I’m glad to hear that she is okay, and I hope that she returns to blogging one day. I have to admit, lately it was difficult to read her blog and her comments on other blogs due to the volatile nature of her words. I was wondering if I should even continue reading her blog, or take a break for a bit, because I was shocked and offended and hurt by the blurb about "dysfunctional, perverted and arrogant" liberals she has on the main page of her blog. I kept thinking, "Does she realize she's talking about me when she says these things?" It has been hard for me to separate that from her gorgeous artwork and wonderful smile and personality, which is really too bad. I've so enjoyed reading her blog and seeing her incredible talent. But, part of my hope for both sides of the aisle after this election is that we'll come together ... and instead of focusing on differences, focus on acceptance, so I do my best to accept and love her for all of her. :) I know how very close you are to her and I hope your friendship mends. I know you must be hurting over it and I send my love."
This email came without blame, without judgement. At the time it was clear that one friend had hurt another. It wasn't until last weekend, three maybe four years later, in a cleaning frenzy of ancient emails, that it also became clear that one friend's attempt to be gentle in her tone, in explaining her hurt and need to protect herself, masked the deep and dangerous reality of another.
My friend was justifiably hurt and at the time I made excuses and covered for the person who hurt her because I loved that other person. I knew she had a problem with empathy and compassion: I knew that all along but I made excuses and ignored her hostility toward others until I understood her hostility full force myself. And even then, I didn't want to see.
These days I wonder how the world is going to right itself: so many fractions and warring sides and disdain for opinions that do not match one's own. For a long time I prided myself in being able to accept the position of someone who sounded too much like Rush Limbaugh, who didn't hesitate to degrade or denounce the very beliefs I and others hold high.
I didn't understand the real damage of the degradation and denunciation until I had some distance, finally, to see that a mean streak and intolerance sooner or later overtakes charm and talent. It's hard to face, but even now, I wish for peace in a cold heart.
Looking back, I'm sorry I let my friend be hurt by another's words simply because I was too smitten to protect the people callously misalligned or insulted. I will always be someone who appreciates opinions different from my own: there is much to be learned that way. But name calling and vehemence is not the way to heal oneself or one's planet. I think it's safe to say I won't be overlooking mean spirited rhetoric again. It has to start with me, everytime.
In my email clearing frenzy, I also came across a quick response from my friend Renee, a blogger known to many, who would die only months after she wrote this:
kj, For so many they see a way to change and get what they want and have needed all their lives. For me it is so different, because I have always had what I want. I have always seen the birds sing and have stated my truth. Does that make sense to you?
Yes, Renee. It makes total sense. Why does the scarcity of what one wants and need in life lead a person to hate and vilify the differences of others? And why is this so for some and not others?