Friday, August 31, 2012

Leave a Light On (for Thee)

Playradioplay! - I'm Afraid There's a Hole in My Brain

     We were standing on an overpass, the two of us, leaning against the steel railing as traffic, both oncoming and outgoing, sped beneath our feet in flashes of red, yellow, and halogen white on the hottest of hot nights when she said the strangest of strange things to me. The ultimate weakness of violence, she began, gazing upon the cars, trucks and motorcycles as they passed us by, is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. You may murder the liar, she continued, dismissively waving her hand toward the stars above, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. You may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate, nor establish love. She lit a cigarette at this point, as she's apt to do when something's on her mind; something, as I've come to learn, she can't refrain from sharing. Returning violence for violence multiplies the violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out the darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. An awkward moment ensued, for I knew not what to say, let alone think. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that, she informed me. Great man, she opined, and a flummoxed "Huh" was all I could manage in the time it took her to toss a cinder block into oncoming traffic.

And that, as we say, was that.

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