As posted, Fighting for Redemption is being rewritten once more. It’s finally found its target audience.
I’ve recently typed a Facebook post:
Fighting For Redemption
These words are not my own.
I am the mind that has thought them. The signature of their pattern belongs to me.
However, the nature of their vibrations does not.
I listen to the sounds of the vowels that reverberate from my mouth. The thud and cut of the consonants within my mind’s voice.
…and yet, none of them are my own.
They came from someone else. A person who passed them to another, and another, and then some.
Over generations, over time. Between wars, at the exchange of love and loss.
You see, I was born in a cycle. A very specific cycle in which I had no place or stable identity.
You may not understand what I mean when I say these words now in this moment…but you will.
A man kills another. A woman compromises herself in the pressures of the aftermath.
My story is not unique.
Bards have sung tales of it. Tomes read of it in their archaic verbosity. Even cave paintings bare some semblance.
It is a story that transcends skin color, and exists in some form or another throughout all humanity. My story is one that repeats. Not even once in a lifetime, but by the moment.
As you read these very words, there is a boy, alone.
Somewhere in the world.
He is wondering what his father would have told him. What would have been different had things played out differently.
He is wondering about what he hasn’t learned. What inheritance of wisdom consequence has denied him.
Because wisdom is acquirable. And as it is acquirable, it is transferable. It is a unique kind of knowledge that comes most at a price. The price is time. Life. Pain. Sorrow. Shame. Sacrifice.
The price for wisdom is what you cannot return.
It is more valuable than gold or silver. It is more powerful than the sharpest sword, even if wielded by a thousand soldiers.
For without wisdom, you can start life with all the riches in the world, only to lose it all on a whim. But, with wisdom, you can gain, lose, and regain all the wealth in the world countless times over.
With wisdom, you can command the thousand soldiers. It is the reason why the sharpest swords are meaningless if wisdom would win the war before it even starts. What need is there for the warrior to unsheathe it, otherwise?
Though, that is not to say that wisdom would lead one to lack the will to defend oneself.
A means of transferring that wisdom creates a platform on which posterity can stand. To not make the same mistakes as those who came before. To be better than their father, and his father before him.
Such a medium enables the son to learn in two years what it took his grandfather eighty. And what that son thereafter takes eighty years to learn, you can learn in four.
If you pay attention, you could gain 160 years of wisdom in only four. Contained in just a few stories. A few hours behind the pull of a bow with an arrow before it releases toward the doe. The tug of a line before the fish breaks the surface.
It is a ladder that forms, generation to generation. And each rung is an inheritance.
The boy knows that he is lacking. But, there is nothing he can do. Without guidance, he must rely on instinct. His mother will tell him what she knows to be true about the world, but what she knows is never the full story.
Meanwhile, to him, at that age, she is a goddess. At least, in the beginning. What she says is law. And even if all the world would disagree with her, it is all the world that is wrong, in his eyes, not her.
Loyal and loving, naive and resolute, that boy would fight all the world for her. Thus, a special bond forms between them that no one can quite replace.
However, the problem is that she is not actually a goddess. She is not immortal; she is a woman. One may put her on a pedestal for her care and struggle.
But, at the end of the day, she is still human. Just as human as his father was. Just as flawed. Just as scared, trembling, and unsure.
Unsure of what a man is or should be, for her and their tribe.
She is insecure, and so, she must switch her thighs a little harder. She must wear her hair a little longer. Her makeup a little thicker.
She must project power and control, even though she is crying inside. Barely surviving in a world forged by men that judge her on a whim.
She must be perfect at all times. If not for anyone, than for her boy, who is watching from afar. She loves the way he admires her. He looks at her in the way that no man does.
She sees how he sees greatness within her that transcends the crow’s feet she covers up.
She would do anything to keep that. His face, just like that. Forever.
But, she can’t. And deep down, she knows it.
It’s only a matter of time before the boy begins to grow. Away from her, and into the world.
He will soon notice how the world responds to all he didn’t learn. All that she couldn’t teach him that his father could have.
He will reference the sum of her teachings. But, he will eventually come to realize that not everything adds up.
And as he begins to think, his admiration for her will fade.
In fact, his feelings may not only wane, but reverse.
He may come to resent her for being a cruel goddess who didn’t teach him what his father could. Who raised him unprepared.
For if she were truly infallible, then his suffering must be by her mandate. Like the wise Epicurus, he will question:
Is mother willing to prevent my suffering but not able? Then, she is not omnipotent.
Is she able, but not willing? Then, she is malevolent.
Is she both able and willing? Then, whence cometh my pain?
Is she neither able, nor willing?
…then, why call her mother?
What are your thoughts on how it begins?