Taken: A Kind of Love Letter
There is so much to tell you in this short time…the hour is late and tomorrow I will go again, love. A good person was taken from us this week. He told us the truth about how we stand on the blood and bones of those who risked everything and struggled before us in the fight for justice and freedom. Another good person’s murderer was held to account this week. This good man taught us to trust women to control their bodies and their lives…to understand that women are the other half of humanity and not the subjects of men. These were good people taken from us. But something else weighs on my mind and heart.
The truth is everyday good people are taken…people just like you and me. And that is what is at the core here…good people…everyday people…here and around the world are being trampled on, suffocated, pushed down, killed and taken from us in so many ways other than dying. The more that are taken from us the more that humanity is taken from us. I think these two men knew this and lived their lives to try to stop this. And who will take this struggle up now
Understand that I’m not trying to hurt you with these words…I’m not wielding the truth just to cut you, leave you stunned, and immobilized. No the truth is I’m quite taken with you. I mean you know harm at all with all this. Sometimes to me it’s as if I’m making loving to you all…to the whole world in struggling with you over these things. But I’m spent tonight. So for a moment my love I will break from the entangled embrace. Take my hand and let me lead you from this bed. Walk with me to the edge of the world. Look down with me at America, Haiti, and Afghanistan.
Here in America as the sun rises millions will gather in the pews of the mega churches. Do you see that young girl there…the one in the baby blue dress with her hair pulled back with the baby blue lace ribbon? She is 16 and she is pregnant…she is terrified inside…she does not want this…does not want this baby, but she’ll have it despite whatever dreams she ever had…because Jesus loves her so. Or at least that’s what the preacher tells her and she must love Jesus back to be worth anything. And if she really loves Jesus she’ll have this baby. It’s funny because that was what the young boy told her too…that he loved her…and he said that if she loved him she would show him how much she did, but now that boy is long gone. And now her dreams, her self-worth…her life have been taken. And nothing can bring that back no matter how much Jesus loves her. There is a boy of 18 that sits a few pews behind over to the right. He has desires…all boys and girls that age do. But his desires are an abomination in the eyes of God. He desires the love of men. For two years now he has been told to pray and pray even harder to be restored. He’s prayed so much to be restored that he feels dead inside. And each time he was told he had the devil inside a piece of him was taken. Three weeks from now he will go to his father’s gun cabinet, walk into the wooded area behind his house, and blow his brains out. Strange how these folks espouse valuing life…with every singing praise and prayer they’re killing their own children in one form or another.
Over here in Haiti a young man goes out into the night in search of food…it doesn’t matter what it is…just something to bring home to his mother and two surviving siblings. It has been days since they have eaten anything. He will attempt to enter a dilapidated market to find food. He will be spotted by two men from a private security contractor from the U.S. He will try to run as hears them shouting at him and they will shoot him down. He lived his life in forced poverty, but he tried so hard very hard to provide….he took such pride in that. In the days following the earthquake his dignity was taken from him and now along with that his life.
This is Afghanistan and in this house 7 school boys sleep. U.S. Special Forces will raid this house tonight. They will drag the boys out of their beds and execute them because allegedly these boys were connected to a terrorist organization. 3 years from now one of these soldiers will be flying high on dope and alcohol. He cannot function. He is unable to find steady work and his marriage has fallen apart. He wishes in one of his many stupors that he knew then what he knows now…that in taking the life of one of those innocent boys he had taken his own. He still does not realize that he had taken his own life the day he signed up to fight and kill for empire.
Over here a man sits slumped in a cell mumbling incoherently…he no longer remembers much of his former life…the years of isolation and torture have almost entirely convinced him that he is terrorist and always has been. In reality he was shopkeeper with a wife and 3 year old daughter. He was highly respected by the people in his village…he was always jovial and generous. That life ended the day he was turned in by a vengeful and greedy competing shopkeeper for a bounty from the U.S. military. Yes, with each passing day in this cell and each interrogation he endures these memories have been taken…his former self has been taken. He is a shell.
Let us come away from here now and back to the bed where we will take each other again in that entangled embrace. As I move my tongue into your mouth I will speak these words into you. I will hope that they reach that place inside of you so that you will remember. I will make love to you with all that is in me. Tears, sweat, saliva, skin, and hair will mix into one. We are one. We are humanity. Later I will take you to the far wall of this room. I will gently take your hand and move it over the rough edges of the cracks in the façade. Can you feel them…the openings? These openings are not like the smooth and soft openings of you or I…I know…they’re jagged and sharp. Can you taste the dust of the plaster that falls in little pieces? The taste is not like the sweet taste of you or I. Can you smell that stench seeping through? It is most certainly not the pleasurable aroma of you or I. Squat sown here with me and look through the openings. Can you see them…the powers that be? They’re desperate…they’re scrambling. They’re trying so very hard to make it all seem somehow still legitimate to you and I…to the world. Don’t believe it. Do not be taken by them. When the time comes my love, press on these cracks…as if you were making love to me with all that is in you…break it wide open. Remember where these cracks are.
It is morning now and I must go. Something calls me out onto some street…any street…anywhere. It demands my body and requires my voice. It is humanity. I love you-you know. I fight because I love. And there’s one more thing I should tell you before I go…I always look for you…in the street. I have never forgotten you and I never will. You know where to find me. Goodbye, love.
Tags: afghanistan, america, crimes of our governement, dr. george tiller, haiti, howard zinn, lay down, love, love letter, making love to humanity, melanie safka, occupation, Resistance, scott roeder, torture, war, World Can't Wait