I had a discussion this morning about the history of violence within my family. But that is not exactly the truth. We were discussing the history of violence within my urban community ... no .. within African-American culture ... within American culture ... within human ... within life.
The violence is unmistakeable. The smashing of horns, the slashing of teeth and claw, the blood and gore ... the cries of fear, pain and anguish ... after a while, it all starts to blend together.
But we humans take even the violence inherent in life and dare I say ... improve upon it. We add guns, machetes, bombs, drones, Molotov cocktails and napalm. We kill teenagers in the street, mothers in their beds, and children ... everywhere we kill children.
I have just finished reading The Hunger Games, where children are reaped to fight to the death to atone for the “sins” of their ancestors.
But what are the sins of the massacred Afghani families? What sin did those women commit in todays school massacre? Or in tonights beating of a woman somewhere, anywhere ... all around the world?
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But that is not what we were discussing either. We were discussing the serpent that lays coiled deep down inside of me. The serpent that even now is poised, ready at a moment’s notice. This is not the kundalini, it is something else entirely.
This serpent is my penchant to react with violence.
It never sleeps. it never relaxes. It is armed to the teeth. And the only thing keeping it from rising and blotting out the sun ... is my training.
But this serpent is a product of violence. Just like the violence we are inculcating in the minds, bodies and souls of children all around this planet. We are ripping through their flesh and blood and bone and forcibly implanting them all with this serpent.
You who watched your mother being beaten and raped, you who curl deep into your father’s arms as the bombs explode, you who even in the womb can taste the blood of anguish ... all of our serpents like ticking time bombs waiting for the least provocation, injustice or insult.
And what does the world hand us? Hunger, fear, war and death.
As if the serpent is not already enough.
And this serpent inside of me lays in wait. Waiting for the day when my training will not be enough, when my will falters, and my heart breaks open ... screaming ... Enough!