12/28/2005

Two Stories

I came across two stories today that have stuck with me. The first I found through a Fairytale Meme:

The Enchanted Horse appears to be part of 101 Arabian Nights and is one I hadn't read yet (note to self - get a copy of 101 Arabian Nights). This posted version has a classic British feel, as if the writer spoke British English as a second language. The charming characterization of the nobility in the story reminds me of some of the translations of love stories from the Philippines.

I'm not sure how the Knight of Cups relates to the story and I've unfortunately lost the additional text from the meme that might explain the connection. The only thing I can figure out is that Cups is about Emotions and Knights are about the masculine, giving us the masculine side of emotion, which if I recall from the Voyager deck is termed The Surfer, ie. the ability to surf above difficult emotion and still keep moving. This is the opposite of the Queen of Cups who would deeply feel emotion to understand it.

The other story I came across on Margaret Cho's blog:

A Reminder of What We're Up Against - Our Tragic Loss is a more difficult story to navigate. I want to approach it with compassion, like the author ultimately comes to by the end of the piece, but it means surfing over hard emotions. It's difficult to witness the shortsightedness of my extended faith community in the face of Nathan's death, and the great lengths to which they have erased part of his identity in order to manage their own deep beliefs. It would be too easy to walk away, clucking about 'those kind of Christians' who cling to their homophobia.

The gap between the author and Nathan's parents is vast, and turning again to the idea of God being in the Gaps, I realize that both 'sides' were/are trying to make sense of an apparently senseless death with Love. Nathan's parents loved their son so much as to create an elaborate vision of his final moments, a deep narrative anchored in a complex set of beliefs which could not be shaken by the reality of Nathan's activism. I mourn their half-understanding of their son and blindness to the opportunity in his death to see him as something more. That they believed in the end that Nathan had gone to God is a testament to their love for him, misguided as their actions were.

My heart goes out to the author of the piece, though, as she struggled to find out the truth of Nathan's death, experiencing first hand the type of oppression he had endured. And I admire that she did not move to acting on her anger in a destructive way, instead choosing to continue to act in love, to be of hope that things can change, that understanding can happen between such disparate groups. That's faith in action.

I'm left then, with these two stories in my hands and I try to rest in the changes they are making in me, letting their strength and hope seep in. That's the best part of story for me. I am challenged to keep bringing it all together, weaving it all, into a compassionate activism I can call my own.

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