our time, O Lord!'
Know that when all words are said
And a man is fighting mad,
Something drops from eyes long blind,
He completes his partial mind,
For an instant stands at ease,
Laughs aloud, his heart at peace.
Even the wisest man grows tense
With some sort of violence
Before he can accomplish fate,
Know his work or choose his mate.

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