When the war ends, you put your weapons and maille away. You live the quiet country life that you fought to defend. Now the borders are threatened again, and older now, you polish your shield. You will not race off on raids, draw the blue woad lines on your cheeks again, but you dress for battle in the still morning and walk the slow miles to counsel where you will be the elder statesman, the warrior queen returned to broker peace with full knowledge of what war is. I will, if I have to, fight again. But I will bring my battle-hard body to the table first. I will make what preparations are required but I will keep vigil every night and pray I will not need them.
I came of age in war and would not see my children ever have to know what I learned there. But there are things worth fighting for and I am willing to face chaos and fear once more for freedom. A country does not live in peace without effort. Peace is a bird in the air, not a stone on the earth.
Ours can never be the sweet and gentle harmony of drum and flute. I play bagpipes and he plays accordion. Our instruments are tuned in different keys, and they are neither much good at pianissimo. I will not agree to be silent so that we sound good together. But I will not pack up my pipes and go home just because discord makes my skin crawl.
I wrote a while ago about the whole product/process thing and it’s still haunting me. In fact, the way I’m writing here is my attempt to be in process rather than share the finished process of my thinking. My best friend was here for the last four days and she pointed out that I’m so process oriented that when I began to feel like the end result of my relationship with C was going to be divorce, it changed the way I related to everything. I need to do what’s right and let go of needing to know what will happen. I need to be willing for our relationship to end, and I need to be willing for it to work. I need to be willing to defend my right to an unsilenced self.
I wrote a while ago about integration and individuation. And I have a gift for integrating. I’ve got the shapeshifter’s gift- the creatrix able to pass as any creator, blend in any landscape, appear to fit into to any grouping, and yet not at home anywhere, vigilant against detection as the fraud only I know I am, always honing my illusion. The desire for love, the longing to belong, to fit in., to integrate. This desire to merge and unite in opposition with the desire to grow and individuate, be more myself and more than I am now, to expand, branch out, extend my reach.
See, it’s all process still. And it’s sort of a mess.
I had always believed that peace was the highest goal. And I still do. I’ve just qualified what I mean by peace. Because I could have peace in my home if I just let my husband have his way with everything. Negotiated peace, though, the peace of individuation AND integration, the complex organism peace- where each organ achieves its own growth and complex specialization and the individual growth contributes to the health and productivity of the organism. This is what I want and I do believe it’s worth fighting to defend. I don’t want to be a peaceful amoeba. I’d rater be an embattled frog.