So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

02 February, 2007

Bleeding for Humanity

I've written bits of this several times, and I don't have the words. I can't give the context, it's not mine to give, so this may not wind up making any damn sense.

There's this thing about being human: this striving, this gathering together, this building of space that we share. We hear each other, or try to; we listen, we reflect, we build a space where it is, in fact, okay to be people like ourselves.

And there are times we meet people who have been locked out of that space, denied the space to be heard; and when we hear them, it breaks the heart, and we bleed.

And, you know, tonight I prayed for a hearth for the abandoned, among other, less coherent things. Not because he will ever know, though he might, I don't know, if his god swaps messages with the gods that hang around here. But because I am human and he is human and we strive for this, for righteousness, for a place where people belong. And it is a wounding that he went without being seen as human for so long by so many, it is something that we cannot fix no matter how much we bleed out into it.

We could bleed ourselves dry and never fix the world. And at the same time, putting out caring, space for the lost, warmth for the cold, these are things that come from that same sense of blood, that same sense that how dare the world fail so grievously as it does when we're confronted with the utterly alone. How dare the world fall so far short of even decency: what can be fixed to make that stop?

Damnit, there is still space to care. I cannot stop his pain: I cannot raise the dead, or heal the sick, or mend a lifetime treated as a leper.

"As you do unto the least of these", the fellow who they say did that stuff said.

Hear the unheard. That's the beginning.

Listen, even if it means you bleed.

6 comments:

belledame222 said...

thank you.

little light said...

BD, there's a reason I think of Dw3t-Hthr as one of the people in my life who's taught me the most.

D-H, I know I said this elsewhere, but this is basically amazing.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

To be fair, LL, this one owes as much to your influence on me as anything else.

(I will wander off and shuffle my feet and look, y'know, sort of embarassed now.)

Trin said...

Lovely.

magniloquence said...

This is wonderful. No, this is True.

Especially this:
We could bleed ourselves dry and never fix the world. And at the same time, putting out caring, space for the lost, warmth for the cold, these are things that come from that same sense of blood, that same sense that how dare the world fail so grievously as it does when we're confronted with the utterly alone. How dare the world fall so far short of even decency: what can be fixed to make that stop?

I've thought that and thought that and thought that, and never been able to say it.

You know when people do those "what superpower would you have?" games? I always think, and realize that if I could really truly pick, I'd have to pick something completely selfish or useless. The ability to always find clothing that fits me, or to communicate with coffee mugs, or something like that. Because if I had something, anything that could be used for others (I always think about video-game healing here. In WoW, I play a healing class, and you just... point your staff and say some words and look, they're all better!), I would have to bleed myself out.

If you could heal, how could you not go down to a shelter, and stand there day in and out. How could you not hop the first plane to Darfur and plant your feet in the sand until you fell over, drained?

I always did like those Superman digressions.

I'm sorry... I know that's a tangent. But it's what comes to mind. And what always comes of it is what you have in the end. The will to do what one can, and balance self against other and hope that it comes out right.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart." --Lois McMaster Bujold, I believe.

The thing that I have to keep in mind when worrying about healing the world -- or even just taking care of my family -- is if I break down, if I bleed dry, then not only do they lose the support I was giving, they lose any possibility of support in the future.

Win the world and lose your soul; heal the world and die.

Martyrdom is something that we treat, culturally, as extremely sexy. It's dramatic, it leaves people saying, "Oh, I could never do that", and means they don't feel a need to do anything, because they don't do everything.

I come back to Little Light's two little hands, here, the two little hands that made all the difference -- maybe what we have is too small to change the world all at once, but if we have it, and we have it repeatable, we can keep damn well going on with it forever. If we burn out in a blaze of glory, we've got glory, sure, we've got the sexiness of martyrdom, and martyrs don't have to keep doing the damn work.

Two little hands, here, there, we keep having hands, we keep being able to do something, and we bleed a bit on the way, sure, and there aren't grand gestures that make the big splash, but we keep going, we build something that doesn't depend on grand gestures.

Miracles are nice to have, but the world is built on the magic of what we can work with our two little hands.