A Culture of Passionately Gradual People

prechtelFrom Martin Prechtel in The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise (2015):

That feeling of frustrated justice and hatred for the unpunished “perpetrator” is the hardest thing for people who cannot truly grieve. On the other hand, it is also not any good to become people who glide along on bliss and don’t care about anything, either. It’s needful for the peace of a people, peace of the human heart, peace of the earth, for grief to be there, not transcending on a bliss journey to avoid grief. Being zoned out, numb, unconnected, “above it all,” and not caring is just the lazier flip side of the coin of vengeance. They need one another.

Better to let vengeance speak without losing grief’s medicine of beauty and life. We need a culture of passionately gradual people who can hear, give, and truly feel the deep weeping grief inside the absurd platform of hate caused by the writing of human pain. Instead of compulsively defusing the situation, these cool people would know to find and digest the grief through the whole bigger “story” of life, knowing it is hard in our frustration not to always want to fight against “something” to make it all right.

How relaxing it would be if there really just was a bunch of bad guys who you had only to depose to make the world all fixed up. But that’s too simple and the source of even more loss, because in the instance of trying to cure it all by force you plant the next round of the sickness of revenge. So what do you do?

Get courageous.

Become a person. Make beauty out of grief. Become real people who might have untenable rotten ideas, but who in the end grow into solid old people who are generous and unconniving, people who know things and don’t just see everything as a business opportunity. Be courageous, make your hate into an art of love beyond your wants, and stop sending undigested grief in the form of sorrow frozen into hate into the arms of the future. Hand over the world with some modicum of the possibility for peace.

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